Ep. #76 Monkey Bar Thoughts: Connecting who you ARE to who you want to BE

Words That Move Me with Dana Wilson
Ep. #76 Monkey Bar Thoughts: Connecting who you ARE to who you want to BE
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You know how they say “it ain’t gunna happen over night”… and stuff like that?  Well, some things DO happen overnight… but changing your mind and changing your LIFE usually doesn’t.  This episode is all about how you can be making BIG changes in your life gracefully… like a monkey!

Quick Links:

Self Coaching Model Free Guide from Brooke Castillo and The Life Coach School: https://thelifecoachschool.com/self-coaching-model-guide/

Episode 4 “Stop thinking like a Caveman” : https://www.thedanawilson.com/podcast/ep-4-stop-thinking-like-a-caveman

Episode 17 “The Process of Processing” :https://www.thedanawilson.com/podcast/ep-17-the-process-of-processing

Transcript:

Intro: This is words that move me, the podcast where movers and shakers, like you get the information and inspiration. You need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host master mover, Dana Wilson. And if you’re someone that loves to learn, laugh and is looking to rewrite the starving artist story, then sit tight, but don’t stop moving because you’re in the right place. 

Dana: Hello hello, my friend. And welcome to the podcast. I’m Dana. This is words that move me. I’m stoked that you are here and I’m also sorry in advance. If you can hear my actual stomach grumbling, as I record this episode, I’m very hungry. I probably should just eat something, but also trying to stick to the calendar. I know I can make it. This episode is short and sweet and so valuable. I’m really excited to dig into it. But first of course wins. We’re going to share some wins. I, today am celebrating my first callback on the auditioner side, not on the auditioning side of whoa, this got confusing really fast. This will be my first callback as talent since the pandemic. My first zoom call back, I guess I should say my first zoom call back as talent. Since the pandemic began, I’ve held a handful of others, um, as a choreographer. So looking for talent, but the zoom tables, the screens have turned. Is that what we say? The screens have turned. I am so excited to get to manage my mind around some nerves and in general, just to be dancing in my living room. I’m excited about that. I’m so excited to get, to have a callback where I don’t have to pay for parking or risk being late. Did you hear that? Beep I still have to fix that beep. Um, yeah, I’m excited to have a call back in my living room. This is going to be awesome. So that is what I’m celebrating today. What is going well, your world.  

Awesome. I am stoked for you. Congrats. Keep winning. Now let’s dig into this shall we? We’re talking monkey bars today. It’s kind of, as I mentioned a technical day, um, and I want to introduce you to this concept. This technique that has tremendously helped my professional life and yes, also my personal life. Um, but it has nothing to do with you dance stomach grumbles. It doesn’t have anything directly to do with dance, I should say. And, uh, yeah, I call the concept monkey bars or monkey bar thoughts and before monkey bar thoughts will make any sense at all, I must introduce you to, or reintroduce you to the thought model also called the self-coaching model or sometimes called the CTFAR model. Well, it is a lot, but it is also simple and so effective. So let’s go. 

Um, okay. Where to begin. I first mentioned the thought model on the podcast way back in episode 4. The episode is called Stop thinking like a Caveman.  So if you’re interested in not thinking like a caveman, if you’re interested in the thought model, if this peaks your interest, go take a deeper dive into that episode, episode four. Um, but I also encourage you to visit the show notes to this episode where I am linking to a free guide from Brooke Castillo, um, and the life coach school, which is where I picked up this handy-dandy tool. So check out the show notes, check out episode four for a deeper dive on the thought model. Um, but I’ll give you a little backstory here. Brooke Castillo is a master certified coach instructor and the founder of the life coach school. Before I go any further, I’d like to, uh, to give you a little disclaimer, Brooke would be the first person to say that the idea behind her thought model is not entirely original. It is. It’s not completely hers. In other words, she did not invent this notion. Um, probably since the birth of, I want to say time, but I’ll say philosophy. I’ll just say since like ancient times, we have known that us human types are emotional beings and that our emotions are what drive our actions and what causes our emotions, the meaning of, or simply put the thoughts that we attach to any given circumstance. So this idea of awareness of authorship, of our thoughts to encourage new emotions and land us with different results is not a new concept. In fact, it is the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy also known as C B T. So while Brooke Castillo didn’t invent the concept, she did develop a universal formula or model for using these ancient ideas to help us use our minds to live the lives and make the work of our dreams rather than to passively allow our minds to work against us quietly in a deep, deep, dark, dark corner somewhere.  So to really boil it down in Brooke’s words, the basic premise of the model is that the circumstances of the world are neutral. They’re not good, they’re not bad. They don’t make you feel good. They don’t make you feel bad. It’s our thoughts that create our feelings and it’s our feelings that create our actions and it’s those actions and inactions that create our results that create our experience of the world. Okay. Boom, broad overview, the model. Oh, one more disclaimer, all models are wrong. Some models are useful. This is one of one of my favorite catchphrases and I do, I believe it’s true. All models are wrong. Some are useful. I am including, um, the model that I made of the geography of Colorado when I was in grade school, PS everybody wanted me on their team when we did projects at school because I loved a diorama and I loved a foam core poster board. And I love those tri-fold like foam core board. I loved glitter pens and pens in general, hot glue, guns, moss, eye glitter, like you name it, little toy figure buffaloes, all of the things. Anyways, my model of the geography of Colorado was wrong, but it was useful in helping me understand my state. So similarly, in the case of the thought model, it is possible that our lives are far too nuanced and dynamic to whittle down into these five little categories, circumstance thought feeling action result, but it is a very useful place to start.  

Here’s how I see it. Being able to separate circumstances from thoughts is a critical step towards empowerment, accountability, and autonomy. And in my work in this industry, I have saved time. I have saved money and I have undoubtedly saved relationships by applying that first step alone, just simply separating thoughts from facts, tremendously useful. But when I understand all five lines of the model, the circumstances, thoughts, feelings, actions, and results. I have a way of understanding my life, all of it. And yeah, maybe it is overly simple, but in an extraordinarily complex world and time and specifically industry, I really love simple tools. So that’s that, um, I use this model when I coach, I also use it in my daily life to better understand my experience of the world and all of the C’s T’s F’s and A’s and R’s that are in it. So there are two ways of using the model. Number one is to understand where you are now and by where you are. I mean, who you are now currently, the other way to use the model is to understand where you’d like to be. In other words, who you would like to become. Now, it’s really important that I mentioned neither of those two people is better or worse than the other. Neither one of those two people, your now self or your future self are more deserving or less deserving of love and success. They’re simply thinking differently.  

Here’s a little example of an unintentional model that came up in a real session. Recently, the circumstance was the entertainment industry. The thought that this person was thinking was I can’t get my foot in the door. I can’t get my foot into the door of the entertainment industry. Thinking that thought I can’t get my foot in the freaking door. I added the friggin thinking that that made them feel discouraged. And when they felt discouraged, they isolated themselves. There’s just one of them. They isolated themselves. They closed off, they had a tendency to over scroll, like way more social media than their usual. Um, they circulated in negative. Self-talk just kind of basked in beating themselves up. Uh, they did not train. They did not network. They did not reach out for help when they were feeling discouraged, they did not create work. The results of those actions and those inactions is that the feet don’t move.  When you choose to think, I can’t get my foot in the door and you feel discouraged, your feet don’t move. Of course. Right? Of course, naturally that makes total sense. I mean, it’s not desirable probably unless you desired from footing, but it totally makes sense when you think I can’t get my foot in the door and you feel discouraged. You act a certain way and your feet don’t budge. You don’t step forward. You don’t step out and that’s okay. Unless you are a person who wants to be moving forward. In which case you could apply a more intentional model, something that might look like this, the circumstances, the same, the entertainment industry. But what if you could choose a thought like I am ready to gain experience. Hold that thought I am ready to gain the system. I feel brave when I feel brave, I engage. I prepare. I probably prepare before I engage. I prepare, I engage. I connect with other people and I connect with myself. I get moving. I ask questions. I don’t waste time. And the result is that I learn a lot and I learned it fast. I gained knowledge and I gain experience. Boom. So can you see that that dramatic change in result comes from ever so slightly changing the thought?  Yeah. From thinking I don’t have any experience, which is relative. Somebody else could probably think that you have that you’re well set up to engage with the entertainment industry. But when you choose the thought, I can’t get my foot in the door, you get discouraged, you disengage. And when you think a thought like I am ready for experience, you get revved up, you become eager, you feel different feelings and feeling like brave or determined can be tremendously useful, especially in pursuit of a creative career in the entertainment industry, uh, right about now you might be getting tempted to inspect and change all of the thoughts that you’re thinking that are leaving you with undesirable results. And I feel you, but before you go jump on that train, before you go on, like the thought remodeling, I have to underline. Coaching is not about changing the way that you think it is about awareness of the way that you are thinking and the way that that affects how you feel, behave and experience the world.  

Honestly, the meat and potatoes of this work of these tools is awareness. So can you see how the unintentional thought of, I can’t get my foot in the door affects your results? Can you see how thinking a different thought like I’m so ready for experience changes the result. Can you see that the entertainment industry hasn’t changed at all yet? Your experience of it has tremendously. That is the awareness that I’m talking about here. That is the awareness that I, that I hope to bring it, teach and encourage in all of my friends, family, clients, all the people, this type of awareness and authorship and agency is simply it for me. That’s what I’m about. Okay. Awareness number one. Number two, second most important part of this coaching stuff is the feeling right? We know thoughts are important. This has been made clear, but this work is not just about awareness over your thoughts and it’s certainly not about changing all your thoughts so that you can feel only good feelings. I wouldn’t even call brave or determined a good feeling. Those feelings feel heavy and tight in my body. Those are not warm, light, fuzzy little feelings. This is not about feeling only good feels. This is not about good vibes only. So over good vibes only is about having the tools and the support to process all of your vibes, all of the feelings to feel the feelings, instead of eating them, drinking them, scrolling them, shopping them, gossiping them. You simply feel them simple, not easy sometimes. Uh, if you’re interested in this processing feeling stuff, by the way, go ahead and dig back into episode 17. The process of processing is the title of that one, uh, for a really fun example of one of my favorite tools of processing emotions.  Um, and definitely hit subscribe here by the way, because in upcoming episodes, I’m going to be dishing out some new tools for feeling feelings. Um, sounds like so much fun, right? So much fun. 

Okay. So now we understand the model. We understand how it’s using coaching. We understand unintentional and intentional models, and we get that feelings are important. Now let’s get to the good stuff let’s get to, to the monkey bars. What like 45 minutes later, sorry guys, here we are. We’re doing it. In our example about the entertainment industry. I can’t get my foot in the door versus I’m ready to gain experience those thoughts. Aren’t total polar opposites, but you might find yourself in a thought model situation where your unintentional model and your intentional model are polar opposites. You might find yourself, um, feeling like the person that you are and the person that you want to be could not be further from the same person.  Enter the monkey bar thoughts. They are, what help you connect these two people. They are what help you become your future self. Um, and furthermore, they’re what get you to believing that thought instead of just circulating it over and over in your head, believing by the way, to me is thinking one thought for so long and so deeply that you hold it to be true. You might hold it to be a fact. And sometimes it does feel that way. Now sometimes the space between believing the unintentional thought and believing the intentional can seem uncrossable. For example, if I’m a person that thinks I hate my body, it may seem impossible to think. I love my body. I call that space between my unintentional thought and my intentional thought the river of becoming, and sometimes those waters are rapids and I will need a good strong grip on some monkey bar rungs to get me from one side to the other.  

Now, in this example of hating or loving my body, Monkey bar thoughts might look like this. The unintentional thought, of course I hate my bodu is just an arm’s reach away from thinking I’m becoming a person who is kind to my body, which might just be yes, small reach away from a thought like I see that my body works hard for me, which isn’t so far from something like, I love that my body can get stronger, which isn’t too far from something like my body can do incredible things, which is probably not far away from something like I am becoming a person who loves my body. I can marvel at my body. I appreciate my body. I see my body. Thank you body, which isn’t so far from thinking, I love my body. Now that’s a pretty natural progression, right? It seems a little more doable with those intermittent handholds, but here’s the important bit.  Each one of those thoughts leads to a slightly different feeling and those slightly different feelings lead to slightly different actions. And over time you act newly. You actually, you actually I’m sticking with it. Become a person who loves your body. Not simply a person who can meditate on a thought like I love my body. That is big. The other big, big, big bit that I want I want to be sure to call out right now, is that in real life, it’s actually way harder to go backwards on monkey bars than it is in your head. That is to say that along the way, along your journey, across these monkey bars, over the river of becoming your brain may or likely will offer you that old thought again, you might even be on your third rung out in your brain. In, in this example might offer you, I hate my body.  That thought might show up like three, four or five monkey bar rungs out. And when that happens, I like to put myself in a dance studio, not an actual dance studio, a metaphorical mental imaginary dance studio. And I like to think of my thought patterns like choreography. I remember that I get really good when I rehearse a lot. I can do the thing very, very well if I’ve rehearsed it many, many times. So it’s no wonder that I’m good at the thought. I hate my body. I’ve been rehearsing it for a really, really long time. It’s, it’s easy for me to do it. And it’s hard for me to make changes to it. Can you feel me on that? Do you know how hard it is to make a change to a dance that you’ve been dancing for years? I’m talking to all my tour people out there, um, versus something you just learned, of course, because choreography that you rehearse over and over becomes like muscle memory.  And I think that the same can be true for the way that you’re thinking. So when this happens, when my brain offers me an old thought, like I hate my body. I like to walk into the studio, start rehearsal and kindly remind myself, oh yes, that is the old breakdown. I remember that. I remember being really good at that. Yes, you are crushing that old breakdown, but we are making changes to that. Now we have new music from the MD. Um, I mean musical director, not doctor, and we’re giving that section more punch. We’re going to update it. We’re going to make it more effective. We’re going to make it more danceable. Uh, we’re just, we’re making that breakdown better. Don’t worry. We have plenty of time to rehearse. You’ve got this new breakdown. Let’s go. And genuinely, I’m excited about learning new choreography. I’m excited about mastering new choreography.  That is like, that’s a train I want to get on new different evolved, better. Let’s learn the new breakdown. And let’s also be kind when we mess up. Of course I messed that step up. I’ve been doing it the other way for a really long time moving on. So that is how I handle moving forward across the monkey bars, by giving myself my, my self plural by giving myself reasonable bites in terms of my thought work, reasonable bites in terms of my evolution of thinking bites that I can believe in versus bites that I can repeat over and over in my head and still somewhere think is a lie because they aren’t backed up by the feelings and the actions that make them believable. So give yourself good, strong monkey bar thoughts, give yourself as many as you need, watch your feelings evolve over time, watch your actions change over time and watch yourself become your intentional self, your intentional model, the person that you want to become.  And if you happen to move backwards in the monkey bar, thought if your brain happens to offer you the old unintentional thought, be kind, remember that you’ve been rehearsing that choreography for a very long time and it is okay that you be very good at, at doing it. And then it’s also okay to learn new choreography, to change, to give yourself time to rehearse. That is monkey bar thoughts. And that is me coaching you, I guess, on the podcast for about 30 minutes. I hope that you enjoyed, I hope that you find monkey bar thoughts and the thought model as useful as I have. And of course, I hope that you go out into the world and keep it very, very, very, very funky at all times. Okay. I got to go eat. You guys are great. I’ll talk to you soon.  

Me again. Wondering if you ever noticed that one more time. Almost never means one more time. Well, here on the podcast, one more thing actually means two more things. Number one thing, If you’re digging the pod, if these words are moving you, please don’t forget to download, subscribe and leave a rating or review because your words move me too. Number two thing I make more than weekly podcasts. So please visit thedanawilson.com  for links to free workshops. And so, so much more.  All right, that’s it now for real talk to you soon. Bye. 

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