Transcript: How Thoughts Create Results
So how are you doing today? It is so nice here in Northern California. The weather has been pretty perfect. It's amazing going out on these walks and seeing all these beautiful flowers blooming and my dog is now getting daily walks as he deserves because of this shelter in place order. So it's working out pretty well for him. He's doing all right. I am glad that the dogs can get some extra loving during this time. Even though I know it is difficult right now because we can't see all the people that we want to see and have that same contact, but it sounds like that some of that is going to begin changing. So wherever you are in the world, I hope you're doing well and I hope you are taking care of yourself however you need to. Whether that means giving yourself some extra time to have some tea in the morning, whether that means doing some stretches or whatever it is, be sure you are taking care of yourself because that makes all the difference when we are trying to just get through a day that is full of the unexpected.
So I want to make sure you're taking care of yourself today. I want to talk to you about really thinking about our thoughts, really looking at our thoughts and understanding that they are just thoughts because those thoughts, whatever it is, we choose to believe about a thing in the world, influence our results. And I'm going to give you an example of that soon. So I was recently talking to a woman and when I told her how much I was getting done right now during this shelter in place and how much I was actually enjoying it so I could devote that time to my goals and to learning and to actually, I'm cleaning areas of my home that I've been putting off cleaning. They said, you know, you're allowed to take a break right now. And I was really annoyed. Like my thought was I am so annoyed.
Of course then I realized that they probably just have insecurity about how they're handling the change of tempo in their life. I mean, we're all handling it in our own way. I realized that I was annoyed because she assumed I wasn't taking a break and that I wasn't caring for myself and I've thought carefully about incorporating self care into my ambitions. I take it very seriously and the fun part of my life because it's all fun. And I know as someone who's been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past, that stress is a big no, no for me. Like I don't, I don't want it. And I've talked in previous podcasts, the difference of stress for me the chronic stress and anxiety versus the healthy stress of feeling stretched in whatever you're doing, whatever your goal is, there's a difference in the feeling if you're chronically stressed and you're feeling anxiety and overwhelm as a result, that's unhealthy stress, the good stress, the kind where you're uncomfortable because you're stretching yourself.
That is what I do appreciate. I appreciate that kind of stress. So when we're talking about stress, there's a couple ways to look at it. It's easy for me to forget with my own experiences that it is kind of a, a thought that other people have is that it's impossible for other people to get things done without that kind of stress, that overwhelmed stress, that anxious stress. A lot of people assume that you have to hustle and you've got to grind all the time if you have big goals. And I have big goals for my coaching practice because the bigger my goals are, the more I have to change as a human and the more I change as a human, the more I can help others do. The same. I understand that the person I was talking to may not have been as productive as they wanted to be on that particular day or maybe they felt more stressed than usual that day and when they heard how I live, how I designed my day, they were thinking about how they were living their own life and projecting whatever their beliefs were onto mine my day without knowing the truth of it and it's okay and it's okay if you want to take a break right now.
I imagine however, that if you listened to my podcast that you have really big goals of your own and right now you might find yourself straying away from achieving them or grinding harder than usual because of other changes that have happened in your household. I wanted to record a podcast addressing this false belief that if you're ambitious that you must grind all the time because we are all experiencing and handling, being sheltered in place and physical distancing in different ways. Some of us are reaching for thoughts that are undercutting our productivity. Others of us are realizing that we can still be productive and work steadily towards our goals and here's the thing. Even though we're living a bit differently right now, nothing has changed in our heads. Our brains still work exactly as they always have and the thoughts we think, the thoughts that we have, the habit of thinking are exactly the same unless you do the work to uncover these thoughts and I recommend keeping a journal to do thought downloads and write out thought cycles and I'm going to talk to you about those in just a minute.
If you do this daily, then if you don't do it, then you're not going to see the thoughts. Your brain is continually spinning because our brain is constantly moving. We have something like 60,000 thoughts a day and most of them are the same thought or variations of the same thought. Why is it important to see your thoughts? Because most of the ones we have don't serve us. And if you're tempted to believe that you should take a break right now from your goals, or if you find yourself procrastinating more than usual right now, then I want you to know that this is the perfect time to begin doing thought work. It's the perfect time because our thoughts are louder than usual. Our brain is hypersensitive to what's going on around us and it's looking at everything to see if there's danger. And it's also seeking comfort.
Whether that comfort is coming from watching more news than usual, or I'm eating more than usual or drinking more than usual shopping. More than usual. That is a habit that our brain has gotten into to seek comfort. Now, if you're watching the news more than usual, or you feel anxious more than usual, know that this is normal. Our primitive brain is scanning for possible danger and it wants to avoid pain. It's normal, it's normal, but it's not helpful. And if you have big goals, it's especially not helpful because you're throwing away your precious energy because thoughts take energy. That energy can be used to design your life intentionally and practice committing to your dreams, to committing to how you want to spend your time rather than how you're really spending your time right now. And in the last episode I talked about how you can begin creating a calendar that works for you that you don't resent and begin committing to it.
In this episode, I want to talk to you about uncovering your thoughts, to really suss out why you're procrastinating and begin being onto yourself when you find yourself taking a detour away from your plans, and I'm guilty of it. I do it too, but then I have to do the work. I have to sit down and I have to say, okay, look, I'm resisting something. I'm procrastinating here. What are my thoughts about the work that I want to do? I've talked about buffering several times before on this podcast and I talked to my coaching clients about it and help them understand how it's undercutting what's going on in their goals. But you may notice yourself doing this procrastination more right now. So I wanted to find it for you, especially if you're a newer listener. Buffering is when we choose an external thing to change how we feel.
It can include activities like over drinking wine, over shopping, online, overeating, the snacks in the house. You know when you go to the refrigerator and you tell yourself I want something, but I just don't know what it is. That is a sign that you are procrastinating doing something. It can also include things like checking your email over and over again and going on social media over and over again. What it's been five minutes, I better go check. So it can be overworking too. We work on all the things that aren't our priority, right? It can be over-consuming things like the news. Buffering also includes continuing to learn things even though you know enough to get going over learning is interesting because our brain tells us we need to know more before we can start. It seems like we're doing something towards our goals, but really it's passive action and you've got to take massive action.
If you want to move closer towards achieving your goals. Over learning shows up with a lot of entrepreneurs because the underlying emotion they're trying to avoid is fear of putting themselves out there with a website or more social media or more Facebook ads and they put off doing the uncomfortable and scary things by learning everything in hopes that they can feel better about putting themselves out there, that there's going to be some magic pill that they can take. Someone's going to tell them that magic how? How do you put yourself out there without feeling this thing? But the truth is massive action is required. You've got to just do it. You make mistakes, you evaluate, you go back, you do some more action, you evaluate, you take some more action. Of course, that is the only way through the fear. You've got to go through it.
You can't simply know enough to begin taking massive action. I love coaching on goal setting. I love it. I love talking to lawyers about their goals and achieving them because that's when all of our emotions show up and that's when buffering shows up most clearly when we have these really intense emotions about what is going on in our life. And that's why it's going to show up really clearly right now. So I teach my coaching clients that when we have a goal, we become uncomfortable because of all the thoughts we're having about not knowing how to do something or not being enough. The same thing goes when we create a calendar to schedule how we are going to use our time. We don't want to do it, and our primal brain does everything it can to deter us. Our brain is telling us in both cases that it's not the easy thing to do and it wants to follow the motivational triad that pre-programming in our brain.
That's the programming where we should either seek pleasure, avoid the pain of following through when we don't feel like it or conserve the energy that we would use working towards our goals. But we must process our emotions. And what processing emotions means is that you've got to feel the discomfort. Whatever that feeling is that you have fear, anxiety, overwhelm. Well, you got to sit there, you got to feel it, and then you have to take action anyway. Now this is where my clients seem to need the most help. They haven't learned to process their emotions and they want to buffer to avoid them and they don't see that the thoughts that they're having are really what's causing their feelings. Now they can eliminate a lot of the friction between what they want and creating it in their lives. Creating those results for themselves when they learn how to process their emotions and what I want to talk about here is uncovering our tricky brains thoughts.
To do this we've got to get some awareness. This is where doing thought work comes in and I don't mean just occasionally, although it's still helpful if you do it every once in a while. If you have a big financial goal or a big milestone you want to reach in your practice, then daily thought work is going to get you there much faster. Because once you suss out all of those thoughts preventing you from moving forward, then there's the work of practicing the new thoughts that you want to replace those with. That takes time and intentional energy. Those thoughts that you have right now, they are creating feelings. Maybe those feelings are going to get you towards your goals. Maybe they won't. And that's what I have these conversations in my coaching sessions about how is that thought serving you? And once you start recognizing how that thought is impacting how you feel, you're then going to see how it creates those results in your life or lack thereof.
If you're not reaching the goal that you have set before you, it seems like it's so close and yet you just can't get it, then thought work is for you and you can do this work on your own. I think you get there faster with coaching, but you can do this work on your own. And this is what I do every morning. Okay? So I take 30 minutes to do this. I write down a page of all the things in my head and man, my head is full of some strange stuff and strange ideas sometimes. Every once in a while I pick a topic and I ask myself like, Hey, what do I think about relationships? Or what do I think about money or debt? And then I spill my brain out onto the page. But there is always something going on in our brains and once we get into the practice of just writing stuff down, it's going to come more naturally to you.
Once I do that, I have something to work with. That's something that I can look at and say, okay, what are my thoughts? I choose one or two of the thoughts I see in there that don't quite feel right to me or I can see, aren't serving me. And I break them down into thought cycles. So my coach calls them the model that's really based on her, a simplified way of looking at how our brain works and it's really helpful. So I'm going to use that structure here for you. When I coach clients, I showed them exactly how their thoughts cycle just cycles through over and over again. But this is really, this is really the easy way to think about it for purposes of this podcast is to look at this model. So let's, we're going to take a look at, add a thought for purposes of this example.
Let's say your thought is about money that you have spent on a credit card, right? So let's say you have credit card debt and you have a thought about that. You have a thought that debt is wrong. That thought is an interpretation of something that exists in the world, right? That credit card where there's been some money spent on it, the thought creates feelings. Those feelings then influence our actions and our actions in the world determine the result that we get. So the circumstance here, that credit card where you've spent some money on it, that circumstance triggers a thought. The thought that's triggered is debt is wrong. And that creates a feeling. Okay. That feeling influences actions, the actions influence the result. So ultimately the thought that we have about anything in the world creates our results for the circumstance. Here we're using the word debt.
Now this word itself can be emotionally charged for some people. So I don't always like to use it in the C line, the circumstance line. So that's why I'm saying money on a credit card, because I don't want to just use the word debt. The thought in the T line is debt is wrong. The feeling might be something like shame. If you have it. Maybe that F line is you know, righteous. If you don't like, you feel like you feel really good about yourself. That feeling then influences your actions. Okay? So when we look at the feeling of shame, okay, we're going to look at that feeling. The actions you may take from that feeling are not looking at your bills, not budgeting. Maybe you spin in your thoughts. You just think about it over and over again. You worry about it. Maybe it's overeating.
When you think about your bills, maybe you do some other buffering activities. Whenever this topic of debt comes up or addressing your debt comes up and the result is that you continue to stay in debt and you don't create a plan to get out of it. Now I can hear some people say, and this commonly comes up when I'm coaching clients, which is why it's so helpful to have somebody walk you through this at least once in person, so that to help you kind of pick up what is going on. When a client's going to say like, they'll say, well, when I think the thought that is wrong and feel shame, I start to make a budget and I start to get organized. That's not what happened. What is happening there? So what's happening is that you're switching your thought, you're switching over, you're moving from the thought debt is wrong to a thought like I can get out of debt or I can figure this out.
Which then creates a more productive feeling like determination or certainty that leads you to taking more productive actions and that also leads to a better result, but you haven't truly processed that feeling of shame if you're just hopping from one thought to another. The work is sitting with the feeling of shame and understanding that it's not going to kill us. Understanding that shame is just a vibration in our body and not truly a danger to us. Now, our primal brain wants to avoid it because that's exactly what it equates. Undesirable emotions as danger. The reason we do that thought work is to engage our prefrontal cortex, right? To see where our brain is creating these thought errors. It's not coming to a logical conclusion, right? It's not helping us achieve the desired result. When we continued to believe that thought, so when we practice this, we can get out of thinking the same unproductive thought over and over and practice the thought we want to have until we reach the desired result.
I've got a little dog barking and a gardener outside, but we are going to persevere. We're almost through this, so I want you to know this is a really helpful practice. If you notice any of the buffering behaviors showing up for you when you're not following your calendar and you really have to love your calendar. If you don't, then be sure to listen to episode 102 yes. When you look at your calendar, you might have thoughts like, Ooh, this is going to be a hard day, but why would you choose that thought? Why not consider choosing a thought like, I am going to feel so good when this day is done. I'm going to get so much done. So if you're noticing any of the behaviors I mentioned, the overworking, overeating, over drinking, over shopping, take a few minutes to write down all of your thoughts.
You're going to get some insights into your, your behavior and where your work is. When you do this work, you're also going to see what's preventing you from achieving your dreams, from creating the results that you want to create in your life. Because every single thought we have matters, our thoughts are what ultimately create our results. Now I want to know it was this learning about all of this. Was this helpful for you? Like are you already using this? Because there are a lot of people out there who teach parts of this method, but learning this whole model, understanding how our thoughts create our results was really helpful for me and understanding. You can really put anything in the result line and work your way to understanding the thoughts that you need to have in order to create that result. So let me know. Do you want some more help with this? Do you want to hear more episodes on how this works? You can find me on Instagram at Dina dot Cataldo or you can DM me there. Take a screenshot of the podcast and tag me in it to let me know what your takeaway was. I love getting to share some of your posts with my community, so tag away. All right, I will talk to you next week. Bye. Hey, if you enjoy this podcast, I offer one on one
Coaching using my be a better lawyer framework. That's where we rewire your brain to help you create the life and the practice that you want. Go to Dinacataldo.com to schedule a strategy session.