We’re wrapping up the end of 2020 – and just like in other years, I’ve noticed people starting to think about what they’ve done this year and what they plan to do next year. I’ve seen lots of comments and invitations for Vision Board workshops and I know in a few weeks we’ll be hearing about resolutions.
So, I’m curious if there is something in your life you are working towards right now or something you’d like to have, but don’t yet have? I have a suggestion of how you can get that result for yourself.
We create our own results, not specifically because of what we do or don’t do, but because of the thought process that creates the emotion that drives our actions.
So, for example, 2 people can be doing the same things, one person from a place of confidence and the other from a place of obligation and even though they’re taking the same actions, they could get different results. So in short- our thoughts create our results – right?
The second basic I’ll tell you about is that right now we’re thinking our current way, which is getting us our current results. And we can see the results that we want to create (but don’t have yet) and those new results will be created by thoughts that we’re not currently thinking – yet. Does that make sense?
In my coaching community, we affectionately call the divide: noticing the difference between what we have now to what we want, and noticing what we’re thinking now to what we could be thinking – we call that divide “the River of Misery.”
Imagine you’re on this shore of the river thinking what you’re currently thinking, feeling how you’re currently feeling, doing the things you’re currently doing and getting your current results. And you can see on the other shore the result that you really, really want. You know in order to get that result, you have to do different things, you need to feel a different way and think different thoughts. So how do we get across to that other shore? We cross the River of Misery.
We change our thinking. We allow ourselves to experience emotions we’re not feeling right now. We take different actions that we’re not taking yet and we stop doing things we are doing now. This is change. Many of us are resistant to change. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. It can be new and challenging and unknown – and that’s why it’s called the River of Misery instead of the River of Fun and Ease!
Today I’m giving you the formula to figure out how you can cross that river. The formula is both a metaphor and an acronym. It’s a raft. I call it the Results Raft. You know, like a simple vessel to get you from where you are now to where you want to be on the other side.
Just to review one other basic in order to do this work and learn how to use this raft, the coaching framework I use on myself and with my clients is called the Model. I introduced you to the Model way back in one of my earliest posts and then I shared a variation of it called the Last Best Thing Model (which is one of the most fun ways to use the model).
The Results Raft, that I’m telling you about today, is another variation of the Model.
Refresher of the Model
Every problem any of us ever have, every improvement any of us ever want to make can be plugged into the model. It’s just an easy-to-remember way to dissect any situation in order to notice what you’re thinking, feeling, doing and creating.
When we go in the order as it’s traditionally used, first we identify the neutral circumstance, the fact that everyone would agree to. It’s a word or a sentence that has no modifiers and no charged language. The circumstance, or fact, could be proven in a court if necessary.
The Neutral Circumstance
Finding the neutral circumstance is so helpful because frequently we believe our thoughts as if they are the indisputable facts. We think our thoughts without disputing them.
If you’ve ever caught yourself saying “she’s so mean” or “this situation is tragic” – even if most people would agree with you, those are still your thoughts, those aren’t circumstances. Instead, to make those statements into a neutral circumstance, we would strip out the story and just state the facts. So instead of saying “she’s so mean” we would say “she turned and walked away from me after I asked her a question.” Or, instead of saying “it’s tragic” we can say “X number of deaths have been reported due to Y event.”
So we’ve identified our C – our circumstance.
Thought and Action
The next thing we do is identify our T – the thought we have about the circumstance. That’s when we could use those first example statements: (“she turned and walked away after I asked her a question”) – I think she’s mean. She’s mean is my thought.
Then, we figure out what feeling comes up for us when we think that thought. When I think someone is being purposefully mean to me, I feel offended. So, that’s the next line in the model, the F line is offended in this example. Then we notice what we do and what we don’t do when we’re feeling that feeling.
So what do I do when I feel offended? Maybe I try to offend back. Maybe I complain to someone else. Maybe I retreat. What don’t I do when I feel offended? I don’t keep an open, unconditionally loving mind. I don’t put myself in the other person’s shoes. You get the idea. Now we have a short list of actions – this is the A line.
What’s my Result?
And finally, I can ask myself, what’s my result when I try to offend someone and I complain and I’m not loving and don’t have an open mind and don’t try to put myself in another person’s shoes? What am I creating for myself?
Quite possibly, the result is that I show up meaner than I would like. Maybe the mean side of me comes out. That’s my R. That’s my result.
That was just a quick refresher on how the model works. So now, let’s talk about today’s variation- the Results Raft.
Did you notice how the result I created in that example I just gave very closely resembled the original thought I came up with when she turned and walked away? I thought she was mean, and my result was that the mean side of me came out (unintentionally).
The model demonstrates how much our thoughts create our results – like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Why use a Result Raft?
If our thoughts are going to be self-fulfilling- let’s choose thoughts that fulfill the orders we want, rather than the orders we don’t want! Going back to the question I asked you at the beginning, is there something in your life you are working towards right now or something you’d like to have but don’t yet have? Let’s fulfill that order!
We’ll use the model backwards to reverse engineer a thought you can practice thinking intentionally.
I told you this tool, this raft, is a metaphor – meaning it helps you get across the River of Misery from where you are now to where you want to be.
The Letters R, A, F, T
It’s also an acronym. The letters R, A, F, T represent 80% of the model in reverse. Let’s start with the Result you want- name it. Describe it. Write it down.
Then figure out what actions you need to take and what you need to stop doing both mentally and actually in order to create that result for yourself.
Name them, Describe them and write those actions down.
Now, look at the list of actions you’ll start doing and the actions you’ll stop doing. Think of what emotion -what feeling- would drive those behaviors. And finally, think of what intentional thought you could to think to create that emotion for yourself?
Real Life Raft Example
About a week ago, I got the idea that it would be cool to try to get more reviews on Apple Podcasts. I know in the past, reviews really helped podcasts get noticed and recommended to new listeners – but to be honest, I don’t know if reviews are still as important and I don’t know how many reviews would be needed to make a difference. But even so, I decided, maybe for vanity, or ego, or just the fun of experimentation, I want to try to increase my reviews. I wondered what number I should shoot for?
What if I could get a review for each episode that I’ve posted by the end of 2020 – so, counting the trailer, that will be 55 episodes- challenge accepted! I’ll get 55 reviews by the end of the year.
If I plug this result into the Result Raft it sounds like this:
R- 55 reviews on Apple podcasts
A – ask for reviews, tell people how to write a review, track the reviews I have, notice who I know who hasn’t left a review, get creative about encouraging people to write reviews, and internally – believe it’s possible that I can get about 40 reviews in 15 days (when I’ve only gotten 15 in 350 days so far) also, overcome any hesitation about asking and reminding.
Those are the actions I have started and stopped doing, both internally and externally.
What feeling do I need to do all those things? Maybe you’re thinking I need to feel motivated to take those actions. That might work, but I chose to feel determined. I have made a firm decision and I’m resolved not to change it.
What thought makes me feel determined? Here’s one: I’m all in on getting these reviews! Here’s another one: I’m not leaving anything to chance!
That’s what I’ve been intentionally thinking since I set this goal. And I’m determined to do it and I’m taking action every day and checking my reviews and thinking of more people to ask and more ways to remind and encourage.
Obstacles with a Results Raft
I’m sure this sounds straightforward and maybe motivating and inspiring. But let’s be honest: Resistance is going to pop up. There are always obstacles on every journey, especially when you’re crossing a River of Misery on a raft. Here are some obstacles to watch out for when you’re using a Results Raft.
Once you’ve written out the 4 letters and filled in the lines, you might start to feel a lack of belief. You might not be sure it will work. The protective, comfort-seeking part of your brain might offer you a lot of resistance. That’s why for my goal, I decided to choose the intentional feeling of determined instead of motivated. I knew I would probably not feel motivated all the time. I knew I needed a feeling that meant I would take action even if my belief slipped. You can remind yourself of this natural order of events about your own goals and the results you are trying to create for yourself. Of course it’s possible you may feel doubt and your belief could falter. Be prepared for that and keep going back to your intentional thought and feeling. Stay on your Raft! Keep crossing that river!
Another obstacle you could face on your journey is distraction. I’m going to go ahead and suggest that your distraction away from the goal you want to create for yourself could be a form of resistance (what a surprise, right?) So, if you know you are prone to distraction, plan for it. Maybe even build in a strategy for overcoming distraction in the intentional thought you think. Or specify actions in your A line of your raft that will overcome your distraction. For example, maybe you stop doing some activities (social media or spending time with certain people while you’re working on achieving your result).
Another obstacle to successfully reaching your destination on your raft could be a mid-stream re-negotiation. You could get ⅓ or ½ way and start wondering if this is even what you really want? Again, this is so natural and normal and human. And, you can plan for it in advance. Before you even start, you can come up with 20 reasons why this achievement is important to you and why you won’t quit, or turn back or dial it down. Then, when you hit the rough parts, instead of just 1 reason to keep going, you have 19 more to remind yourself of.
What to Do With Your Raft
Use it everyday. You know I’m a big fan of writing things down, re-reading what I’ve written and repeating mantras for myself. Remind yourself of your Results Raft every day.
Notice your resistance at every stage – do you have resistance to the thought you decided to think? Are you resisting feeling the emotion you’ve decided on. Do you not feel like doing the actions that will get you your result? Notice that resistance and release it!
How Will You Use a Raft?
What do you think- will you use a Result Raft (like I’m doing to create my result of meeting my review goal?)
What will you use your raft for?
Do you have any resistance to reverse-engineering the goals you want to accomplish?
Is there anything that I left out or didn’t explain clearly enough?
Help Me Cross My River
In the spirit of my own Results Raft – help me get across my river (this one isn’t really miserable, it’s kind of fun)! If you haven’t already left me a review on Apple Podcasts, please give me 3 more minutes of your time after you finish reading this today and tell me what you think about this podcast.
What’s been your favorite episode? What do you like about hearing about resistance from me? How have you changed your own behaviors or feelings or thoughts because you’ve been listening (or reading the shownotes)?
Would you leave me a review! It’s super easy and will take you less than 3 minutes – it will mean the WORLD to me!
You can do this from an iPhone in the Apple Podcast app. Or, if you don’t have an iPhone, you can do it from a computer.
1. Click here to get into Apple Podcasts and on to my show (you may need to click the button that says Listen on Apple Podcasts or login to Apple) https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/release-your-resistance/id1490355269
2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap on “Write a Review”.
3. If you’re not already signed into iTunes, you will be asked to enter your iTunes password to login.
4. Tap the stars to leave a rating.
5. Enter a review title text and content to leave a review. Tap Send.
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Do you want to get a summary of questions to create your own Result Raft? It’s included in the companion workbook, along with many of the exercises and worksheets that go along with each of the other posts on this site – so no matter when you joined me, and no matter what you’re currently working on, if you download the companion workbook you should be able to follow along with most of the worksheets and exercises that I mention. Go get that pdf right now.