Why you aren’t taking action
Do you ever get frustrated with yourself because you really want something, but you don’t take the required action to get it, even if it’s something that you really, really want?
Often, we have dreams and ideas and things that we want to do, and no matter how much we try, we just can’t get ourselves motivated to follow through and achieve what we truly desire.
Have you ever wondered why? I used to wonder why I couldn’t stick to a diet. I used to wonder why I couldn’t focus on getting my house organised and looking the way that I really wanted it. And, the reason, which I shall get to in just a moment, all comes down to the same thing which is great because when you’ve learned the skills in one area of your life you can apply them in all areas.
And the skills that you need to learn are based on the main tool that I teach my clients and it is called THE MODEL. THE MODEL was created by my coach Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School. Brooke created THE MODEL based on years of research and coaching study, and it is heavily inspired by the work of Byron Katie, Eckhardt Tolle and Abraham.
The basic premise of the model, the basic premise of how the world works is this: there are circumstances in the world, circumstances being the things that we cannot control. Everything that happens outside of us is a circumstance. And that’s just a given, there are many things in life that we can’t control.
We can’t control other people (even though we might try 😊), we can’t control our past because it’s already done. We can’t control anything that happened out there in the world, and those are all our circumstances. And really those are the only things that we can’t control in our lives, the rest of the components of THE MODEL include our thoughts, our feelings, our actions and our results. And all those things are within our control. Now we forget that often. We think that everything is either in our control or nothing is in our control. And it never is that way. It’s always that circumstances are not within our control, and everything else is.
So again, circumstances are other people, other people are not within our control. I’m sorry, but it’s true. They are just not. And the world out there is not within our control and our past even though we keep trying to change it, it’s just not within our control to change, but everything else is. And everything in our present experience is within our control. What we decide to think, what we think about the conscious thoughts that go through our head are completely within our control.
Now we forget this, we don’t remember that everything is within our control. We think that our thoughts are not within our control, and in fact most of us don’t even know what we are thinking. We are responding to our thoughts that we aren’t even aware of.
Our thoughts create our feelings
Now why does this matter? It really, really matters because our thoughts are what create our feelings. And everything you do in your life is because you want to feel a certain way. That’s just important to know. And if your feelings are caused by your thoughts and everything you do in your life is in order to feel better, wouldn’t it be important to know what you’re thinking?
So, our thoughts create our feelings. Now our feelings are also important because they drive all our actions. They are the fuel for our actions. When we ask the question, why am I not taking action? It’s because of the way you feel. Or why are you taking an action you don’t want to be taking? It’s because of the way you feel. So, your feelings are driving your actions. And then, of course, your actions are always going to create the results you want in your life or you don’t want in your life. Your actions create your results.
Let me summarise this again, your thoughts, those sentences in your mind are what create your feelings. Your feelings are what drive your actions and your actions create your results. Now this is very clean and simple way of looking at the world, and it is 100% accurate.
Now what determines what we think? That is the next logical question. If my thinking is driving everything, if it’s creating my feelings, if it’s creating my actions, if it’s creating my results, then I need to know what I’m thinking. And I also need to know how to change that thinking if I want a different result in my life.
We need to witness our own thinking
Most of us have never been taught to witness our own thinking to compassionately observe our own thinking, and it’s a practice that takes practice, really. What I mean by that is the process of watching your mind think requires you to separate yourself from your own mind. And most of us don’t make that separation, we don’t even recognise that there is a separation there. So, in order to go into that observer mode, we must separate ourselves from our mind in order to watch ourselves think.
We have 60,000 thoughts per day. And if you’ve never directed your mind or never told your mind what to think, it may be thinking old thoughts from childhood, in maybe on a negative spin cycle, thinking a lot of negative thoughts. Who knows? It’s been an unsupervised toddler, basically running rampant.
I like to picture the mind when it’s unsupervised as like a two-year-old left in the house unsupervised. It may have sharp objects and maybe running around with them. And once you turn the light on in your mind, you may be tempted to turn it right back off.
Most of us try to make change from the action piece of our lives. If you think about this, remember what I just taught you, your thoughts create your feelings, which drive your actions.
Now if you try and change or action without changing the thought or the feeling that’s driving the action, you’re going to have a struggle, because you’re going to have to work against that feeling and that thought that’s creating that feeling. So that’s why for so many of us change is so frustrating because we try to change how much we are eating, or we try to change exercising, or we try to stop procrastinating, without changing the thought and feeling that is driving that very thing that we are doing.
When you change the thought and feeling, changing the action becomes so much easier
And when you can instead really get a hold of why you are not doing something, or why you are doing something, then it will reveal to you the thought and feeling combination that’s driving it. When you change the thought and feeling, changing the action becomes so much easier.
And that’s what coaching is all about. It’s about finding the cause of our habits, the cause of our patterns, why we do what we do. And when we discover that, change is so much easier.
And that’s really what I think the most important piece of coaching is, it’s really revealing ourselves to ourselves and developing that relationship where we can trust ourselves.
You can ignite yourself to change from a place of compassion, understanding and love
One of the things that I want you to understand, really to know is that you must understand yourself before you can change yourself. You must be in a place of compassion and understanding and love, and from there you can ignite yourself to change. You cannot struggle yourself into change, you cannot beat yourself into change, it will not be permanent, and it will not last, whether you are trying to lose weight or you are trying to do something in your life, create something in your life, you can’t do it with force because you will buckle under the pressure. And you can’t do it with willpower because you are against you, you are trying to defeat your own mind with your own mind.
And the mind loves to repeat itself, it likes to look for patterns, and it likes to be efficient. Once the brain and the mind have been thinking the same thoughts over and over and over again, because it’s been unsupervised, and it has … You haven’t even been aware that you are thinking these thoughts. To change it requires practice and skill. And if you’re trying to change it without understanding it, you’re going to be in a battle with your own mind. And, of course, when it is you against you, you are going to be the loser.
So, I really want to emphasise that once you understand that your thoughts create your feelings, which create your actions, and that’s why you are not taking action, or that’s why you are doing something you don’t want to do, you have taken the first step towards taking your desired action.