If you’re like me you ask yourself this question “What Was I Thinking” on occasion. For example, I came home from a trip to a big discount department store with a few skeins of inexpensive cotton yarn thinking I could easily knit up something with them. I made sure the yarn was 100% cotton, and it was. What I failed to take into account is my own rule when it comes to knitting and that is “Does the fiber feel good in my hands, because if it does, get it, and if it doesn't leave it there”.
I didn’t conduct that test in the store, thinking with the low price and the 100% cotton, I’d be okay. It’s not okay, not at all. So what WAS I thinking?
In Martha Beck’s Wayfinder training we learn about a thought model that’s useful for identifying, well, thoughts. Why would we need to do that? Too often we’re on autopilot, allowing our brain to run without supervision and this thinking gets into a rut or a pattern possibly created long ago that could NOT serve us very well. Again, the 100% cotton yarn.
Here’s how it goes, think of the initials C, T, F, A, R. Brooke Castillo, Master Coach Trainer and founder of The Life Coach School teaches this almost exclusively, understanding and teaching the real impact that our thoughts have on creating our reality.
Here’s how it goes:
The C stands for Circumstances, or facts. They are facts, not opinions or ideas, they are the irrefutable facts. In this example the Circumstances or facts are: the yarn is 100% cotton and the price is incredibly inexpensive. (okay, a little opinion there, the price is affordable).
The T stands for Thought or Thoughts. Here my thoughts about the facts were, hey I can make something of this, and look at it – it’s 100% cotton and it is really inexpensive. Yay.
The F stands for Feelings. How did that thought make me feel? In the moment, it made me feel good, here I am getting a bunch of yarn for a fraction of what I typically pay, and it’s 100% cotton (I’m fixated on that, can you tell?).
The A stands for Actions. Human beings typically behave or act on their feelings, not necessarily on their thoughts, so based on the feelings of feeling good about the purchase, I actually bought the yarn.
The R stands for Results. What are the results of my actions? I now am the owner of a few skeins of cotton yarn I think I can make something special out of.
What was I thinking? As I mentioned before, one of the golden rules I live by when purchasing yarn of any kind is that is HAS to feel good in my hands. If I’m going to spend time with it, it has to feel good – both physically and emotionally. I wasn’t thinking, obviously because the yarn is stiff and difficult to work with.
So what happened? I made an impulse buy, as you certainly figured out long ago…it just took me some time to realize it. Going through the thought model helped me understand that when making hasty decisions, I don’t always take my own rules into consideration. And that going forward, I will focus on getting very real about my rules, what really matters to me before purchasing any more yarn.
So what are you thinking that’s getting in the way of meeting your goals? And what are you forgetting when making decisions? If you keep these questions in mind, and becoming an observer of your thoughts, you’ll begin to recognize the thoughts that are incredibly intentional and useful and those that are not….then act accordingly.