Episode 6: Set Her Free
I’m Hannah Coles and you are listening to The Confidence Catalyst Podcast episode 6: Set Her Free
Welcome back everyone for episode 6 of the confidence catalyst podcast. I hope you’ve all had a good week. I’ve been thinking a lot about temples lately. We went to Utah and got to learn about the painstaking effort and huge sacrifice it was to build the Salt Lake temple. In the church history building they have this hands on station where you can pretend to move this block of granite as if you were lifting it to build the temple like they did during the original construction. I learned that it took 3-4 days with 8 oxen to bring down a chunk of granite. I really was in awe of that effort and dedication and vision they had.
Then I saw a segment on the Rome temple and was just again in awe of the beauty and the minute details. What really stood out to me was watching them create the statues of the original 12 apostles. They used huge machines to precisely create these magnificent replicas and what a feat to make but really, it just made me appreciate all the more the originals and thinking back on some of the great artists and sculptures.
I tried picturing what that would look like to create such a work of art. Not just how long but to chisel away and make those intricate details and expressions on their faces. I took one semester of pottery in college. It wasn’t my thing. I appreciate it so much but I don’t like the feel of it on my hands when it starts to dry so I didn’t get very far and I have no evidence of my creations because they were sorely lackluster but it gave me even more appreciation for those that do create amazing things.
I’m in awe that what starts as a chuck of a mountain can turn into something so exquisite. As my mind was spinning in this mode I thought about all of us. Sometimes we feel like that giant slab of granite, marble, stone. We feel stuck and undefined but deep down I also believe that most of us know that there is something unique and marvelous. We know we were meant for more but we’re just stuck.
When Michelangelo was asked how he had created the magnificent statue of an angel, he is reported to have simply said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
THIS is what I want to talk about today. I want to teach you how to set yourself free.
Gene R. Cook once said, “One of the great processes you go through in life is to discover yourself, to find those gifts and capacities God has given you. He has given you great talents, the smallest part of which you have just begun to utilize. Trust the Lord to assist you in unlocking the door to those gifts. Some of us have created imaginary limits in our minds. There is literally a genius locked up inside each of us. Don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise” (“Trust in the Lord,” in Hope , 90–91).
My youngest uses the word literally all the time.I laugh because he doesn’t know what it means yet and it’s just funny to hear him say it. But I’m inclined to believe brother Cook. There is literally a genius locked up inside you. It’s time to set her free.
Feeling stuck and feeling weighed down is optional and I’m going to teach this tool today that will change all of that for you.
I used to feel stuck. I had this idea in my mind of who and what I wanted to be, who I should be but I didn’t know how to do that, to become that. I would get so frustrated and disappointed with myself when I’d fall short.
I used to look up to (I still do) great, inspiring people that did amazing things in their lives like, Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Teresa (Love her!), Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nephi, Marjorie Hinckley (who was the cutest woman ever, right?). I’d read about them and be inspired by what they were able to do and who they were and then I’d also feel a tinge of this mixture of desire – of wanting to be like them but then stuck because I didn’t know how. I really believed that they were born with something that I didn’t have. That they were the lottery winners for charity, love, courage, kindness, enlightenment, strength.
I felt stuck. I felt stuck in my limitations and stuck in who I was and what I could really accomplish and when I thought that way I’d feel even more stuck and frustrated and disappointed. It wasn’t until I learned this one tool that my life really started to shift and spoiler alert – there’s no lottery. Those people that you look up to and love those qualities about them, you can have that too and I’m going to help you out with that.
I want to start with just the basics of how to start chiseling and getting ourselves out of feeling stuck.
And this stuckness (which is a word I just created, your welcome) is daily. It’s every roadblock. It’s when you feel stuck because these’s a lot going on and you don’t know what to do next. It’s when life offers you lemons and you can’t find the sugar. It’s big things like career changes, family changes and it’s the small things. This stuckness is everything – every roadblock. Whatever you’re stuck with right now. This is for you.
This concept is called, The Model. This is the basic ground foundational tool that I teach my clients. This model teaches you how things work. If something is stuck the model will show you why. It brings awareness to your mind so you can find another solution. I like to think of it as this beautiful math formula that takes your circumstances and shows you why you’re getting the results you’re getting. In this case, why you’re stuck.
The model consists of five parts: Basically, ****in life we have CIRCUMSTANCES. These circumstances trigger thoughts in our minds, it’s these thoughts that generate how we FEEL and how we feel motivates us into action or inaction. It’s our actions that create the results in our lives.
That’s the model in a nutshell.
It’s brilliant and beautiful and THIS is what it takes to start chiseling away at all the unwanteds, unservings in your life and set her free.
Let’s talk about circumstances for a minute. Circumstances are basically anything that’s out of your control. The weather is a circumstance. The current number on the scale is a circumstance. Factual dates. Other people, what they say, do, think, and feel is totally out of our control despite what you might want to think – they fall under the circumstance category.
Circumstances are by definition neutral. This means they don’t contain adjectives. They can’t be subjective. Nothing descriptive really or they jump down to the next step. Circumstances are facts. They can be proven in a court of law. People all over the world would agree, yes, the sky is blue. There are clouds in the sky. Very bland almost, boring because there aren’t any adjectives added yet. But also, these circumstances don’t mean anything – they’re not good nor are they bad, they just are until the next step in the model and this is really where all your power is, your agency is, that’s what you choose to THINK about those circumstances.
So in life we have circumstances, those circumstances trigger thoughts within us. For example, the current number on the scale is a circumstance. My youngest loves to hop on the scale. Everyday. He can’t wait until the number goes up and gets higher. I have a different thought about higher numbers on the scale especially when it’s me standing on it. The scale is still a scale. Numbers are just numbers. They’re just facts, circumstances. They’re neutral. They don’t mean anything until we decide what they mean, until we decide whether they’re good or bad.
People are just people. They’re circumstances. Neutral until I place a thought about them. Neutral until I add an adjective. Until I say things like, “loud, pretty, sweet, rude, tall, oblivious, self-righteous, prideful, kind, thoughtful, or thoughtless” See, these thoughts, these added words, these adjectives start to give us a picture, and image, a judgement and filter through which we’ll see our world.
If you believe that person is rude. You’re going to start looking for all the ways they’re rude. It’s now become your filter for which your brain is going to look for evidence to prove that true. See? They just walked away from that person, rude. But really, can you prove they’re rude? Can I put that in the circumstance category? No, it’s just a thought. There isn’t a blood test to prove that, yep! They’re rude. They’re just a human that said words or did an action.
Think about the people in your life. What are your thoughts about them?
This is important to know because too often we bypass this step. We go straight to our feelings. We’re so busy going from one thing to the next that we really only stop when we feel something. We feel uncomfortable. So we stop and we see that person and we assume that person made us feel uncomfortable. It was their actions, their words, their fault. But it wasn’t. Because THEY are a circumstance. What they did, said, felt was a circumstance which means, YOU had a thought about them, about their actions, about their words.
Those thoughts, that judgement you placed on that person generated a feeling inside of you.
Let me pause here and give you an example,
There was a girl I used to know that I struggled with a bit. She was highly competitive and whatever I did, she seemed to want to do that too and then try and one up me. This drove me bonkers. I felt a lot of things around her. I felt inadequate. I felt frustrated. I felt jealous. I felt annoyed. I felt uncomfortable when she was around me.
So every time I saw her I’d feel uncomfortable. I used to believe SHE made me uncomfortable. In my mind, that made sense. I felt fine until I saw her and then I wasn’t fine anymore. She made me uncomfortable. But thinking this way is a mistake and misplaced. It’s also a recipe for stuck-ness – which is a new word I made up. Stuck-ness – like it’s an ailment.
When I believed she could MAKE me feel uncomfortable I gave away all my power. Elder Bednar tells us that we are agents to ACT and not be acted upon. When I believe she MADE me feel something that’s me being acted upon, which simply isn’t true.
We were made to act and be agents unto ourselves.
So here’s where we need to take our power back.
When I saw her. It wasn’t that I felt something. She is just a circumstance. It’d be as if I walked into a Giants baseball game with thousands and thousands of people. There are just people. They’re circumstances. I Don’t have thoughts about them yet. They just are.
But with her. When I saw her, I had thoughts about her. I remembered things she did and words she said. I remembered telling her about something I was excited about and then her starting to do it to (and better).
It was THOSE thoughts that created how I felt. She is just a circumstance. What she did or does – a circumstance. It’s my thoughts that create how I feel. It’s my thoughts that keep me stuck in my marble slab. If I want to set her free. If I want to be free of those feelings that don’t serve me. Then I need to think different thoughts.
Please note: major side note: This is NOT a just think happy thoughts tool. If I try and tell myself, oh look! there she is, she’s amazing! MY brain will reject that because it doesn’t believe it yet. It’s like, no…don’t you remember her trying to one up you all the time? So the key isn’t to just switch to happy thoughts. The key is realizing that it’s not the circumstance that creates how you feel but your thoughts that create that.
YOU hold the key. You’re the only one that is keeping you stuck by the thoughts you’re choosing to think. This is where your power lies. You have agency to choose a different path if you want it.
Okay, these thoughts you have create how you feel. When I think, “she’s always trying to one up me!” It generates a feeling for me.
I might feel, angry, defensive, maybe I feel competitive back, or maybe I just feel insecure and sad.
These feelings are really important for us to be aware of because it’s these feelings that are going to drive us into action. Notice the difference here – which is why we need to be more articulate in naming our feelings – more than just good or bad –
When I feel angry I might snap at her.
When I feel defensive I might argue and take everything she says to me as an act of war
When I feel competitive back I’m going to do what she does and compete.
When I feel insecure I might withdraw and take the inaction approach.
Do you see how each feeling creates an entirely different action? THIS is why we need to be articulate in naming our feelings.
Our actions create our results. So if we don’t like what we’re creating – we don’t like what’s currently happening in our lives we need to figure out how we got here.
It’s just a math formula. You plug in the data and you’ll see why you’re creating the results you’ve got.
It takes a lot of practice so I want to give you a few more examples to help you out to see how you can feel empowered instead of stuck.
Here’s common one that I hear often – adjust it to fit you – but I’m sure it’ll resonate with a lot of you out there.
C: Number on the scale says _________fill in the blank
Sometimes we think, oh my goodness,
T: I’m so fat and ugly. I’ll never be as thin as I want to be.
When we think that we feel:
F: ashamed, I feel guilty, I feel disappointed in myself
When I feel that I way I am so not motivated to go out, to go and do, instead I
A: beat myself up, stay home, wear yoga pants, sit in front of the tv numbing out the world and eat the whole tube of oreos.
What result are you creating when you do that?
R: weight goes up, still not thin
So the cycle, that result keeps happening not because you’ll never be thin, but because you keep thinking that thought which keeps creating that feeling which keeps diving that action which keeps giving you that result.
I love what Einstein says, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
We have to change our thought. The thought – the believable thought creates a chain reaction. It changes the feeling, which changes the action, which gives us a different result.
Let’s run that model again with a different thought:
C: Number on the scale says ______________ fill in the blank
T: The number is just my gravitational pull to the earth. It’s just a number.
When I choose to think this – this is what I call a neutral thought – it’s a get out of negativity thought. It helps distance you from the negative side so you can start moving towards the positive. If you’re truly thinking I’m so fat and ugly you’ll need to start small and neutral.
When I think that thought, it’s just my gravitational pull to the earth. I feel
When I feel neutral I don’t beat myself up. I just move forward with my day.
When I move forward I’m creating a different result. I’m not eating the entire tube of oreos. I’m plugging along with small actions but those small actions create great results!
Then after I’ve practiced neutral for a while I step back on the scale – which is still a circumstance.
I see a number
I think, hey, It’s not as high as it was. Things are finally happening! yay!
When I think that, I feel excited, I feel positive, I feel happy
When I feel excited I want to go and do. I might look for more ways to be active and take care of my body. And when that’s my action, what’s my result?
That things are happening!
Do you see the progression? Do you see how powerful those thoughts are? Just by changing your line of thinking, even just a tiny smidgen it creates an entirely different result?
This is how you set yourself free. You chisel your way out of the marble one thought at a time.
Michelangelo said, “The greatest artist has no conception Which a single block of marble does not Potentially contain within its mass, But only a hand obedient to the mind Can penetrate to this image.”
Only your actions which are obedient to your thoughts can start to create the results you want – the change you want in your life.
Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “You are a child of God of infinite capacity” – infinite – you are infinite. Are you where you want to be? Are you on your way? If not, why not?
Ask yourself that question. Why not? Then listen to your thoughts because that’s why you’re not there yet. It’s not because you can’t be. You are infinite. You have infinite capacity to become who and what you want to become. The only reason you’re not there yet or that you don’t believe you can be is simply because of your thoughts.
Do you want to keep those thoughts?
Are they serving you?
Or are they keeping you stuck?
When I believed those inspiration people possessed talents and virtues that I didn’t have I felt stuck. I felt limited. I felt powerless.
I believed I didn’t have it and when I thought that, when I believed that. I felt stuck. I didn’t take action. My action was inaction and because of my inaction I remained stuck. It wasn’t that I didn’t have it, that I was born with it. I didn’t have it because I believed I didn’t have it. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t believe that anymore.
Joseph B. Wirthlin once said,
“We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming.”
One of my favorite words is possible. When I can’t quite believe a new thought yet. When my clients can’t quite believe a new thought yet as they’re trying to leave behind familiar, yet unhelpful thoughts. I have them use the word, “possible”.
When they struggle to believe they have something to offer. That they are of worth. That they’re enough. I have them insert the word, possible.
It’s possible I have something to offer. It’s possible I could be of worth. It’s possible I’m enough right now.
It’s not committing to believing it yet but it’s just opening the door that maybe I could believe that.
When they think that, “It’s possible that I have something to offer.” They feel hopeful. When they feel hopeful they’re more likely to try something new. To put themselves out there. When they take that action, they see that they have something to offer.
It’s never the circumstance that is the problem. Ever. The circumstances are neutral. Always. People can say things. They can do things. And they can’t hurt you. They can’t offend you. They can’t make you angry or feel inadequate. They’re just people. They’re circumstances and they’re neutral.
You feel hurt, offended, insecure, inadequate, afraid, angry, sad because of your thoughts. Whatever it is you’re feeling, it’s because of a sentence in your mind. If you’re feeling stuck it’s because you’re believing a thought. Your job is to find out what that thought is.
What is the thought that is creating that feeling?
If you’re feeling uncertain and insecure, ask yourself why?
Your mind will want to answer with questions. What if I’m not enough? What if they don’t like me? What if they think I’m __________?
NEVER ever ever let these questions go unanswered. Answer them. Who do you think is supposed to know? Answer them. If you really don’t know, pray and get those answers that He is so willing to tell you.
But it’s not the questions that create the feelings. It’s the subconscious answers that you’re not willing yet to own. It’s not the question, what if I’m not enough, it’s really the answer that you already think you’re not that creates the insecurity and inadequacy.
Those answers are just thoughts. What if it’s possible that you are enough?
Maybe it is possible. Try on that thought. See what a huge difference it makes in your life? One small change to your T line – your thought line creates a ripple effect that changes the entire model – that creates a completely different result.
I do want to point out one of the common problems people run into when they start practicing the model. They want to just straight to the happy. If I don’t have to feel this way anymore by just changing my thinking then let’s do that! And I want to offer to you that you need to understand your thinking and patterns first.
Use the model to uncover what’s currently happening and why it’s happening. Understand why you’ve been creating that in your life and question it. You have to uncover it, expose it, and understand it before you can move on effectively. Don’t rush it. Just keep practicing.
Once you understand why you were thinking that way and why you have the results you have then you can start making changes. It’s really difficult to go from one extreme to the other.
Pema Chodron once said that, “nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know …nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion…maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. but what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. if we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. it just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us.”
Those thoughts will keep coming back, you’ll keep getting the same results until you understand it. You’ll keep getting stuck until you learn what you need to learn. Then you change the thought for good. Then you can change the result for good.
This tool is powerful and really is the foundation for all the other tools I teach. It will unlock things in your life that you never knew existed. It is the key to your agency. It is your super power. That you have the ability to choose what to think despite the circumstances and ultimately create the results in your life.
You are not stuck. You are never stuck unless you choose to be. Use the model and chisel away until you set yourself free one thought at a time.
There’s an amazing person in there. Are you ready to meet her?
Have an exceptionally awesome week, my friends. As always, I would love to help you learn this more in depth and help you apply it to your lives so you can make huge progress and transformation. This work is unlike any other and goes so beautifully hand in hand with the gospel truths. I’m grateful for these tools in my life and I’d love to work with you and show you how to apply them in your life. Head over to my website and schedule a free consult call and let’s chat. Let’s start teaching you how to chisel away at the angel inside.
Talk to you next time!