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16. What’s Self Coaching ? - Part 1 of 3

Updated: Mar 23


Clouds II. Watercolor on paper. Discovery Bay, Hong Kong. April 2020.

When I first learned about self coaching it struck me as being the most empowering skill that I could learn. After all, if my brain is my most powerful personal asset in today’s world, why wouldn’t I want to be sure that I’m managing it in order to create the results that I want in my life?


Background code


As children we grow up absorbing a lot of beliefs and thoughts from the adults around us - I like how Kara Lowenthiel conceptualizes it as having other people writing programming code into our brains.


Sometimes we are aware of that programming like cultural or religious practices and we can consciously choose to continue them or not. Other times it may take more work: I grew up with the belief that I was clumsy and heavy and it has taken me decades to become aware of that unconscious programming, as I discuss in Dr Katrina Ubell’s podcast interview.



What beliefs do you have about yourself? Do you even remember when you first started believing them? Young children typically believe that they can do anything - sing, dance, draw, play any sport, and so on. But at some point they begin to acquire limiting beliefs about themselves.


Limiting beliefs are usually protective in childhood, keeping us safe, but they may not be serving us as well as adults.

Perhaps a parent or teacher or classmate said something that was interpreted as negative or critical, or maybe they learned to compare themselves with peers and found themselves lacking. Limiting beliefs are usually protective in childhood, keeping us safe, but they may not be serving us as well as adults.


The CTFAR Model


What if we could discard or rewrite our programming? What if we could rewire our neural circuitry intentionally through practicing new thoughts, emotions and habits, so that we can deliberately live healthier lives that are better aligned with our values and vision for ourselves?.


Self coaching with The CTFAR Model, as taught by The Life Coach School, offers a simple approach to retraining our neural pathways. The CTFAR Model is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which is a structured psychotherapy technique intended to help you to become aware of negative or inaccurate thoughts so that you can see them more clearly and decide to respond to them more effectively.


The CTFAR Model has 5 components:

C: Circumstance - Neutral fact or data that could be proven in a court of law.

T: Thought - Sentence in our mind about the Circumstance (C).

F: Feeling - vibration in the body created by the Thought (T).

A: Action - What we do in response to the Feeling (F).

R: Result - What we create through our Actions/inactions (A).


Change it up


Learning to uncover our thoughts and beliefs is the first step to developing awareness. When we become aware, we may decide that we like those thoughts or we can choose to try on different ones. We’ve all heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In my experience, transformation happens when we are willing to step out of our comfort zones.

Read more about the CTFAR model in What’s Self Coaching Part 2.




Member Resources


Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast by Dr Katrina Ubell is free and dicusses how to apply principles of weight management through managing thoughts and emotions. Start here for roadmap for how to get the most out of her podcasts.


Learn more about life coaching through The Life Coach School Podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind and emotions


Kara Lowenthiel has a refreshing approach to becoming aware of and transforming our unconscious social conditioning and critical self talk with Unf*ck Your Brain Podcast










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