Is worry a useful feeling for you?


The other day I was worrying and decided to use the self-coaching model to help put my worry into perspective.  Some of you are familiar with the self-coaching model that I teach in my coaching practice to solve everyday problems.  For those that aren’t, let me show you an example.

An “unintentional model” includes the thoughts that come into our minds when on auto pilot, often giving in to fears and worries.  In an unintentional model about Christmas Day, my worries are: “No one is coming for Christmas and we are going to be sitting around all day looking at each other and feeling old and useless.”

When I think these thoughts I feel really sorry for myself, followed by chocolate, popcorn and vegging out in front of the TV to avoid thinking about how sad my Christmas is going to be.  Then I feel even sorrier for myself as I gain weight, feel yucky since chocolate makes my tummy hurt, and feel even sadder because I will still miss out on the Christmas activities around me. 

Unfortunately, unintentional thoughts are self-perpetuating… 

There is another way.  We take control of our thoughts and create what is called an “Intentional Model”.  This is when we take responsibility for our ourselves and choose to create a result that will bring us what we want, which in this case it is a cozy, happy, connected Christmas day.

In this new intentional model my thought is: “Christmas can be whatever we want it to be and I want it to be fun.” This thought makes me feel really curious about how we are going to make that happen.  For Christmas Day we choose simple foods that we enjoy preparing, we make the house smell wonderful, we create our own special Christmas music play list, we start the fake fire on the TV screen, we make arrangements to talk to our kids, grand-kids and family, we play games, we do a puzzle together, we listen to audio books that we both enjoy listening to, we go to a movie, we take a walk, and we might even connect with friends who are in the same boat.  We also keep our eyes and ears open for any other opportunities that we might enjoy together. 

Now we might still have a few minutes when we feel lonely together, because we do miss our Christmas’ past and all of the joyous years we shared with our children – and that’s Ok. So this is how I stopped worrying about and started planning our Christmas Day. 

Does this sound familiar to you?  What things do you worry about?  Is there some way to turn these thoughts around?  I can show you how applying the self-coaching model can help you change how you see things.  Send me an email with your story and your worries, and I will help you create a new, more intentional, more enjoyable model.

Planting a Vision For Your Future

Bulb Planting

While shopping at Costco in September, I came across bag after bag of spring bulbs, tulips, daffodils, iris and grape hyacinths.  As soon as I saw them, I wanted everything! In my mind’s eye, I could see the yellow daffodils and pink and purple tulips blooming in my yard.  I picked out a bag of daffodils and a bag of tulips. Costco sells big bags and so I had about 140 bulbs to plant.  September was busy, I was out of town most of the month.  I decided to plant them in October.  October was cold and rainy and just as busy as September and I didn’t really want to go outside to dig and plant, but I still wanted those waves of daffodils and tulips that I could see blooming in my imagination. I checked the weather report and was happily surprised to see a full week of sunny weather.  140 bulbs is a lot of planting.  I thought I would break it into pieces and plant a little each day for a week. Monday was great, I planted all the pots on my back deck and enjoyed the afternoon sunshine. Tuesday was good too, I planted the pots in the front yard. Wednesday was OK, I removed annuals and planted bulbs in their place. Thursday I got busy and distracted, and my back hurt, so I didn’t go out.   Friday I went out but didn’t get much done, I was tired and since I had done all the easy stuff, digging holes was all that was left.  I asked my husband if he could help me finish up Saturday afternoon and he agreed.  He was busy Saturday afternoon when I gathered up my planting supplies and went outside. I was kneeling in the dirt, digging 5” holes when he came out to help. He dug the remaining holes and I mixed in fertilizer, potting soil and the bulbs, then we filled in around them.  Later that afternoon, I stood on my front steps and looked at the yard.  Nobody but my husband and I could have seen how much work we did that afternoon – there was no evidence of the 140 or so bulbs that we planted.  But I can see clear as day what they will look like in March and April.  They are blooming in my imagination now and everyone else will see them in the spring.

A few years ago, I started working with a life coach who taught me a new way to see myself.  She helped me see a vision of what my future self could look like.  I was struggling with what I wanted to do with my life now that my children and grandchild weren’t living with us, my parents had recently passed away, and my husband and kids had stopped attending the church we had built our lives around. I felt tired and worn out, my body hurt, I had aches and pains that I couldn’t figure out.  My life was not turning out how I thought it should and I couldn’t see a joyful future for myself.  With help from my coach and a lot of hard work myself, I learned how to visualize and create a new and beautiful future.  I had to believe it was possible and see it in my mind’s eye, just the way I could see the tulips and daffodils in my yard. Then I had to go to work with all the tools that I had learned and create that vision. Some days were easy and others were really hard, and sometimes I needed a little help. Gradually I could tell that I was making a difference in myself.  At that point nobody could see all my hard work but me, but I could tell it was happening.  Now, three and a half years later, I am blooming. I have lost weight, I feel amazing – younger than I have in years and I have lots of energy. My relationship with my husband and kids have never been better and I have become a life coach myself. I am helping other women visualize their future.  It all started by believing that nothing had gone wrong with my life, that I have power to create my own future and it can be what I want it to be. I can choose the life I want.   I am a life coach who helps empty nest LDS women envision and create their own beautiful futures, just like I did.  My 12-week program helps you develop your relationships with yourself, with your Heavenly Father, and with your spouse, kids, friends and church family.  Reach out to me today and we can schedule a FREE 50 minute consult – I can help you see a vision of your future.