While working with clients, I assign a lot of homework. Most of what I offer is fun homework and gets you to really take a look at yourself. Plus, deeper transformation occurs when work is done between sessions.
However, there is one tool I teach clients that seems to leave a lasting impression and helps clients work their way towards a more peaceful, calm and joyful life. It only takes about 10-15 minutes and I assign it as daily homework.
One of my clients called this assignment “a garbage disposal for your mind.” I want to teach you how to put this tool to work so you can start feeling better today. At the very end I provide an example of I used this in my life.
First: Identify Thought
Grab paper, a journal, tablet, or anything you can “write” on.
Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes (depending on how much time you want to spend).
Start recording anything that comes to mind. Nothing is off limits. It doesn’t have to make sense. Write freely and without judgment until timer goes off.
Read what you wrote and underline or highlight everything that brings up negative feelings for you.
Pick the sentence or thought that brings up the most negative charge in your body. This is the thought you are going to work on. There are a few different ways you can go about working on this thought. I tend to use the Self-Coaching 101 Model developed by Brooke Castillo. We will use this model for this exercise.
Second: Plug Thought into Self-Coaching 101 Model:
Next to “Thought” write down the thought you have chosen to work on.
When you think the thought, how do you feel (emotionally)? Your thoughts create your emotions. Next to “Feelings” write down the emotions.
How do you behave or what action do you take when you think the thought? Next to “Action” write your answer.
What is the reaction or result of your behavior or action you take? Next to “Reaction/Result” write your answer.
Now that you can clearly see how your thought impacts your life, it’s time to do something about it.
Third: Find Better Thought for Different Results
If you are looking for a desired result, then write down next to “Reaction/Result” what you want the result to be.
Write down next to “Action” what action or behavior would have to happen to obtain your desired result.
Write in what “Feelings” you would want to create the action or behavior.
Write in a “Thought” that would create the feeling.
(You can start from anywhere in the model and then just fill in the rest accordingly. For example, you can plug in the “Feelings” you want and then fill in the rest.)
That’s it! You have now gotten rid of some of the garbage in your mind and created a new thought that feels better to you and will produce the results you want. If you start to make this a practice in your life, it will be impossible to not recognize the transformation that happens.
How can you put this new thought to work in your life? Is there evidence in your life that this new thought may be truer than your original thought?
Please share with me in the comments how you have used this tool in your life. Maybe you have a different method of changing your mindset? I would love to hear it.
I am sharing one of my personal “garbage disposal” exercises below:
Identified Thought: I have so much to do for my business and personal life
Plug Thought into Self-Coaching 101 Model:
T: I have so much to do for my business and personal life
A: Don’t do anything; procrastinate; watch TV; eat to avoid “doing”
R: Nothing gets done; feel more overwhelmed and physically and mentally drained
Find Better Thought for Different Results:
T: I have everything contained and under control
F: Organized and energized
A: Create lists of everything that I would like to accomplish in near future
R: Slowly widdle away at business and personal “To-Do” Lists
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