You’ve heard that your thoughts matter, but maybe you don’t quite know how your thoughts are affecting you, or how to change them. In this episode, you’ll learn the science behind thoughts and how they are directly creating results in your life.
Even when life hands us circumstances that we struggle with, we still have so much more power than we know.
Tune in to learn how it’s not the circumstance that is causing all the heartache, it’s the way you are thinking about it. This is very good news because it means you don’t have to wait around for someone else to do something different to feel better. You can take back your thoughts and create a different result for yourself. I’ll show you how.
I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to The Heal from Infidelity podcast, episode four, the Thought Model.
Hello, and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity podcast where courageous women learn not only to heal from their spouse’s betrayal, but to become the boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves ever. If you know there’s more for you than the life you’re currently living but don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place. Stick around to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks off. Is it possible? It is, and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host, Andrea Giles. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hello. Hello. Welcome to episode number four of the podcast. I am doing so great. I’m so happy to be here with you today. I just got notification a couple days ago from iTunes that my podcast is live and I’m going to be sharing it with the whole world on Monday. I’m recording this over a weekend and next week all the rest of you are going to know about my podcast. So, I’m pretty excited, but I’ve got to get more to record, to get out there. So, here I am.
So, anyway, today I am going to be teaching you something called the Thought Model. This is the framework for all of my coaching. This is how we can understand our thoughts, understand what’s going on in our brains, and see exactly how our thoughts are creating results in our mind. It’s an awareness tool. It’s also something I like to call the equation of life. It’s like math. You can plug in different parts of this and see exactly how you’re creating results that you’re creating. Okay?
So, this is not about positive thinking. It’s not about hurrying and changing your thoughts to get out of uncomfortable situations and uncomfortable emotions. It’s about bringing awareness to where you are, how you’re creating your thoughts, and once you have that awareness, you can decide if you want to keep your thoughts or not. So, before I teach you the model, I want to talk about thoughts for a minute. So, understanding the power of our thoughts has gone way back. Back in Proverbs 23:7 is the scripture, “As he thinketh in his heart so is he.”
In one of the books of scripture in my church, it’s called Doctrine and Covenants. One of the scriptures is 84:85, “Treasure up in your minds the words of life.” In Doctrine and Covenants 88: 109, “The thoughts of men’s hearts will be revealed.” And what’s cool about what I’m about to teach you is I’m going to show you how our thoughts are revealed, how they turn into results. Okay. So, let’s dive right into it now.
So, we all have circumstances. We all have things that happen to us. We have situations that we find ourselves in. It might be the weather that we are in. It might be our money situation. It might be some words that somebody said to us. It might be something that our spouse did. It might be something that our kid is struggling with. These are circumstances. In this thought model, in the circumstance line, the key here is that it has to be neutral. It can’t be your opinion about the circumstance, it’s just the circumstance. So, you make it as vanilla as possible, as factual as possible.
So, rather than saying, “My husband was mean.” And trying to put that in your circumstance line, you would put in there the exact words that your husband said. If you were to put in the circumstance line, “200 pounds.” That’s neutral. What’s not neutral is, “I weigh too much.” The weight itself is just a number. It’s neutral. What happens is we have these circumstances and then we have thoughts about them. So, if you were to get out a piece of paper, first you have a circumstance, and then under that you’d put the thought, the thought that you have about the circumstance. And you can pick one thought to put in this. We have lots of thoughts about lots of things. We have somewhere between 40 to 60,000 thoughts a day. Can you believe that? Our brains are working overtime. We’re always thinking of things, okay?
But we want to grab one thought to put into this thought model. And the way you know that you’re believing that thought is because you are having a feeling. It creates a feeling in your body. It creates an emotional response. You think this thought and then you feel something. Now, if you have a thought and you feel nothing, it’s kind of like a cloud going by in the sky. It’s just going by. It’s not doing anything. It’s just there, but it’s not affecting your result, because you’re not believing it. You know that it’s impacting your results if you are feeling something from it.
So, underneath the thought line is a feeling. The feelings that we experience are the drivers for life. They are what drive us to take action or inaction. We do things because of a way that we think it will make us feel. We don’t do things because of a way that we don’t want to feel. So, we have a thought, we have a feeling, and the feeling drives our action. So, underneath the feeling line is the action line.
So, what you do is you look at how you’re feeling, get really clear about it, and then write out, “When I feel this way…” Knowing that it’s coming from that thought. “When I feel this way, these are the actions I take. This is how I show up. This is how I hide. This is what I do or don’t do.” You get very clear. And then when you see what your actions are, you can see how it’s creating your result. The circumstance did not create the result, the thoughts, the feelings, and then the actions did, and they all stem back to the thought, not the circumstance. Our thoughts always show up in our results line, every single time. So, it’s like math, right?
So, I’m going to give you a couple examples of what this looks like, and these are actual clients that I have worked these particular models with, and I’m going to show you how it shows up for them. Okay? I have one client who is going through a divorce, and she is a successful businesswoman. She started a business from scratch, turned it into a six-figure business, and her soon to be ex-husband has told her that he is going to take half of the business and he’s going to take half of the custody of their children.
And so, on one call that we had, she was very, very upset. Her thought was, “I’m afraid that he’ll win.” So in the circumstance line, “He says he is going to take half of the business and 50% custody.” The thought was, “I’m afraid he’ll win.” The feeling she was experiencing was scared. Well, what do most of us do when we’re scared? We tend to hide out, stay in bed, worry, ruminate over fears. Think about how hard life would be if she didn’t have her kids all the time. Think about how hard life would be without all of the income that she had created.
And in that time when I was coaching her, I showed her that the result that she was creating for herself is that she was losing ahead of time. She was creating a result for herself of hiding out from her business, hiding out from her children, and in effect, making it so she wasn’t showing up 100% of the time anyway, in either of those things. Now, she decided when she heard that and realized that she was creating that for herself ahead of time, that she was not okay with that. So, she decided to change some things, and we’ll get to that in a little bit.
The next thing that I wanted to tell you, or another situation is with a client who is also going through divorce, and they have an upcoming mediation. And there will be things discussed in the mediation about their child and about money, and her thought about it is, “He gets what he wants.” Her feeling is annoyed. The action she’s taking when she feels annoyed is to have self-pity, to have ruminating thoughts. Not present in the moment. Lose focus on herself and who she is. Distracted and not as present with her son. The result that she’s creating for herself is, “I don’t get what I want.” So, can you see from that example how essentially she’s making for herself, the very things she doesn’t want? She’s not taking ownership for the things that she wants, because she’s hiding out, waiting for him to do something differently. Okay?
Here’s another example. In the circumstance is, “$500 in the bank.” If somebody has a thought of, “I can’t take care of myself.” They might feel depressed, and if they’re feeling depressed, they’re going to avoid looking at the finances, focused on past financial failures, blame others that they don’t have more money, and stay stuck there. The result is, “I don’t take care of myself.” So, that thought of, “I can’t take care of myself.” Turns into, “I don’t take care of myself.” So, oftentimes what our results show is evidence of the thought.
I have mentioned in past episodes that our brains are really, really good at conserving energy. So, it’s like throwing a dog a bone. You throw the dog a bone, the dog goes, and it’s their sole purpose in life to bring that bone back to its master. Our brains are the same. They don’t care if the thought is wreaking havoc. If the thought’s given, if it creates a feeling, which is a chemical release in the body, it’s going to go get it. And so, all of those actions are creating evidence of the result. So, whether it’s really toxic or not, it’s going to do it. Okay? So, all of the actions are creating evidence. It’s like building a case. Okay?
So, another thing to look for in the Thought Model is sometimes when we are judgmental of other people, for example, if our thought is that somebody was rude, our feeling might be anger. Our actions might be thinking of all the things that that person did, that are so wrong and so rude, that they shouldn’t be doing. Then in effect, we end up with the result of being rude, that, “I am rude.” We’re spending all that time criticizing that person instead of creating a result that we want. That’s another way that our actions create our results.
Okay. So, what can we do about this? First of all, a really important piece to this is that we don’t want to hurry up and get out of it. We might want to be like, “Okay, I see that my results are not working for me. I want to do something different.” And we might want to hurry to get out, but until we have a really clear awareness of what our thoughts are creating for us, when we can really see it, really feel it, really understand it, it’s too soon to hurry and change. The reason why is because these are thought loops. Right? These are neurological pathways that have been well, well-practiced, and we need to have a lot of awareness of them before we can change them, or we’ll find ourselves right back in the same patterns over and over again.
We might have well-meaning plans to change our thoughts, but until we really get a clear awareness of what they are, it’s best to keep practicing noticing them, and I’m going to teach you how to do that. So, sometimes we’ve been thinking these thoughts for such a long time that we have no idea what the thoughts even are, right? It’s like asking a fish in a fishbowl how the water is. They’re going to look at you like, “What water?” They won’t even know that they’re in water. We’re the same way. We’re not aware of our thoughts.
So, how do you find your thoughts to fill out a Thought Model? The way that I suggest is called doing a thought download, and there’s a couple ways to do this. I’m going to teach you. One way to do a thought download is simply by dumping your brain out. It’s like you get a piece of paper and it’s just dumping it out. You’re writing down everything that comes up. There’s no judgment. You’re just writing. It’s just free writing. You’re getting it out. You’re getting it on paper. You have it in front of you. And you’re just cleaning out your brain, getting the chatter out of your brain and onto paper.
Another way to do this is by actually filling in a circumstance and then writing all of the thoughts about it. So, for example, if somebody said something to you that you found hurtful, you can write in the circumstance line the thing that was said, and then do a whole thought download on all of your thoughts about it. Write them all out. Just get them all out. You’re not judging them here. It’s a neutral space. It’s just like, “How interesting. Look what my brain’s producing. Look at that.” Remember, it’s just like clouds going by in the sky. They’re just there. It doesn’t mean anything. It just means that your brain is working. It’s doing what it’s supposed to do.
And then, go through that thought download and pick one thought to put into the Thought Model. One thought. And then see where that thought takes you. What do you feel when you think that thought? When you feel that feeling, what actions are you taking? What actions are you not taking? And then, what is your result? So, that is a thought download. I suggest doing a thought download every single day, just like we practice hygiene like for taking care of our faces, taking care of our teeth, taking care of our bodies. This is a practice of taking care of your mind. It’s like hygiene for your mind. You’re cleaning it out. You’re just scrubbing things out. You’re looking behind the corners, like, “I wonder what’s back there? How about this? How about today?” It’s just hygiene. It’s a good practice to get more and more awareness of what’s going on in your brain. Okay?
So, now you’re to the point where you’ll have awareness. You can see how the same kind of thinking is showing up, the same kind of feelings, the same kind of actions and the same results. You’ve seen it enough times. You’ll have the awareness and you’re going, “Okay, now what do I do?” So, one question I get is, “Well, why can’t you just change the circumstance?” And I’m going to speak to that from my own personal experience. Okay?
So, I was married and then got divorced, and then I got remarried. I was married for a year to my new husband when I started to learn about this stuff. That year was tough, that first year. I mean, granted, we blended two very large families. When we got married, we had 10 kids living at home. I moved my kids to a really small community. There was a lot of change for all of us. Okay, that’s beside the point.
What I was really struggling with was old thought patterns of fear, of doubt, of looking around, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for something to be wrong. And it really wreaked havoc. It was hard for me to lean into trust. And so, instead of enjoying my spouse as much as I wanted to, I often felt scared. I often felt like I was watching and waiting for something to happen. Then I started learning about these things and seeing why that was happening. I thought that by changing my circumstance, I was married to a completely different person, I thought that that would change my life, that I wouldn’t have those thoughts anymore, that I wouldn’t have those feelings anymore. Guess what? I was wrong, because those thought patterns that I had created in my first marriage had not been shifted. They were pathways in my brain. They came with me. They don’t just go away. They came with me and they showed up and they’re like, “Yep, we know this well.” And so they would create the same things, the same chemical response in my body, in my feelings.
My actions were of looking around and being afraid and just like I said, waiting for something to happen, waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it’s not really fun. So, my answer to changing your circumstance is, I don’t recommend it. I don’t recommend going from the circumstance you’re in to another circumstance, without doing this work in between. Now, I didn’t know about this work. I didn’t know about it. I had done as much as I could. I had done counseling. I had done a lot of things, but I still brought some of those neurological pathways with me.
Now, since then, we’ve been married for a total of four years, so I’ve been working on these things for a few years, and I can tell you, having this tool has helped me immensely because I can see how I sometimes create the very result that I don’t want of feeling worried or things like that. And so, if I can see that I’m creating it, it’s the best news because it gives me the power right back. I get to decide what to think. I get to decide to trust. It’s an inside job. It’s not an outside job. I get to decide to look for evidence that I’m safe. That no matter what happens, I can handle it. That I can trust my husband. That I can trust that I’m in a good place and I can let those fears go. I know how to speak to them now.
So, in cases of things like abuse or where you’re really truly in danger, nope, I don’t suggest waiting. I suggest leaving, okay? And not being in a situation where you’re being abused. I suggest getting to a place where you’re safe. But for situations where you can do this work and really get yourself to a place where it’s a preference, “I’d rather be there. I’d rather do this than what I’m doing now. I’d rather stay here than go to this other place and do the work to be happy here.” That’s when I suggest changing your circumstance. When you feel peaceful and recognize that there is not necessarily better than here, but that your preference is one or the other. Okay?
Changing your circumstance does not change your thoughts. It can make it a little bit easier to create different thoughts, for sure, but the work still needs to be done. Our thoughts still have to be addressed. We still have to do the work of healing. It doesn’t just change just because you left a marriage or even if your spouse, for example, you’re staying in your marriage and your spouse has changed a lot of the circumstances, like they’re showing you every reason why you should trust them. Why is it so hard to trust? Our brains want to say, “Well, maybe there’s things that I’m not noticing. Maybe I shouldn’t trust.” But the truth is, it’s because the thought patterns are still there. That’s the only reason why. Okay?
So, that last model that I was showing you or teaching you about is called the Unintentional Model. That’s what our brains unintentionally hand us. That’s the thought patterns. That’s those neurological pathways. Okay? The Intentional Model, which I want to talk to you about now, is when we decide beforehand what our results are going to be. So, in the situation with a client who was concerned about her soon-to-be ex-husband, taking half of the money and taking half of the business, for her, her Intentional Model looks something like this. It starts by getting clear on what your result is ahead of time. So, her result was, “I can grow my business as big as I want.” You can even put a dollar amount there.
Did you know that you can put whatever you want in that result line? The only rule is that it can’t be somebody else’s result, because we’re not in charge of anybody else’s result except our own. But we have all the power in our own results, so we can put whatever we want there. For her, “I can grow my business as big as I want it.” Her actions, “Focus, setting goals, getting up and dressed, intentionally spending time with the kids, intentionally spending time in the business.” Okay? Feeling, “Determined.” Thought, “I’ll do everything I can to take care of my family.”
So, can you see how we’re working this backwards? It’s starting with the result. It’s starting with the end in mind and working it backwards. The circumstance is the same. The spouse says words, “He will take half of the business and 50/50 custody.” It’s exactly the same. Yet there’s a completely different result because the thought is different. The feeling is different. We take different action when we feel differently, and then you create that new result. Okay? That’s that scenario.
With the other scenario I gave about the upcoming mediation and time with their son and money. The result that this client can create for herself is getting what she wants. She can decide what that looks like. She can ask herself these questions. “What do I want? What do I want? Where would I feel heard? Where would I feel like I’m taking care of myself?” And get really clear on that result. Take actions to make that result happen. Think about the feeling that needs to drive those actions, and the thought of either, “I get what I want.” Or, “We both get what we want. How can we both win here?” Okay? It doesn’t have to be an either/or. In fact, it works best when it’s not pitting one against the other.
In the scenario about the $500 in the bank, the $500 is still the circumstance. Nothing has changed there. But what if this person decides that they want to make $5,000 a month? That’s their result line. For short, I’ll call it the R line. Okay? The action would be budgeting, looking at how they’re spending money. Looking for opportunities to earn more money. Asking for help in areas that they need help. Self-coaching every day to find the thoughts that are holding them back from creating, from showing up for different opportunities. Feeling, “Determined.” Thought, “I can provide for myself.” Again, exact same circumstance, completely different result.
So, one way that I like to think about the Thought Model is you’ve probably heard the saying, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” It’s actually from a scripture. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” I like to think of fruit as what we’re producing with our thoughts. If we’re thinking thoughts that create good fruit, what that feels like is expansiveness. It feels open. It feels hopeful. It feels like creativity, like possibility. If we’re thinking thoughts that are shrinking us in, we’re putting roadblocks right in front of us. We’re not going to be in tune with our creative selves. We’re not going to be in tune with possibility or hope, or what we are capable of doing. You can actually feel it in your body. With the one bearing good fruit, we’re actually feeling open and expansive and like we’re growing. And the other, we’re shrinking in on ourselves. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
What are the fruits of your thoughts? What are they creating for you? Sometimes we can’t go and change our circumstances. Sometimes we can, but a lot of times we can’t. Okay? Some of us have situations and circumstances that are 100% out of our control. We can’t control what somebody else does. We can’t control weather. There are a lot of things that are outside of our control. We can’t control some of the choices that our children make, but we have everything else in our hand to create the results that we want. Isn’t that amazing?
I love thinking about how powerful we all are. We are meant to be creators. We are meant to create the life that was intended for us. I believe that we are all co-creators with heavenly parents, that we were given unique skills, unique power, so much power, unique talents, to create the life that we want. We’re not meant to sit and wait for things to happen. We’re not meant to be at the effect of other people, to live at the effect of other people. We’re meant to create greatness. All of us, every one of us. We are not put here accidentally at this time to just sit and watch our life go by.
So, I challenge you to start practicing this every day. Go do your thought downloads. Write them down. What’s coming up? What are you thinking? What are the thoughts that are running the show? What are the feelings that are your default feelings that you live off of, that are driving your life? What are they? And what results are those creating for you?
I tell you what, the quickest way to actually change a circumstance where we can change a circumstance and to really change our life, is by doing this work first. It’s almost like magic. Like when we do this work, suddenly things open up for us that we could never see before, because we are so closed in on ourselves. So, please go practice. Get that awareness. See what’s going on in your brain. And remember, you can create whatever you want. Go get it.
Thank you so much for being here today. If you liked this podcast, would you please do me a favor and go leave a review and subscribe? I would love that so much. Share it with whoever you think it would benefit. The more people leave reviews and subscribe to it, the more people are able to find it. That means the more people I get to help. So, thank you so much. I love you, and take care. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast. If you would like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast episodes, and other ways of working with me, go subscribe to my weekly email. You can subscribe at andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again, it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.