88. Thoughts and Observations

“Am I really worthy enough to be serving a mission? I can’t seem to stop thinking about what I did…” These thoughts aren’t ones you have to keep with you. Observing circumstances and thoughts are two different ways to work through your feelings. Let’s dive in together!

Listen in to Learn:

  • Why your thoughts don’t define you
  • How to overcome racing thoughts
  • The power that comes when you discern thoughts and observations
  • How to make things mean something in the way you desire

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0:00 Hey, what’s up everyone, it’s Jennie Dildine, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number 88. thoughts and observations. I’m Jenny, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next. Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast. I’m kind of giddy today, we’re going to talk all about thoughts and observations, don’t worry. But I’m kind of getting today I have to share with you that I am recording on a new podcast microphone. And I’ve got these fancy new headphones. Which, if any of you know me, I’m kind of a tech geek, a tech nerd. And so like, I just have all this excitement and all these butterflies right now using this new microphone, which I’ve been trying to get set up for the last little while, I used to have to record kind of behind my desk over here. And I like had to set up all kinds of, I have like foam above me and foam behind me. So that I didn’t get like the echo in my office. And now I can just sit here at my desk and record a podcast. So I am way excited about that. And I hope you’re excited too. I don’t know if you’ll be able to tell the sound difference, but I can. And it’s that kind of thing that makes me super happy. So thanks for being here. I wanted to share with you today, something super fun a review I got on this podcast. And just in case, any of you want to send this podcast to your missionaries, like they can’t listen here on Apple podcasts totally fine.

2:14 I’ve created a way that we can get the podcast out to more missionaries, which is just through a Google Drive. So if you’re interested in getting that, you can just email podcast at Jennie dildine.com. And we can get your pod this podcast out to your missionary or anyone else that you love that’s out there serving. So I wanted to read this review to you because I love it so much thank you to this person. I’m at m at DC one NC zero. Thank you so much for leaving this review. And I’m going to share it with you guys. Now, although I started listening to this podcast to help my daughter deal with the stresses of preparing for her mission, I have found that it has really helped me to that’s what I love about these tools, you guys. They’re applicable to all of us. Jenny’s thoughts are geared towards missionaries and their struggles. But I learned something I can use in my life every time I listen. Yay, thank you. She says thank you for being here, Jenny, you are making a difference. Thank you. I’m at I’m at d c one and c zero. I so appreciate that feedback. And I hear you. I know that when I first heard these tools, I they changed my life. And that is when I started feeling like I gotta get these tools out to these missionaries. It was around the time that I had my own missionaries and my own return missionaries. And so I’m so glad that it’s helping you. I actually do work with a handful of clients that are just missionary moms. And so I’ll just put that out there if that’s something that you’re interested in. Thank you so much for this review. And again, if any of you guys want to leave a review, it just helps so much. It helps so much to get the word out about these tools and about mental and emotional wellbeing for our missionaries. So everyone, seriously sending you all the love yesterday was Valentine’s Day, sending you all the love for listening and for being here. All right. Today we’re going to talk about the difference between thoughts and observations. Now one of the things that’s pretty central to what I teach with my clients is this thing called the model and it was created by Brooke Castillo from The Life Coach School, which is where I got trained. I’ve had a couple other trainings since then. Trauma Informed certification as well as a faith based advanced certification with coaching tools and faith with which are face excuse me, which are faith based and No. But originally, all of my training started with this, which is called the model. And I wanted to just do a quick review of it here today. And the way that you can picture the model is it starts at the top,

5:13 kind of picture a column of letters, like as there’s a C, a T, n, f, N, A and N R. And if it’s helpful for you, while you’re listening to this, you can go ahead and write that down in this, and they all line up kind of on the left hand side of a margin. Okay? The C stands for circumstance, and the definition for circumstances always everything outside of us. It circumstances are neutral, they can be proven in a court of law, everybody would agree. There’s no bias or judgment or opinion in them. Underneath the circumstance, the T stands for thought, and a thought, the definition I like to use is just a sentence in your mind. Right? Underneath the thought, there’s a feeling, F stands for feeling. And the way I like to teach feelings on this podcast, and you’ve probably heard me talk about it before is just a vibration in your body. That feeling then drives a set of actions kind of like fuel in a car. And those actions are everything that you do everything that you don’t do. And I always include in the action lines, stuff that’s happening, kind of in our minds, like we have spinning thoughts, or we go back to the past, or we fear the future, or we judge people all of that I feel like happens in your action line. And then R stands for the result that you’re getting in your life. And a lot of times we like to give our results to other people, or think that they should show up differently. But our, in our models, our results are always ours and other people’s models, their results are always theirs. So the way that all of these parts kind of interact with one another is like this, you know, the circumstance underneath, I like to draw a big black line. Okay, the thing that happens to you, we don’t always have control over that. But everything below that big black line, we do have power over, we do have influence over, we do have agency over our thought, feeling action and results. So the thought creates the feeling, the feeling drives the set of actions, and then the actions give us our results. So let me we’re going to talk about an example here or there. But the model is created just as an awareness tool, it’s created, so that you can start to see what you are creating in your life with the way that you’re thinking about something. Most of the world believes that stuff in our life just happens, like I’m assigned to labor in this certain area, or my boyfriend dumped me, or I didn’t get flowers on Valentine’s Day, or I didn’t get that job, most of the world believes that something just happens to us. And then we feel. But in between the thing that happens, that circumstance, and the way that we feel, there’s always that thought or that sentence that thought creates the feeling. So once we can start to see our lives in this way, and I sort of like to call it like sorting, you’ll start to see your life and like, Oh, that’s a circumstance something outside of me. That is something I’m believing, which is causing this feeling. That feeling is driving me to take this action or inaction. And then this is the result I’m getting. Once you have all of that awareness, you totally have complete power to decide if you like the result that you’re getting. Do you want to think differently? Do you want to feel differently? Do you want to show up differently? You can but also know, what I teach a lot on here is you don’t have to the way you’re doing it right now is totally fine. Sometimes when I teach people to model, they think, Oh, I’m doing it wrong, or I should have a different thought. And they start to judge themselves for not getting certain results or for thinking or feeling or, or showing up in a certain way. And I don’t want you to do any of that. The model should never be used as a weapon against yourself. The model is only there to help you understand what’s going on in your life and then from that like empowered place. From that place of awareness. You get to be more intentional about what you want to create in your life instead. Right now, what we’re going to focus on today is our thoughts and I’ve done a few specific episodes on this podcast about our thoughts. So there’s this concept that I want to share with you today that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. And sometimes the thought line either has the ability to sort of trip us up, or maybe not give us as much awareness of what we’re creating for ourselves as we want to. And what I’ve noticed is the, that sometimes we’ll want to look at what the thought is, okay, and we’re gonna, and we’re going to separate all the differences between thoughts and observations in a minute, but we’re going to want to sometimes look at what the thought is. And sometimes, we’re gonna want to look at the observation.

10:45 So, the analogy that I sort of came up with, is, let’s say we go to a doctor, and we have a broken leg. And we’re like, this is really painful. And if we’re using this analogy, it could be anything like, I’m not getting along with my companion, or I can’t decide to do what I can’t decide what I want to do after my mission, or I can’t make myself get out there and date, or whatever it could be right? Or I’m feeling a lot of anxiety. So we go to a doctor. And we have a broken leg. Now the doctors job in that moment, is to first make an observation. Take some assessment of what is actually going on. It’s all very like mathematical, shall we say. But also, my guess is that most doctors don’t get into the profession. Unless they are also in the business of caring for and helping people and wanting to create an emotion. Like compassion. Okay, so with ourselves, we sometimes bump back and forth, or pop bap, back and forth between thoughts, observing thoughts, and just making observations. And neither one is right or wrong. It’s just something that you can start observing in yourself, and see, in which instances, it’s more useful to you for you to just make an observation, like a doctor taking inventory, or like a scientist taking inventory of what’s happening, versus actually looking at what the thought is, understanding what that what emotion that thought is creating. And then allow, kind of, decide if that’s the way you want to keep thinking and feeling and then change it if you want to. So let’s go through just a couple characteristics of what an observation might look like, okay, observations are just noticing something outside of us. Or it can also be noticing something inside of us. It’s also kind of, like I mentioned, it’s more scientific is more like, I’m stepping outside of the situation I’m in and I’m taking note of something, I’m going to give you a couple examples in a minute. When we make an observation, it allows us to separate ourselves from our own behavior. And it also allows us to separate ourselves from other people’s behavior. There’s not much drama in an observation there, it’s very matter of fact, it may create some sort of an emotion but not an emotion that actually affects us and starts to like take root and starts to vibrate in our body. Case. So that is some of the things about observations. So let me give you an example of a couple observations. Every time I try to speak up in my companionship, my trainer cuts me off. Okay, so that could just be an observation. And we’re going to talk more about what the thought is and, and some ways that we can also use this to gain more awareness. But if it feels better to keep it, like, very factual, not much drama. If we want to be more of a scientist, we can just be like, Hmm, so interesting. Every time I try to speak up, my companion cuts me off. That’s good to know. And then we can just kind of take a mental note of that. Okay, so that’s one way to handle that situation is just make an observation.

15:00 Let me give you an another example. When I show up to work, I noticed that anxiety starts to rise up in my body. We can just step outside of it, we don’t have to make it mean anything, we can just be a scientist, or a doctor. And we can just be like, Hmm, so interesting, I’m noticing that this thing is happening, that’s good to know. Notice how we might be like curious or concerned. But it’s not like we’re actually in the anxiety, feeling the anxiety. I mean, that’ll probably be happening too. But we allow ourselves to kind of get outside of it, and just make an observation. Here’s another example. I’m starting to notice that my brain can’t quit thinking about the mistake I made in the past. Okay, so in this moment, maybe we want to just make an observation about that. Just like hmm, I see what my brain is doing there. That’s so interesting. Maybe we’re curious about that. We’re noticing something inside of us. We’re a scientist, we separate ourselves from that behavior. From that thing that’s going on in our action line, there’s no drama, it’s very matter of fact, okay, it might create an emotion, but that emotion doesn’t land. Here’s the thing about observations, though, is it doesn’t usually give us tons of insight, or traction to make change. Okay, it’s just like, observing, taking note of what’s going on, we can maybe file it again, file it somewhere for later. But we’re just observing. Now, let’s talk about thoughts. And when I talk about thoughts, those sentences in our minds, they usually are referring to a belief that we have, or meaning that we’re giving to the facts. So it’s all the meaning that we give to stuff outside of us, it’s all the meaning that we give to the things going on inside of us. And it can be full of drama. Sometimes, actually, we want to hold really tight to that meaning sometimes it’s hard for us to let go of it. And these type of thoughts, our beliefs, about ourselves and about the world around us. And the meaning that we give to the circumstances outside of us actually creates the emotion or the vibration in our body.

17:52 The other thing about these thoughts and the emotions that they create is they can give us clues as to the way that we see the world. And the way that we see other people and the way that we see ourselves. And what’s beautiful about thoughts is sometimes we can take a look at them and decide Hmm, I’m not sure if I like that one. Maybe I want to change it. Let me give you an example. So for a long time, I believed that I am weak. And I think that I picked that thought up somewhere along the line who knows where and it creates an emotion in my body when I think it. And so once I understood that I have this thought that it’s creating an emotion in my body and driving a certain set of actions, I’m able to decide, do I want to keep that? Is there something else I want to do? Is there another possible way to think about this circumstance? So let’s go back to these examples. If we were going for instead of just an observation, if we wanted to get a little bit more awareness about what’s going on for us. Here’s the first example. Every time I try to speak up and my companionship, my trainer cuts me off. If we’re ready for something different, we’ve made the observation and we’re ready for something different. Then we can take a look at what is that sentence in my mind? What do I make this mean about me? Or my companion? Do I make it mean that I’m weak and I can’t stand up for myself? Do I make it mean that my companion is not compassionate? Do I make it mean that I’m a bad missionary? Do I make it mean that they’re a bad missionary?

19:46 See, all of these thoughts give us so much insight to what our brain is trying to tell us and what’s going on. And when we think about it that way, how do we feel we might feel Some anxiousness or some insecurity or some overwhelm, or feel like we’re not good enough or something like that. So notice how the observation super helpful. And sometimes we won’t want to dig in there and know, like, what we’re making it mean, or take a look at our beliefs totally fine. But when we’re ready to make some change, we can dig a little bit deeper, a question you can ask yourself is, if we’ve made the observation, every time I try to speak up, my companion, cuts me off. Just you can ask yourself, what do I make that mean? Why does that even matter? So what? What do I make it mean about them? And what do I make it mean about me? And that is the thought, that’s likely creating the emotion. That’s not your favorite. Again, once you discover it, you don’t have to change it. But know that you have the complete ability to change it if you want to. Okay, second example. When I show up to work, I noticed anxiety start to rise up in my body again, we can just observe that good to know. It’s kind of curious, I wonder what’s going on for me. Or if we’re ready to make a change? We can ask ourselves, so what?

21:19 What do I make it mean? That I’m experiencing anxiety? Like, do we make it mean, there’s something wrong with me? Do we make it mean that I have it harder than everybody else? Do we make it mean that I shouldn’t be working at this job? Notice all of those thoughts. Most likely, ironically, just create more anxiety. Okay, so there’s the observation that we’ve made versus the thought, which gives us a little bit more awareness a little bit more traction, if we’re ready to change that pattern, we can start to believe something else about our anxiety, and make a change, and change the way we feel. Maybe we won’t even be able to change the anxiety, but we’ll be able to change the way we feel about us having anxiety. Okay, and the third example, my brain can’t quit thinking about this mistake I made in the past. We have the observation, very mathematical, very scientific, good to know creates curiosity. Versus if we’re ready to change or shift something, we ask ourselves, what do I make it mean? So what? What is the sentence that is a problem here? Maybe the sentence sentences, maybe I didn’t repent, if I can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe the sentences, I’m not a good person, if I can’t stop thinking about it, maybe the sentence is

22:54 like, maybe I’ll never change if I can’t quit thinking about it. Notice how that collection of sentences that collection of thoughts gives us so much more awareness to what your brain is trying to offer you. Those, those thoughts are going to create more emotions. So the thing that you guys need to remember about this right is that just because your brain offers you a thought, doesn’t mean it’s true doesn’t even mean that you have to believe it. If you want to go back and listen to episode number 64, I give you tons of examples of why our brain does what it does, and why it wants to share what it wants to share with you. You can totally go back and listen to that one, episode 64. But just know that just because your brain is offering you something doesn’t make it true. But it is just good to know what the brain is offering us What feeling it’s creating, what action it’s driving, so that we can decide if we’re ready to change or shift something. Okay. All right. So the question becomes, then, is this a time where I want to make an observation? Or is this a time where I want to examine my thoughts?

24:12 Sometimes I’ll be coaching someone I remember. I was observing someone’s coaching, actually, in this program where I get to give feedback on coaching. And they were coaching a woman and this woman had said that her circumstance, the facts were that her husband had left dishes in the sink. Can any of you relate to this with your roommates or your companions or whatever? Her husband had left dishes in the sink? And so then that coach went ahead and was like, so what? So what did you think about that? And then the thought that she shared with the coach was, my husband shouldn’t leave dishes in the sink. Now notice, that was her thought. But it didn’t give us much awareness. It didn’t give us much like insight into what was going on for this person. Because it was basically a restatement of her observation. So her observation was, there’s dishes in the sink. Her thought about it was there shouldn’t be dishes in the sink, do you see what I’m saying?

25:22 So instead, if you want, like, that’s totally fine. And again, sometimes that’s all we want to do, is just making an observation. Like, especially if someone’s behaving in a way that like, maybe we don’t agree with or whatever we’re like, oh, so interesting. Or if we don’t like the way that we’re showing up, maybe if I get upset with my kids, or something like that, I’m just like, Oh, that’s so interesting. And I just make an observation. But if you’re ready to make a change, if you’re ready to feel something different, you can ask yourself, what do I make those dishes mean?So what, that there’s dishes in the sink. And what we might discover is that we have a thought, like, what I want doesn’t matter to my husband.

26:13 Now that thought, that has the meaning in it, right? That belief is where we get to make some change. And where we get to start making some traction and creating something different. And there’s lots of ways that we do that with coaching. But

26:31 all of that, I just want you guys to know the difference. So if you decide you want to fill out a model, let’s decide you have something going on in the mission. Or you have something going on, like in your dating life. Or if you have something going on in your schooling or whatever it is. And you decide I’m going to just take a look at the thought and feeling.

26:52 And the action I’m taking and see if I like what’s happening in my action line.

26:59 Just be intentional about do I want to make an observation that doesn’t have much emotion, that’s just do I want to be a scientist here? Or do I want to dig deeper?

27:12 And find out what actually might be going on? What is the belief or what is the meaning I’m giving to this, you guys totally get to decide, there’s not a right or wrong. I just wanted to be able to share kind of this concept with you. So you could make the decision for yourself. Maybe you just want to observe and be like, Oh, that’s so interesting that that’s happening with me. Or oh, that’s so interesting that that is happening with this person we’re teaching on the mission. But when you’re ready to feel something different, or change something and shake things up a little bit, ask yourself what you’re making it mean, what do I make this mean? And that thought is the one that’s going to give you a little bit more traction, a little bit awareness to what’s going on for you and why you’re feeling that emotion and why you’re showing up the way that you are. So I hope that this helps you. I hope you guys have an amazing week, and we will talk to you next time.

28:08 Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can present a unique set of challenges. And many of those challenges you might not even see coming. So you’re gonna want a unique set of solutions. It’s easier than you think to overcome worry and anxiety serve the successful mission you’ve always dreamed up and navigate your post mission experience with confidence. That is why I created some amazing free goodies that I’m sharing in my show notes. Maybe you want to grab the free training for preparing missionaries might video course for RMS or maybe you and I should hop on a free strategy call. If you’re ready to take your preparedness to serve or your preparedness to come home to the next level. Then go grab one of those freebies. And in the meantime, no matter which part of the mission experience you were involved in. Just know that Jenny, the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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