How We Think and Feel is Only Part of our WholeMar 18, 2022
This is a summary of my latest video. If you’d rather watch that, you can do it here.
I talk a lot about whole-brain thinking, which isn’t literal. It simply means using both your logical rational mind and your creative intuitive mind. Today, I want to clarify that we are NOT just our thoughts and feelings, although I know sometimes it seems like we are.
One of my coaches, Carol Elizabeth, explains this really well when she says that:
- Circumstances create our thoughts
- Thought create our feelings
- Feelings create our actions
- Actions create our results
While this is a fairly standard set of coaching principles, Carol lays this all out so clearly that it is unmistakable. You see, thoughts are not facts. Feelings are not facts. Interestingly enough, neither are circumstances, actions, or even results. These things all exist, of course, but they aren’t facts. The reason this is important is because if you’re looking at a result – let’s say – I weigh more than I want to –it’s important to follow that result back, if you want to change it. Let’s take this example back to the beginning and see where it started.
Why do I weigh more than I want to? It could be because I eat too much or I eat unhealthy food. Why do I do that? For me, I might eat because I’m lonely. Or, I might eat because I’m depressed. Or, I might eat because I’m happy. While not everyone is an emotional eater, some of us are or have been in the past. In that case, the next question becomes, what is the thought that is causing me to feel lonely or depressed or happy?
The answer could be “No one hears me” or “I’m not making a difference to anyone” or even “My son just got married.” It will be different every time and for everyone.
What are the circumstances that created your thought? It could be that the pandemic resulted in isolation. It could be that I don’t have a job that makes visible changes in the world. It could even be that every celebration your family has revolves around food.
Once you’ve worked backwards to see how a circumstance ended up with your current reality – your results – then you can start to make a change in those circumstances or choose to stop this repeating pattern. Let’s take the example of the circumstance that all celebrations in your family revolves around food. You might be able to change that circumstance, if you’re planning the celebration by not serving food at all or at least changing the amount and type of food that’s being served. If you’re not planning it, you can choose to celebrate in another way. What if you chose to celebrate by dancing or singing or telling people how grateful you are for them? That can change your thought (or you can choose to pick a different thought) to something like “In my family, we always have so much fun celebrating by dancing and singing.” That different thought may not always lead to a different feeling. You still feel happy:). But that happiness will lead you to a different action – singing and dancing, in our example. And, you guessed it, those different actions will lead to a different result. If your son gets married (mine did last fall!), you might even end up LOSING weight over the celebration weekend, because you chose to dance and sing, instead of eating everything in sight. True story!
This process is important to understand, because at each step, you have the power to change the pattern and get a different result. After all, like Albert Einstein said, you cannot keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results.
So, if there is a result in your life that you want to change, try looking backwards and changing the pattern. This is what I mean when I say that how we think and feel is only PART of our whole.
All my life, no matter what change I’ve experienced, I’ve been able to use journaling to remember who I am, begin to understand what I can learn from this change, and how my experience can help other people going through something similar. Get my free prompts, “Journaling for Answers,” and start finding your own answers within.
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