#069 You Are The Thinker of Your Thoughts!

#069 You Are The Thinker of Your Thoughts!

You are not your thoughts; you are the thinker of your thoughts, and understanding this gives you power over your thoughts.

You Can’t Stop Thinking!

Because you are human, your brain is constantly at work, whether you are awake or asleep, whether you are concentrating or daydreaming, your brain is constantly thinking.

The goal of coaching isn’t to turn off your brain or to even control your thoughts.

The goal is to be able to be aware of your thoughts and to have the power to manage your thoughts.

You CANNOT control all of your thoughts.

My coach, Brooke Castillo, teaches that we have 60,000 thoughts per day. I recently read that 85% of our 60,000 thoughts are negative and that 95% of our daily thoughts are simply habitual thoughts that are repeated from day to day.

We can’t control all 60,000 thoughts, but you do have power over your thoughts.

My coach, Jim Fortin, teaches that “You are where your attention is.” He also teaches, “You are not at the mercy of your circumstances. You are at the mercy of your interpretations.”

You might not be able to control all 60,000 thoughts, but you can choose where you place your attention. You can choose how you interpret things.

To gain power over your thoughts, you need to first be aware of what’s actually going on.

There are Different Types of Thoughts

This is not an all-inclusive list. These are just a few common thoughts. 

  • Beliefs
    • These are thoughts that we believe to be true.  Many of our beliefs are unconscious beliefs, meaning we think them without even being aware of them.
    • These unconscious beliefs have the power to drive and influence our thinking patterns.  
  • Interpretations and Judgements
    • Interpretations are how we apply meaning to our circumstances.
    • Nothing has meaning until we give it meaning. 
    • Oftentimes we think our interpretations are factual. 
    • We have the power to choose our interpretations. 
    • Judgments are based on our interpretations of what is good/bad, right/wrong, desired/undesired, etc.  
    • Interpretations and judgments are influenced by our beliefs. 
  • Worries and Fears
    • These are thoughts that make us feel anxious, worried, and afraid. 
    • Our brains have evolved to find and focus on the negative (I call this catastrophizing).
    • I recently read that 85% of our thoughts are negative. 
  • Desire and Gratitude
    • These or the things that we want. You cannot want something without thinking about it. 
    • Gratitude is wanting what you have. 
  • Habitual Thoughts
    • These are thoughts that you think without even thinking about it. These thoughts are habits. 
  • Herd Mentality
    • Thoughts and beliefs that you have adopted as your own because they are the thoughts and beliefs of your herd. 
    • It’s part of human nature to think similar to those around you. 

YOU, Your Thoughts, Models, and Ways of BEing

Your thoughts drive your model. 

Your thoughts reflect your way of BEing. 

This is why it is so important to BE the thinker of your thoughts. 

As the thinker, you have the power to move your attention from unintentional thoughts to intentional thoughts. 

The thoughts you choose to place your attention on determines your identity. 

What you think and how you feel about yourself is your identity.

This is how the Self-Coaching Model and the Be, Do, Have Model go hand in hand. 

How you think and feel is your way of BEing. 

The Self-Coaching Model and the Be, Do, Have Model or tools to help you understand and be intentional with your attention.

Are You the Hero of Your Stories?

The stories you tell reflect your thoughts. 

Stories show up in how we talk to others and how we talk to ourselves. 

I call the stories in your own head your personal narrative. 

It’s important to be aware of these stories and how they impact our lives. 

In your stories, you can either show up as the hero or the victim. 

If you’re like most parents, you’ve been guilty of positioning yourself as the victim from time to time. 

This usually looks like blaming others and/or complaining about others.  This looks like focusing on things outside of your control. 

When you position yourself as the hero, you take responsibility and you focus on things within your control. 

The stories you allow yourself to tell impact how you feel and act. 

Your stories create your reality.

Thought Disrupter Steps/Dialog

  1. Be aware of the thought. 
    • “This is simply a thought.”
  2. Distance yourself from the thought.
    • “This is just a thought. It’s NOT me!” 
  3. Acknowledge that the thought has served you in the past, but that is not serving you now.
    • “Thinking, “My teen is ruining his life,” has helped me be aware of potential dangers, but it is ruining my relationship with him now.”
  4. Dismiss the thought. 
    • “I dismiss this thought NOW!”
  5. Move your attention to the new/intentional thought. 
    • “I move my attention to the thought that his experiences will work for his good and growth (new/intentional thought).”

Jim Fortin teaches, “You are where your attention is.”

Where is Your Attention?

You have the power to choose where you will place your attention. 

Call to ACTION!

#1 Come join me in the Firmly Founded Parent Membership!

#2 Come hang out with us at our Firmly Founded Family Fall Festival on October 9th, 2021 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm MST.

#069 You Are The Thinker of Your Thoughts!

#068 what are Your Values?

Understand the power your values have and then choose values that serve you!

Do You Know What Your Values Are?

If you are like most people, you have a pretty good idea of what your personal values are, but I’m guessing you don’t really spend a lot of time thinking about it.

Sometimes when I work with teens who think that they have no values.

Everyone has values, but most people don’t take the time to identify them or really even think about them.

That’s okay, but it can sometimes be hard to know exactly what your values are.

Sometimes we think one thing is a value when in reality it’s the exact opposite that is your value.

How To Identify Your Values.

Your values live in your subconscious thoughts. Usually, you don’t even know about them, but they still impact your actions and behaviors.

Your values are a way of BEing. You live and express your values subconsciously without even thinking.

Your values drive you.

Your current results and reality are a reflection of your values.

“Whatever you have and do not have is a reflection of your values.”
~ Jim Fortin

So, if you want to know exactly what your values are, look at your results.

Oftentimes people will tell me that their health is their top value and then when I ask about their health they tell me, “Well I’m not there yet,” or “I’m working on getting healthy.”

In this example, their results don’t reflect the value of health because it’s not their driving value.

Sometimes people tell me that they want to be healthy, but they can’t stop eating junk food and binge-watching Netflix all day.

These results would indicate that their driving values are comfort, satisfaction, and being entertained.

I have one client who told me that he valued working hard, taking risks, having lots of responsibility, but he is in a job that he hates. When I asked why he told me about the security he has in his job, the comfort that is salary affords him.

In this example, he values comfort and security more than he values working hard, taking risks, and having lots of responsibility.

These are examples of Conflicting Values.

Conflicting Values

We all have conflicting values; it’s part of being human.

But when you become aware of this, you gain the power to choose one value over the other.

For example, you might have conflicting values of BEing healthy and BEing a “Foodie.”

It might make it hard to be healthy if you value eating lots of good food.

I struggled with this. As a former lineman/football player, I valued eating lots of food. It was comforting, and I was kind of proud that I could out eat everyone.

Turns out this value makes it hard to be healthy.

When we have conflicting values, the value that offers the most immediate reward usually wins.

When we have conflicting values, the value that offers the most intense pleasure usually wins.

In this case, good, tasty, satisfying foot beats out boring old health.

This is where choice plays a vital role.

You Get to Choose Your Values!

You have a choice!

You are not at the mercy of your values. You get to choose your values.

You can either accept the values that are creating your results or choose new values that create new results.

Stuck between yummy food and health, you get to choose.

I’m not saying it will be easy, but I am saying that you have a choice.

And, if you want to get different results, you will need to develop some different values.

Most people go through life unintentionally living according to a set of values that they are barely aware of.

You have the advantage that you can gain some awareness surrounding your values. With that awareness, you can now be intentional and start choosing different values.

Call to ACTION!

#1 Come join me in the Firmly Founded Parent Membership!

#2 Come hang out with us at our Firmly Founded Family Fall Festival on October 9th, 2021 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm MST.

#069 You Are The Thinker of Your Thoughts!

#058 Your Habitual Beliefs Are Holding You Back!

Some of your beliefs that used to be super beneficial might now be holding you back.

“You are not your habits. You are not your urges. You are not your habit voice telling you to go into your habits. (. . .) You cannot change your habits by fighting them.”
~ Jim Fortin

What are Habitual Beliefs?

Habitual beliefs are beliefs that are simply habits. If you’re like most people, you think and believe them without even realizing it. Just like most other habits, you’ve thought and believed these beliefs so many times that they come completely natural to you and it all happens unconsciously.

Most people believe their habitual thoughts are actually fact or truth. When this happens, you start to incorporate your habitual beliefs as part of your identity.

Habitual beliefs create habitual emotions. Emotions that underscore other emotions.

For me, it sometimes looks like this.

Ben’s Habitual Belief: “I’m not good enough” . . . or . . . “I’m doing this wrong.”
Ben’s Habitual Emotion: Self-Doubt . . . or . . . Shame

There was a time were I regularly thought this without even realizing it. These ideas that, “I’m not good enough,” or “I’m doing this wrong,” made me feel inadequate in everything I did, from parenting to being a principal, to starting my life coach business.

These habitual beliefs were holding me back.

The good news, the best news ever, is that you don’t have to continue believing these habitual beliefs!

You can let them grow and choose your own beliefs.

Where Did Your Habitual Beliefs Come From and How Do They Benefit You?

Developing awareness is one of the most powerful things you can do in all areas of your life. I talk about awareness ALL OF THE TIME! So, here we go again.

It’s powerful to understand where these habitual beliefs came from and when you started developing the habit of thinking this way. This awareness and understanding will give you the power to shift your beliefs.

If you’re like me, the belief, “I’m not good enough,” started when you were very young. You may have had teachers and parents tell you, “You need to do better . . . ,” or “You need to be better . . . ” Maybe you were compared to a “smarter” or “better” sibling or friend. At some point, you adopted the belief that you aren’t good enough and then you developed this habit over the space of years.

Take some time to really explore where your habitual beliefs came from. When did you start thinking this way?

Next, explore, “How have these beliefs served me”?

For me, thinking “I’m not good enough” has kept me safe and comfortable. I didn’t take the risk of trying out for the high school basketball team because I believed, “I’m not good enough.” That belief benefited me because I didn’t have to do something hard. I didn’t have to put myself in a position to possibly be cut from the team and embarrassed.

Everything you believe benefits you on some level. Find the benefits so you are fully aware of what’s going on.

How Are Your Habitual Beliefs No Longer Benefiting You?

Now that you’ve taken some time to understand where these beliefs came from and how they benefit you, you’re ready to do the easy part.

How are these habitual beliefs no longer benefiting you?

When I believe, “I’m not good enough” I hold myself back. I feel regular self-doubt. I don’t take risks, and I don’t do scary things like building my business.

How are your beliefs no longer benefiting you?

One of my clients had the habitual belief, “Bad grades can ruin your life.” For her, this belief started at a very young age. She was told that she needed to get good grades to be successful. This belief has benefited her in her life because she earned very good grades. She got scholarships to help her go to college. She learned how to work hard.

But, she realized that this belief was no longer serving her. When she applied this belief to her teen she felt scared, which led to the action of her trying to control and/or fix her teen and make him get better grades, which created the result of a lot of tension in their relationship.

Choosing New Habitual Beliefs

YOU have the power to choose what you will think and believe. You have the power to choose what thoughts and beliefs you will give attention to. You are where your attention is.

You don’t have to be driven by your old habitual beliefs.

They may have benefited you in the past, but if they are no longer benefiting you, you can choose new beliefs.

The power of choosing your own habitual beliefs is that 90% of what you do is habit-based. If you want better results, develop better habits. If you want a better reality, cultivate better habitual beliefs.

The beliefs that have gotten you here are not the same beliefs that will get you to your goals.

The hard part is that most people identify as their habits. If you’re like most people, you see your habits as a part of who you are. This makes you a slave to your habitual beliefs.


You are not your thoughts, you are the thinker of your thoughts.

You are not your habits. You are the doer of your habits.

You are the thinker of your habitual beliefs.

You are not your habitual beliefs. Your habitual beliefs are simply your thoughts! You get to control them.

How to Shift Your Habitual Beliefs

  1. Distance yourself from the habitual belief
    • Anytime you think the undesired habitual belief, think to yourself:
      • “That’s not me. It’s just one of my beliefs.”
    • This will help you to stop identifying as your habitual belief.
      • You are not the belief, you are the thinker of the belief.
  2. Acknowledge that the belief has served you in the past, but that this belief no longer serves you.
    • This belief isn’t good or bad. No need for shame.
    • You’re grateful that this thought used to serve you. It got you to where you are today. But,
    • This way of thinking does not serve you any longer. It does not connect you to your desired result.
  3. Dismiss the old belief and move your attention to your new belief.
    • You can say, “I dismiss my old belief NOW,” and/or
    • “I move my attention to . . . (insert the new intentional belief).

Call to ACTION!

I’m getting ready to launch my BETA program for parents, Impact Parenting Program. And I want YOU to help me make it the best program ever.

If you are interested in getting in at founding member pricing (a huge discount) and helping me build something that will benefit parents of teens just like you, click the link below to get on the waitlist, and I’ll notify you when I’m ready to launch.

#069 You Are The Thinker of Your Thoughts!

#056 What are your Parenting values?

Most parents go through life never really thinking about what their values are.

“Whatever you have and do not have is a reflection of your values.”
~ Jim Fortin

What are Values?

Values are your beliefs about what is and is not important. Values are our principles, standards, and priorities.

Values are deep-seated beliefs and ways of thinking that motivate and drive our actions.

Your values live in your subconscious thoughts. Usually, you don’t even know about them, but they still impact your actions and behaviors, such as unconscious habits.

Your values are a way of BEing. You live and express your values subconsciously without even thinking.

Your values drive you.

Your current results and reality are a reflection of your values.

“Whatever you have and do not have is a reflection of your values.”
~ Jim Fortin

What are YOUR Values?

If you’re like most people, you’ve never stopped to think, “What are my values? What values am I going to let drive my life today?”

You’ve probably just lived your life without putting much thought into your values.

If you want to know what your values are, look at your current reality.

Once I claimed to value health. My life chuckled at me later that night when I scooped out an extra HUGE bowl of ice cream. My reality showed me that I valued taste, comfort, and immediate satisfaction over health and delayed gratification.

What is your current reality and what is it telling you about your values?

Are you fighting with your teen a lot? You might value control or being right.

Do you feel miserable in your job? You might value freedom. The fact that you have a job may indicate that you value money and paying bills.

How do you feel in your current relationships? What are your relationships telling you about your values?

Your Values Belong to You, NOBODY ELSE!

Your values belong to you and nobody else. You can’t force your values on anyone else. You can’t expect others to live up to your values, value your values, or meet your needs associated with your values.

Your values are yours.

Many of us share values. Some are outer values like religion, politics, sports teams. Many of us share inner values like integrity, hard work, freedom.

Ultimately it’s your job to live aligned with your values.

It’s nice when people value our values, but that’s not within our control.

I invite you to respect and value the values of others. It doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them or go against your values, just don’t try to change them to embrace your values.

Love languages is a great example of this.

You’re empowered by knowing your love languages. It’s powerful knowing your spouse’s love language. But it’s not your job to meet their emotional needs. It’s yours. Same with values.

It’s Possible to Live Conflicting Values

Sometimes people live with conflicting values. This causes emotional discomfort.

Understand & Choose Your Values

Seek to understand your current values. Look at your current results and reality for evidence of what your values are. When you develop this awareness and understanding, you can develop more intentionality.

When you understand what values are creating your current reality, you can choose if you want to continue allowing those values to drive your life.

You have the power to choose your values.

You have the power to let go of values that no longer serve you.

Recently I chose to let go of my value of Hard Work. I was raised on a farm. I grew up milking cows, hauling hay, and working with large animals. It was hard work. I learned to value hard work. I believed that my value was tied to my ability to work hard.

A few years ago, when I injured my back, I started questioning the value of hard work.

A few months ago I was completely booked solid. I was working hard in my business, but I wasn’t happy. Hard work had trumped my values of Freedom and Family. I had to take a look at my values and intentionally choose which values I would let drive my business.

Some of My Current Values

  • Freedom
  • Family
  • Relationships
  • Personal Growth
  • Service
  • Honesty
  • Faith
  • Kindness
  • Impact and Influence

Call to ACTION!

Join our parenting membership. You can transform yourself as a parent!

Stop worrying that you are doing it all wrong, and join the Firmly Founded Parent TODAY!

This is the first and most powerful step in changing from the inside out when it comes to your parenting.

#069 You Are The Thinker of Your Thoughts!

#054 How to Parent On the Same Team!

Parenting on the same page may not mean what you think it means.

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
~ Phil Jackson

What Does It Even Mean to “Parent On the Same Page”?

To answer this I have to be honest, I am not even sure what this means. I’ve had parents tell me that parenting on the same page means that:
“Parents are on the same wavelength” . . . or . . .
“They are of the same mind” . . . or . . .
“They agree on how to parent” . . . or . . .
“They do the same things” . . . or . . .
“They parent as one.”

I don’t actually think that much of this is possible or realistic, and as a result, many parents think that there is something wrong with them and/or their spouse.

The Myth of Parenting on The Same Page

The myth of parenting on the same page is that it will “fix” all of your problems in your relationship and with your teens.

The myth is that when you parent on the same page, you will magically agree with everything that your spouse does. Or even better yet, they will magically agree with everything that you do.

The Problem with “Same Page” Parenting

I have many problems with same page parenting.

I’ve seen spouses manipulate each other in name of “Parenting on the Same Page.” I’ve seen one parent try to control, change, or fix the other parent, convinced that they are the whole problem.

I’ve seen parents dilute themselves, and parent totally out of alignment to their values in an effort to be more like their spouse.

The problem with this is that it is hard to be something that you are not. It is hard to parent in a way that is not aligned with your parenting values and vision. Often one partner is left sacrificing themselves and their values and personal strengths for the sake of parenting on the same page.

Oftentimes parents will both abandon their values and inner strengths in an effort to meet in the middle somewhere. Now you’ve got two parents parenting out of alignment with their personal values and strengths.

When parents try to parent on the same page, one or both often begin to see themselves as a victim in the relationship, at the mercy of the other.

Why It’s Important to Parent on the Same Team, Not on the Same Page

By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that I love sports analogies. They make sense in my brain.

Look at your parenting relationship with your spouse as being on a team.

On teams, there are different members of the same team who have different strengths, skills, and values.

This is a good thing. You have QBs who have the value of being seen and making the impossible throw. They love being in the spotlight and making the big play when it counts the most. They know everyone is watching and they love the added pressure.

On the other hand, think of the lineman whose value is to protect the quarterback and help him look good. They just quietly go about doing their job because it’s inline with their values. They know that no one watches the line, and they love it. They don’t have to deal with the pressure of being in the spotlight.

In addition to having very different values, they also have very different strengths and skills. Could you imagine a QB trying to get his offensive line to all adopt his values and skills and strengths?

When you parent from the mentality of being on the same team, you empower the other parent to embrace their values, strengths, and skills to be the best that they can be.

You allow them to be them.

You trust that what they bring to the team is exactly what is needed. You notice and appreciate what they bring to the table.

How Parent on the Same Team (even when you’re NOT on the same page)

  1. Define Your Own Values
    • If you’re like most parents, you’ve never taken the time to define your own values.
    • DO IT!
    • This will help you know what is truly important to you.
    • Look to your current reality and results.
      • Some values you may want to ditch.
      • Some values you will want to double down on.
  2. Define Your Own Role and Purpose
    • It’s no one’s job but your own to tell you what your job is as a parent.
    • Clearly define who you want to be as a parent.
    • This will help guide you in tough parenting moments.
  3. Explore Your Own Strengths and Skills
    • Believe it or not you have strengths and skills that no one else has!
    • You are uniquely equipped to help your teen in ways that no one else can.
    • Know your strengths and play to them.
    • Develop and hone your skills as a parent.
  4. Seek to Understand and Appreciate Your Spouse as They Are
    • Your spouse has their own values.
    • They have their own role and purpose.
    • They have their own strengths and skills.
    • Appreciate that they bring things to the table that you simply can’t do.
  5. Find Ways to Be on THEIR Team!
    • You don’t have to be the team captain.
    • It’s usually easier to join their team than to get them to join yours.
    • Find ways to support them and make them look good!
    • Protect them.
    • Help them thrive and succeed.

Call to ACTION!

Become A Firmly Founded Parent today. You can transform yourself as a parent!

Stop worrying that you are doing it all wrong, and join the Firmly Founded Parent TODAY!

This is the first and most powerful step in changing from the inside out when it comes to your parenting.