How to Coach Yourself Through Any Circumstance

Through my life journey and my coaching training, I have learned a great deal about coaching models that clients can use. Fortunately, I came across one by Brooke Castillo, which happens to also be a self-coaching model. Not only have I found this model to be useful with clients, but it has also helped me to coach myself through many situations. Several people have used this model in their lives and have witnessed great results.

The backbone of this model lies in the following truths: Circumstances are neutral, which means that we give meaning to our circumstances based on how we choose to perceive them. It is not our circumstances themselves, but our thoughts about our circumstances that creates our experiences in this world. Our thoughts then attract certain feelings that cause our actions. We cannot create permanent change without changing our thoughts, and we can feel better just by changing our mentality about our circumstances. Our lives improve when we intentionally choose thoughts that serve us better.

I have implemented this model in my life because I am pleased with the results it produces. I feel better simply knowing that negative thoughts are optional; and I choose thoughts that serve me better and create positive results in my life.

The model is known as “CTFAR,” which stands for:






C: Circumstances are neutral. The perception that we have about a situation can determine whether it is a positive or negative circumstance. This can even be proven in a court of law and by science.

T: Our thoughts, including what we tell ourselves about our circumstances, establishes how we live. Sometimes, we create unnecessary drama or invite negativity into our lives through our viewpoints. The way in which a circumstance is read and interpreted is subjective, not universally agreed upon, so each individual chooses how to identify a situation.

F: Feelings (emotions) are triggered by the thoughts we have about our circumstances.

A: Feelings cause us to act a certain way, which can be positive or negative depending on the thoughts we had and the feelings we experienced.

R: The results of our actions typically confirm our mindset by providing evidence that supports our thoughts.

Now it’s time to show you how to apply this model! An effective way to do so is to address it in two parts: unintentional thoughts and intentional thoughts. I will use myself as a case study.


Case Study

Unintentional Thoughts Model:


Circumstance: Being a physician mom with young children

Thoughts: How did I end up in a career that leaves no room for my young kids?

Feelings: Trapped, frustrated, inadequate

Actions: Stick with the status quo

Results: Lack of a balanced life  

Intentional Thoughts Model:

Circumstance: Being a physician mom with young children

Thoughts: How can I design a life where I can be there for my family and still have a great career?

Feelings: Empowered, happy, optimistic

Actions: Research how to achieve a balanced life

Results: Work on creating flexibility in my life

If the intentional thoughts you choose do not work for you, try replacing them with different thoughts until you find what best serves you. I hope you found this helpful. Happy thinking!

If you have questions please contact me at

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