Last September 2017, I had just joined Brooke Castillo’s monthly coaching program, Self Coaching Scholars. I didn’t really have a clue what I was getting myself into. I was still deep in desperately searching for relief from my own extremely negative brain. I was trying to learn from different teachers and was making incremental changes and was starting to feel a little bit better.
At the time, I was in a group coaching program that met twice a month. It was good, but I found that I really needed so much more help. The program was about to end and I knew I wanted to find something else. I had been in therapy for years in the past and didn’t find it to be terribly helpful. After listening to Brooke’s podcast on the difference between therapy and coaching, I went on her website to see if I could find one of her coaches to hire. That’s when I learned she had her own program and it didn’t cost much more than I was already paying for the group coaching program that was about to end.
So, I signed up, and I am so glad I did.
Where I Started in 2017
When I started, I was really struggling with ADHD, depression and anxiety. I had a lot of really negative thoughts about myself. I buffered a lot to try to quiet them – meaning, I’d use social media as a distraction from my own thoughts. The thought I had the most often was I hated myself. I had no idea how to feel a feeling or that my thoughts were optional and I could learn to manage them.
Last year about this time, I didn’t really have many friends. I didn’t have the mental capacity to maintain relationships. I didn’t really date at all, nor did I really want to.
I was really focused on the past and I believed the past should have been different. I would look back on the things I’d done and beat myself up for everything. I was both the victim and the perpetrator within my own mind. At any moment, I was either doing something I would later beat myself up for, or I was beating myself up for something I had already done. It was really wild to notice that happening in my mind.
I was completely unconscious to how I spent my money, and I didn’t want to know.
Where I’m at Now
I still have ADHD, depression, and anxiety. They are neutral circumstances about which I get to decide how I think. I’ve decided that I will cut out sugar and flour from my diet since they affect the brain so much. I am curious to see how this helps with ADHD. I think the biological effects of cutting out flour and sugar combined with the self-coaching required to maintain such a diet will be what will help the most.
I have more friends now and I am starting to see that a family might be possible for me. Before, I couldn’t imagine that at all. I’m starting to be able to imagine that as a possibility. I am getting more serious about this and about finding that person. I am both open to meeting more people, seeing their amazing humanness and letting them go when they aren’t the right fit for me.
I am working to cut out all buffering from my life. As I said, I want to cut out sugar and flour. I want to create a food protocol. I can see how constraining and making these decisions ahead of time really frees up the mind to think about other things. I want to cut down on social media usage, be more deliberate about how much I read and consume, and make sure I am balancing consuming and learning with creating and contributing.
Instead of beating myself up for beating myself up, I am much more curious about when my brain runs that thought program. It might not seem like much, but being curious about it instead of trying to resist and fight it is everything.
I like who I’m becoming. I’m excited for the future.
What I Learned In Year One
- I always have a choice, whether it’s choosing how I’m showing up, what I think about, how I spend my time, how I spend my money, what I eat, and so on.
- What I think about directly creates my life. Whatever I think about ends up being proven true by the results I create in my life, so it is very important to manage what I’m thinking about.
- What somebody else thinks of me has nothing to do with me.
- My experience of a situation depends on how I’m thinking about it. It is never the situation that is inherently good or bad. We are always creating our own experience.
- The more deliberately I manage my mind, the more intentional I am about the life I’m creating on purpose. It does not mean that things don’t happen outside of my control. But I get to choose who I am going to be within those circumstances.
- Buffering is a way of escaping ourselves and the truth of our lives. It can be through social media or food or alcohol or relationships or anything that serves as a distraction from what is happening in our life. We buffer because we don’t want to feel negative emotion.
- Half of life is negative emotion. It does not mean something has gone wrong. It means we are human.
- We are taught to believe that we should be happy all the time. It is a lie.
- When we think that life is supposed to be easy and should feel good all of the time, we don’t welcome the negative emotion and the discomfort that is required to evolve ourselves and grow to our next highest version of ourselves.
- When we think that things should be easy and we shouldn’t feel negative emotion we end up suffering more and layering suffering on top of negative emotion.
- We are supposed to feel negative emotion. The way that we can know that that is true is because we do feel negative emotion. If we weren’t supposed to feel negative emotion, we wouldn’t.
- There is no better there. All we have is here and now always. The past exists in our mind and so does the future. In this moment we can choose to think about the past or think about the future. We can either think about the past and re-create the past into the present moment. Or we can think about a future of possibilities, of something that has not yet happened and we can create that in the present moment.
- Making money it’s not selfish and there is no limited supply of money. Money is created by providing value to the world and the more value that we can provide to the world, the more money flows back to us and creates a sort of ripple effect.
- It is possible to love everyone and everything as it is. What is the process of going from believing someone is bad and unworthy of loving to loving them unconditionally exactly as they are?
- Boundaries are not about controlling what is happening. Boundaries are about what I decide I am willing to do when things happen outside of me. We set boundaries with love and not with fear or anger.
- Our thoughts are not who we really are. Our thoughts are just sentences in our mind. Who we really are is the watcher or the awareness that can observe our thoughts such.
- Even though our true nature is the awareness, we can use our mind intentionally as a tool in whatever way we want. We have 60,000 thoughts a day – we may as well use it to our advantage.
- People do judge other people. we all do it. And being OK with that and knowing that their judgments is a projection of their own mind onto us, We can learn to be OK with other peoples opinions because that’s them that as I think you do with us. We can choose to agree with them or not. It’s always a choice.
- Making decisions ahead of time is where our powers. Planning ahead – whether it’s the food we eat or how we’re going to spend our money or anything – when we make decisions ahead of time, we make better decisions. When we make decisions in the moment, we make them based on how we’re feeling in that moment and what we’re thinking in that moment and often it is not for our highest good.
After a year of Scholars, you become a Diamond Scholar. We do all of the work over again and take it deeper and to a whole new level. I am beyond thrilled to get to continue to do this work.
If you want to learn more about Self Coaching Scholars, visit thelifecoachschool.com. (I am not an affiliate, just a huge fan ?)