How to Solve Any Problem

Your power to solve any problem is in the direct control you have over your thoughts and your thoughts are optional

Podcast Version:

As female accountants you are no stranger to problem solving.  Whether it’s your client’s or your company’s problems, you have been educated extensively on how to solve problems and create balanced results in the form of financial planning and financial reporting among many other things.

You may have exceled at solving mathematical problems when you were in school, which lead you to pursue an accounting career.  If you are like me, you enjoy the comfort of knowing that the numbers don’t lie and that an analytical, problem solving mind is rewarded in our career.

But what about problem solving where numbers aren’t part of the equation?  What about problems with a boss or with a spouse or with work life balance?  As far as I know there is no course in college or any continuing education course that teaches how to solve any of life’s problems…until now.

Years ago Brooke Castillo of the Life Coach School developed a model that she refers to as “how to solve any problem”.  She refers to this model as the “Self Coaching Model” and I have used it for many years, eventually referring to it in my coaching practice as the “Manage Your Mind Model”.

Every problem can be solved using the Model.  Every.  Problem.  Don’t believe me?  Good…I love a challenge!

This week I’m going to discuss the Manage Your Mind Model and how to use it to solve any problem.

 

The Manage Your Mind Model

In the corporate world there are many different models used to produce various results.  These problem solving models are used because people tend to do three things when faced with a problem: they become afraid, they get uncomfortable and they wish it would go away.

These types of models assume that the situation or circumstance is the cause of the problem.  They assume that changing the circumstance creates the solution to the problem.

But what if you could get better results personally and professionally without needing to change the circumstances of your life?  What if calling something a “problem” is really the problem?

The Manage Your Mind Model shows you how to take control of your problems.  This 5 part Model can be used in any situation and can literally change how you handle your boss, your spouse, your work life balance and anything else that you consider a problem.

The Model is broken down into 5 sequential parts:

 

1 – Circumstances – these are the situations that are outside of your control. They are factual and could be proven in a court of law.  Everyone would agree if asked.  These are the people, places and situations that you would may call a “problem”.

Example – You have a boss; the weather is rainy; there are other cars on the road

 

2 – Thoughts – thoughts are the meaning you give to circumstances. You make circumstances mean different things by your thoughts, beliefs and judgments about the circumstances.  Many of those thoughts are helpful however some are not and cause you unnecessary pain and suffering.

Example – “My boss is so difficult to work for”; “This weather is horrible”; “This traffic is out of control”

 

3 – Feelings – feelings come for your thoughts. Most people believe that their feelings come from their circumstances (ie, “My boss is a micro manager and doesn’t support me which is why I feel overwhelmed”).  Your feelings will always come from your thoughts whether you are conscious of it or not.  Most of your thoughts are unconscious which means you often don’t know why you are feeling a negative emotion.  However, when you work with the Manage Your Mind Model, you will learn how to choose your feelings on purpose.

Example – You can have different thoughts about the same circumstance and create completely different feelings based on those thoughts. You could come home, your dog greets you with excitement, you think “I love how happy he is to see me” and you feel happy OR you could come home, your dog greets you with excitement (same circumstance), you think “I need to teach him to stop jumping all over me” (different thought) and you feel frustrated (different feeling).

 

4 – Actions – Actions are generated by your feelings. This includes your actions, inactions and reactions.  People often feel negative emotion and believe they can “power through” a negative emotion to get the result they want.  However, your actions are much more powerful and effective when they are fueled from emotions that serve you.  Positive emotions fuel positive action and vice versa.

Example – You want to lose weight and to decide to start going to the gym more; you think “I hate going to the gym but I know it’s the only way to lose the weight”; this makes you feel frustrated but you take action anyway and go to the gym.  The next time you are even less enthusiastic and decide to put it off.  A month later you can’t understand why you stopped going to the gym.  By choosing to feel committed no matter what, the action of going to the gym would have been fueled by that more powerful feeling.

 

5 – Results – Results always come from your actions. Your results are your experiences of your life.
They don’t “just happen” to you; you create them with your thoughts, feelings and actions.  The most important thing to know is that you are always creating your own results, not someone else’s.  Your experience is created by your thoughts, feelings and actions; everyone else’s experience is created by their thoughts, feelings and actions.

Example – You want a better relationship with your spouse.  They have been coming home and not talking much and you feel disconnected from them.  Instead of judging them with a thought like “Here we go again; another night of him not speaking to me” you choose to think “I’m so happy he’s home safe and sound”.  This chosen thought creates the feeling of gratitude, you watch TV together in silence or you read a book and the result for you is gratitude that you are safe and sound at home.

 

The power of the Model is in showing you that your circumstances do not need to change.  What you have been defining as a “problem” is really just a neutral circumstance in the Model.

Your power to solve any problem is in the direct control you have over your thoughts and your thoughts are optional.  You always have a choice about what you choose to think.

The best part is that once you learn the Model, you can start anywhere.  You can choose to create a thought, feeling, action or result.  It will always flow in the order I’ve laid out.

No matter what the circumstance is, it will always trigger your thoughts; your thoughts will always cause your feelings; your feelings will always fuel your actions; your actions will always create your results.

The amazing thing is that you only need to know one aspect of the Model in order to solve any problem.  Whether you know what you are thinking, how you are feeling, how you are acting or the results you’ve been getting, you can use any one of these to solve any problem.

Once you understand the current Model you are creating with your thoughts, feeling and actions, you can begin to solve any problem by creating an intentional Model.  By intentionally choosing how you want to think, feel or act you can powerfully change problems into solutions.

 

Applying the Model

When you start working with the Model you may not be aware of what you are thinking so it’s often helpful to start with a feeling.  Once you are aware of your feeling like “Sad”, “Frustrated” or “Worried”, you can start working with the Model.

 

Example – Your daughter’s math grades have been dropping and you feel worried that she’s not going to pass her class and get into college.  In order to be as factual as possible in the Circumstance line of the Model it would helpful to know exactly what her grades were and what they are now; remember Circumstances are just facts.  Since you are aware that you are feeling worried, you would start filling in the Model like this:

 

Circumstance – Kelly’s math grade was 90 and now it is 70

Thought –

Feeling – Worried

Action-

Result –

 

Since your feeling of “worried” is created by a thought, begin by asking yourself what thought is creating the feeling of worried.  Why is the fact that her grades are dropping a problem?

Once you are aware of the thought that is creating the feeling of worried, you will plug it into the model and then fill in what action you take when you are feeling worried.  Lastly you will fill in the result that will happen if you take that action.  Here’s what your current Model would look like:

 

Circumstance – Kelly’s math grade was 90 and now it is 70

Thought – This is not good because colleges are going to be looking at her grades soon

Feeling – Worried

Action- Spin in my mind with “worst case scenario” stories; become overly critical towards Kelly; start judging how she spends her time

Result – I am obsessing about her grades now

 

Once you are aware of the way the thought “This is not good because colleges are going to be looking at her grades soon” doesn’t solve any problem, you can choose intentionally.  You can choose any part of the Model you would like and create a solution that serves you.

When you create a new Model, the circumstance doesn’t change but you get to choose any other part of the Model to create on purpose.  Instead of getting the result “I am obsessed with her grades now” you could choose the result “I trust that Kelly is smart, driven and will do her best”.

Once you’ve decided on this better result, you would work backwards to determine the action that would give you that result, the feeling that would drive that action and the thought that would create that feeling.  The new intentional Model would look like this:

 

Circumstance – Kelly’s math grade was 90 and now it is 70

Thought – Kelly has always been smart, driven and done her best

Feeling – Trusting

Action- Check with her whether she thinks she needs some extra help; ask if there is some way can support her; tell her that I’ve got her back

Result – I trust that Kelly is smart, driven and will do her best

 

What at first was a problem that could have snow balled to an even bigger issue in your mind, has now become manageable.  By learning that the results you create in your life are within your control, you can create the awareness that “problems” are just neutral Circumstances that you get to solve with your thoughts about it.

So now it’s your turn!  Do a Model and see what you can identify as the source of your problem.  If you get stuck, sign up for a free mini session so we can work together to solve it and get you on the right track.

 

Summary

  • Every problem can be solved using the Model.   Every.  Problem.
  • The Model is broken down into 5 sequential parts: Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions and Results.
  • Your power to solve any problem is in the direct control you have over your thoughts and your thoughts are optional.
  • By intentionally choosing how you want to think, feel or act you can powerfully change problems into solutions.
  • By learning that the results you create in your life are within your control, you can create the awareness that “problems” are just neutral Circumstances that you get to solve with your thoughts about it.

 

If you’d like some help using the Model to solve a problem, please feel free to schedule a free mini session or email me at dawn@cpa-moms-coach.com and we can get to work together.

 

 

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