Dating / Marriage / Parenting / Relationships

How to solve most problems: The Self-Coaching Model

This post is a detailed summary of the Self Coaching Model by Brooke Castillo. I refer to this model in lots of articles, so I wanted to dive in deep on this post.

The Self Coaching Model consists of 5 parts: Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, and Results. Let’s examine each of these.

Circumstances can trigger

Thoughts, which cause

Feelings, which drive our

Actions, which produce our


Brooke castillo, the life coach school


A Circumstance as defined here is anything that is a fact. Things that can be proven in court. For example, everyone would agree that it is “78 degrees outside”. However, not everyone would agree that it is “nice weather”. That is subjective. So that phrase (“it is nice weather”) would go in the Thought category.

It is important to separate out your thoughts from your circumstances. Circumstances are anything that you have absolutely no control over. Things like: the weather, what other people say and do, how other people feel, etc. Some people think that their thoughts are circumstances like “This person is difficult”. They say things like “Most people would agree that they are difficult.” But can it be proven in court? “This person is difficult” cannot be proven in court, so it is a thought, not a circumstance.


Our thoughts are any sentence in our brain. We have thoughts all day long; they run through our heads so fast that we are not even aware of all the thoughts. But once we start slowing them down and looking at them individually, we can see how our thoughts are influencing the way we feel. Our thoughts create our feelings.

Once you start paying attention to your thoughts, you will discover that you can have more control over them than previously believed.


Our thoughts create our feelings. Try it. If you think “I am a so fat” how do you feel? Probably pretty depressed. But what if you change that thought to “I have a body”? How do you feel then? Probably more neutral.

When you try to identify how you are feeling and putting that into the self-coaching model, try to limit it to one word. Examples of one word feelings are: angry, sad, mad, disappointed, happy, anxious, calm, peaceful, confident, excited, frustrated, worried, depressed, and neutral.


Our feelings often drive our actions. If you are feeling depressed, what do you do? Probably sit around, watch netflix and eat. What do you do when you are feeling excited? or scared? or confident? Our feelings fuel our actions.

Sometimes we can take the exact same action, but it will produce different results depending on what feeling is fueling that action. For example, if you call someone on the phone to ask them to go on a date with you, how do you act if you are feeling anxious? Whatever you say, the overall anxious feeling will probably come through in the tone of your voice and how you say things. What if you say the exact same words on the phone, but you are feeling confident? The message would come through differently.

Actions produce our results. If you want to accomplish a goal, you just have to keep taking action! It is important with this model to be as detailed and specific as possible to see what sort of action you are taking and what actions you want to take.


This is the fun part. We get to see what your thoughts are producing in your life. The Life Coaching industry is all about getting you the results you want. And I have never seen a model that does it as well as the Self-Coaching Model by Brooke Castillo.

Putting your problems into the Self-Coaching Model

So when you have a problem, think about all the different parts. What are your thoughts, your feelings, your circumstances, and your actions? What result do you want to achieve? What feeling do you need to feel to create that result? What thought can you think to create the feeling that you want? We can start with any one of these items and then figure out what the others should be.

Look for this model in other blog posts to see some examples of how this all works together.

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