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Ep. 120 – Revisiting the Model

The thoughts we have are very powerful to the results we have in our life, especially when you are moving past divorce and picking up the pieces to your next best life. In this episode, Jeff and Doreen discuss a helpful tool called the Model that will  clarify how this works.


Jeff: Good day, everyone. In today’s episode, we’re going to revisit the model. So if you are ready, let’s get started.

Doreen: Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaffa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create the life after divorce that you deserve and desire. As partners both in marriage and coaching, we use our expertise as well as our own personal experiences to help you make the next chapter of your life the best chapter.

Hey, Jeff.

Jeff: Hey, Doreen. How are you?

Doreen: I’m good. I’m good. I’m good. Now we’re going to talk about the model today.

Jeff: Three goods. I like that. Good, good, good. You know, the model is I would consider our number one coaching tool that we use for our clients, and it helps find the core root of the symptom, understanding it, you know, the model and how it works. You know, it will let you sow the seeds of success, they say.

Doreen: Well, let’s explain a little bit more fundamentally about it.

Jeff: Okay. Well, the fundamental theory is that our thoughts about our circumstances cause our feelings, which then causes our actions or, of course, inactions. And that leads us to the results in our lives.

Doreen: I like to say that if your results in your life are not what you want in any area of your life, especially when you’re rebuilding your life after divorce or during the divorce process, really focused in and you’re getting results that you’re like, this doesn’t align with what my future goals are.

What I feel good about, you know, all of this stuff. I probably could use the model to figure it out. I also like using the model and we recommend it with goal setting, right? Because in order to reach your goals, you have to have the right thoughts.

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: Because and what’s really interesting is that most people, not all, but many of us, don’t even realize what we’re thinking, right? I mean, if you sit and concentrate, you’ll know what your thoughts are. But most of us just go through our day, not really thinking, well, why do I choose to have this thought and what are the results and what’s going to happen with my feeling, action and result line? If I have this thought versus another thought.

Jeff: You really have to study yourself because, you know, again, I think we have anywhere from 60 to 70000 thoughts per day. So you can analyze and study each and every thought. But when you uncover the thought and the feeling, you know, and feeling that causes the action and that results in something negative in your life, right? That’s when you could do something about it.

Doreen: Right. And the opposite to if you have positive results in your life, it’s probably because you’re having it’s not probably we want to suggest it’s always, it’s always because you’re having positive thoughts that are fueling your feelings and actions that are causing those results in your life. Right. So really a great tool. Love it.

Jeff: It also empowers you that you have the power to control almost everything. Again, there I use the word almost, but you can control everything in your life. All your reading.

Doreen: You really can. And you can create a life that you want to design after divorce on purpose, which is really cool stuff.

Jeff: Let’s break it down.

Doreen: Let’s break it down. Right. And let’s jump in. All right, So let me first talk about what each letter that we’re going to talk about, the word that it stands for and then we can break it down.

Jeff: Sounds good to me.

Doreen: Okay. So C is for a circumstance, right? Then we’re going to have a thought about a circumstance. So T for thought, then we’re going to have a feeling so F for feeling about our thought. Then we’re going to have A or it could be in action. So A is for action. Right. And then we’re going to have R which is result.

Jeff: So if you look at it and in action is still in action.

Doreen: Correct. It’s the decision not to take action, which is an action. Which sounds weird.

Jeff: It is weird, but it’s true.

Doreen: But it’s true. But it’s true. So it’s again c it’s going to be C T F A R, okay. And like, what we like to do is if you really want to practice this and do it on a very conscious level, right?

Because like we said, most people don’t recognize the thoughts that they’re having throughout the day. But if you’re feeling something, you don’t want to feel like you’re angry or upset or even something you do want to feel, this is a great time to notice your feeling and then write this down. The C T F A R and then put the word circumstance, thought, feeling, action, result, and just identify what you’re thinking that’s causing that feeling.

And the beauty about using this model is that you can start anywhere. It might be that you recognize a feeling and maybe a result in your life that you recognize, and then you work up what we call the model. It could be a circumstance that happened to you, so let’s dive in. So the first thing is a circumstance is something that is out of our control, right?

For example, we can’t control people or past the weather, and it’s always going to be a fact. While we can’t control our circumstances, we can control everything else, including what we decide to think and how we decide to feel and how we decide to behave. Right? So a circumstance is something we like to say is something that can be proved as a matter of law, Right?

Nobody would disagree. Right. So, for example, right now, today’s Thursday where we are, right. Thursday, it’s a fact. So the circumstance would be Thursday.

Jeff: It’s Thursday.

Doreen: It’s Thursday. Anyhow. So the root of the problem will always be our thinking when voicing a problem. You may think it’s the circumstance you are talking about. However, in most cases you are talking about your thought instead is not the circumstance.

Right. The fact, but the way we think about it, it’s not our feelings, but the thoughts that create the feelings. Our thoughts directly create the result we experience in our life. Right. So let me break it down a little simpler. A circumstance is just a fact. And the way the reason that most people get confused and think that the circumstances, what’s causing the feelings are results that they don’t want in their life is because they can’t identify or they don’t identify that it’s really the thought about the circumstance.

Because if two people can look at the same circumstance, let me take another circumstance. Let’s say that your ex says certain words to you like you’re a horrible parent, Right? Okay. So those words in and of itself, that’s the circumstance. It’s a fact that your ex said that. It’s what you make that’s that thought about those words mean that then will go down the rest of the you know, the model.

Right. And the reason that we know that the words themselves are facts is because two people can interpret the words differently. And when two people can interpret something differently, we know it cannot be a fact. It cannot be a circumstance.

Jeff: Right, Right.

Doreen: Okay.

Jeff: I have a real simple example that I saw the other day when I was doing some study. Let’s say it’s 85 degrees outside.

Doreen: Okay. A fact.

Jeff: It’s a fact, right? The thermometer says it’s 85 degrees, right? One person might say, Wow, it’s so hot out there. And the other person might say, It’s so beautiful outside and so pleasant.

Doreen: Correct.

Jeff: So the facts are the same. Right? But the way they think about the facts are totally different.

Doreen: That’s a simple example and a good one.

Jeff: Yes. Yes. You know, so it’s not the circumstance, but the way we think about it, it’s not our behavior, but our thoughts and our feelings that result in the action or the behavior. You know, our thoughts directly create the results we experience in our lives. Remember, as we said earlier, circumstances are facts, while thoughts are subjective.

So everybody’s going to have a different thought. Everyone’s going to have a different opinion about the same fact. Right. You know, and as humans, we give meaning to those circumstances through our our thoughts.

Doreen: Correct. So the circumstance we can identify the thought is your thought about the circumstance. Right. So when you’re working down and putting this on paper, which we believe is the best way to see it.

Jeff: Absolutely.

Doreen: Right. In coaching, we shift, we try to shift our clients what we do shift our clients from the thoughts that are creating the results. They don’t want in their life, especially dealing with divorce and the thoughts about the divorce to from what we call an unintentional model. Because your thoughts are created unintentionally, most of us are not thinking about what we’re thinking.

It just happens. And so what we do is we start to shift the thoughts to create better results, and that’s more about that in our coaching programs. But I would clarify.

Jeff: And to let everybody know what she’s what she’s talking about. The other the second model is called intentional.

Doreen: So you had to say that.

Jeff: No, but that’s okay. You said in unintentional because that’s where our thoughts usually come from. Right. But when you decide what thoughts you want to have because you decide what results you want, that’s more intentional.

Doreen: Right. So we try to take the circumstance and now create a different thought that’s realistic for our clients, right? It has to be. We can’t jump from something that’s horrible and negative as a thought to something that’s like, all, you know, sunshine and rainbows rain.

But we can gently start to get some thoughts that will start to shift the belief system, the thoughts, so that then we can create better results. The next one we want to talk is feelings, right? So we did circumstance, we did thoughts. Now feelings are the emotions or the vibrations in our bodies that are directly related to the thoughts we’re thinking.

These feelings and emotions are voluntary because we can change what we feel by changing our thoughts. Examples could include anger, sadness, excitement, happiness. Don’t, but don’t confuse feelings with physical, involuntary sensations such as hunger, cold and physical pain. Right, Right. That’s a physical sensation. What we’re talking about are the feelings that you derive as a result of your thoughts.

Right. And so you will feel feelings in your body. When we work deep with our clients, we talk about where do you feel that anger? Like for me, when I feel angry or upset, it’s a tension. Usually my throat. Right, Right. And we do that just for awareness purposes. Like a lot of times the physical feeling from the thought that you’re having. A lot of people may not understand the thought right away, but they’ll say, there goes that feeling again in my throat. So where is that coming from?

Jeff: Or like, for me, anger. When I’m angry, I can feel it in my neck. My neck gets sore. It’s tense. Tense, tight. I got it. Sometimes in my neck it’s so tense. I get a headache from it. You know. That’s a good way to control it. Just say, Hey, I don’t like this tension in my neck. I don’t like how this feels. Let me control my thoughts, which are creating the anger.

Doreen: Exactly. Exactly.

Jeff: So next is actions, you know, because from the feelings you’re either going to do something or you’re going to do nothing. And either way, as we said before, that’s an action. It’s like that one song. Can’t remember the band right off hand. But it says, but if you decide not to make a choice, you’ve still made a choice, correct? You know, But actions refer to the behaviors, the reactions, or in actions related to the feelings, Right. You know, and sometimes our actions can be subtle, such as maybe just a change in your voice.

Or it could be an inaction, such as avoiding certain people or avoiding certain situations.

Doreen: That’s an action, too, isn’t it?

Jeff: You know, and some people think that they can hide their true feelings when necessary. However, when our actions aren’t authentic, we come across differently to others. So it’s something that you really, really can’t hide. You have to be true to yourself and authentic, right? You know, and when we manage our thinking and act from the feeling that we want, then we can change the behavior and create the amazing results that we’re looking for.

Doreen: And I want to suggest also that when you’re in the action part of the model. This is where we ask you to slow down, you know, stop, breathe, slow down and think.

Think, what do what do I want to do? So many times I think we get caught up in just this automatic speed dial kind of situation where our actions are just a tremendous not tremendous are just an automatic response to some other.

Jeff: So it’s almost autopilot, autopilot.

Doreen: And you go through the thoughts and the feelings so quickly. You’re in the in the action line.

An example of that might be, you know, that your soon to be ex texted you some nasty text message. Right. And your immediate reaction is I’ve got to defend myself. And so you start blasting off another response.

Jeff: Text wars

Doreen: Text war. And sometimes it’s very simple. Many times it’s much, much better or it is much better just to slow down. Slow down. How do you want to react? What do you want your action line to be in a circumstance? And what do you want your results to be? Because if you want your result in our example to be a text war, which really think about that, well, it might feel good for the moment when you’re defending yourself against someone that is being a hater.

The results are never good, never good. You can do it in a much different way. You can create boundaries. We were just talking about boundaries last week in our episode, right? So there’s a lot of things that you can do that are going to create a better result in your life if you just slow down.

Jeff: Or even when it comes to the texting and in action is appropriate there to just don’t respond at all.

Doreen: You know, a powerful when you’re going through a divorce in action, is it? It really is so powerful because, you know, and you I mean, you’re a negotiator or salesperson by experience. And, you know, Jeff is involved in real estate and not sales. Right. But it’s so interesting when I watch the sales game, the offer and acceptance of contracts, when you’re silent, people on the other side that are waiting for your offer, they’re like, what is going on?

Jeff: Wait to have it.

Doreen: Well, or they start asking, questioning, did I counteroffer correctly at a too high or too low or whatever it is. So just something to think about.

Jeff: So that’s saying silence is golden.

Doreen: So the next thing we want to talk about is a results. And of course we’ve already touched on that, but results are the effects of our actions.

We may think that our results are due to the circumstance that we have been handed to, that have been handed to us in the circumstance and that basically it’s not within our control. We are totally, however, responsible for our results because they come from our actions that come from our feelings, which as we said, come from our thoughts. So really, this is amazing news. This is great news because thoughts are within our control.

Jeff: Give them the good news.

Doreen: That’s the good news. So, you know, we’re one. We’re humans. And the humans have the ability to think with their prefrontal cortex. Unlike a dog, for example, you know, who is unable to control themselves if you put unless, you know, in most circumstance you put a plate of food down, the dog is going to go for the food.

Right. And thus are very well trained. But just to say, you know, without any restriction, they’re not going to think, well, I already had dinner. Should I really be eating this this next plate that was put down? Do I really need a second helping?

Jeff: Did put on a couple of puppy pounds. I better not be.

Doreen: I better not eat this. I want to get rid of my puppy pounds.

Jeff: Puppy pound.

Doreen: Puppy pounds. We could like we could brand that or just kidding. But we, they don’t do that those times. But we as humans, we have that ability to stop and to think with not our primitive brain which is what the dog is saying. Oh! There’s food I already ate but I will eat more.

Jeff: I want them to eat again.

Doreen: Yes. And stop ourselves.

Jeff: And like you said earlier, I think the key to using our prefrontal cortex and what we call our smart brain is slow down and take a breath. And really analyze your results and analyze what you’re about to do. And then you can start thinking in a more positive way of what your actions should be.

Doreen: Right? Exactly. Exactly. So that that’s the important part of all this is to really slow down and think, what do I want to get?

Jeff: Examining your mind and doing so you regain the skill of choosing your thoughts and empower you.

Doreen: To create the life that you really want.

Jeff: Really want.

Doreen: And that is so true when you’re going through the divorce, like it’s so easy to get really stuck in that emotional, just reactive type of response because the emotions are so heightened. You know, you’re so sensitive to the circumstances going on, they’re heightened and usually not in a good way, right? So when we work with our clients, either during the divorce or after the divorce, it’s really important that that we first start with understanding what emotions are we feeling that are stemming from the divorce.

Identify those emotions like there’s a common I think there’s seven emotions that we talk about, right? I know there’s seven that we generally talk about. That’s why knowing your emotional makeup is so empowering, right?

Jeff: And being open to different concepts. I think I have a client right now that they’re just so open. She is reevaluating the thoughts, reevaluating the emotions that it’s really a beautiful thing.

Doreen: It is. It is. So right now, in our Thrive after divorce program, we explain two types of models, which we just talked about the unintentional and the intentional model. They mean exactly the way they sound. And here’s an example and I think I’ve used this before. Do you recall what episode? Very early on in our podcasts, I did an episode on the models.

Jeff: It was 21.

Doreen: Was at 21?

Jeff: I believe so.

Doreen: Okay. You sure?

Jeff: I’m pretty sure

Doreen: Let’s double check before we end. All right. So you know, in our like I said, so the unintentionally intentional model is something we really focus on. So here’s an example, and I know that I’ve mentioned this example before, so bear with me. But let’s say the example is the circumstances you’re served with divorce papers and your thought is, I’m scared, right? Like, I’m scared. This is crazy. What’s going on? Your feeling might be sadness. The action might be feel sorry for yourself and don’t do anything right. Just get stuck in that place of sadness. And then the result is you’re still sad.

I have another example for getting served with the papers and it would be like that. I’m not going to use the word, you know, can’t believe this is happening, you know, etc. the feeling might be anger, the action might be something like calling your soon to be ex and, you know, giving them a piece of your mind. And the result would be more distance between the two of you. Right? Right. More conflict.

Jeff: Definitely. That’s a great example.

Doreen: So let’s do an intentional model. Serve with divorce papers. The thought might be something like I knew, you know, well, we’ve had problems for a while and it’s not one thought. You’re going to have various thoughts, various feelings and so when we do the model and we actually write it out, we choose one thought, right? Generally. But thoughts might be, well, you know, we’ve had some arguments, some issues going on for a while. This is expected.

Jeff: It’s the best interest of the kids.

Doreen: Right. Maybe if there’s a lot you know, there’s not all people should continue on with relationships. We could do a whole other episode about that. Right. Why is divorce always looked at as a failure?

Jeff: That’s a good episode.

Doreen: It really is. I could get into that. I’m not going to go there, but we’ll mark that down for another episode. But the thought could be something like Open Up New Beginnings for myself, You know, this is what I need to move on and to create the light if I really want the feeling might be enthusiastic, you know, like there’s a little bit of, like, relief or enthusiasm.

The action might be to start to work towards the divorce in a meaningful and kind way. Another act, another action plan might be to start planning your future, start writing down you know what you want your future to look like, and the result will be you could think on a bigger scale. It might be something like Live the life I want, move on to a new life, something positive.

Jeff: I know a great action

Doreen: What?

Jeff: Hire a coach

Doreen: To help me through the divorce.

Jeff: Help me through.

Doreen: Well, you know, it is irrespective of course, wanting clients and, you know, we only do one on ones right now, but we will be opening up a more of a subscription based hopefully in 2024. That is our goal. So stay tuned, as I say.

Right. But that’s we have limited capacity, but having people around you to help you through the divorce, that is probably the best scene in the action line because a lot of people tend to keep the divorce to themselves. And I can handle this. I don’t want to share this with anybody else. This is embarrassing. All these thoughts that I can think that would make you kind of isolated.

And this is the time when you’re going through something so traumatic in your life because even if the divorce is somewhat friendly, right? It is a life changing event, right? So get as many resources around you as you can, but choose your resources very carefully.

Jeff: I was speaking with another coach the other day and we were discussing how some people the divorce is their first divorce.

They’ve only been through divorce one time and this is new to them. Well, math and arithmetic was also new to you at one time. And you had a teacher help you through it. You didn’t learn it by yourself, Right? Same thing with divorce. You know, when you have somebody that’s going to help you and guide you and teach you how to get through it and how to live your life to the most afterwards, it can really be beneficial, almost a necessity.

Doreen: I mean, look, if you had an issue that required therapy, some kind of an emotional issue that you’re dealing with, that’s generally the therapist you only look at past. Right. And they’re looking at circumstances in the past and thoughts about your past that have caused whatever it’s causing. But we’re working. Life coaches work for basically future based, right? What do we want our life to be? So I agree with you. I mean, get the best tools in place, right?

Jeff: And even though we use this the model as a tool in our coaching, probably the number one tool we use when you’re applying the model to yourself on a daily basis, we want to remind you to always come from a place of compassion and understanding and love. And from there you can ignite yourself to change, you know, if you beat yourself up, you will buckle under the pressure because there’s a lot of pressure that goes on after divorce.

Doreen: I think one of the most important things is to be your best friend and treat yourself as you would somebody that you truly love and care for outside of yourself. Or so hard on ourselves generally, especially through these trying times like divorce. So your mind, you know, it loves efficiency also. So as you have been thinking the same thoughts and in the same pattern for a while, most likely change will require patience and practice. Right? Lately, because these types of things that we’re teaching, these tools are not something that you just pick it up and like tomorrow you’re a pro at it.

Look, we practice what we preach, so we are constantly, constantly identifying when we need to practice our own coaching skills. And we do, you know, we can very much get into that autopilot behavior where we’re creating an action in our life that is not the result we want because we’re humans, right?

Jeff: Well, also remember the perimeter brain age change, right? You know, it’s going to stay what is comfortable and also what is simple and easy for that brain to do. So when you approach your brain with these ideas and philosophies of changing your thoughts and changing your actions, your brain may kind of fight you on it. So that’s why you have to be patient with yourself and give it some time.

Doreen: Exactly. You know, when you approach yourself, I think with fascination and love, which you absolutely deserve on all levels, you are super lovable just the way you are. And going through divorce does not make you unlovable in any way whatsoever. But you’ll see changes in your life just by applying the model. It truly does work and it’s really quite fascinating when you apply the model to other tools that we had and will teach you and continue to bring forth on these episodes, there’s really no limit on what you can accomplish and what you can have.

And look, remember, life is not 100% happy and perfect. That is not reality. We are here on Earth and this is the reality of the world, is that and as being a human, you’re going to have good days and bad days and situations that are great and not so great, right? You can’t control the circumstances in your life. They are circumstances, but you can certainly understand this and you can control the results in your life by really setting forth on these practices. So?

Jeff: Well, if you have any questions about the model or you would like to learn a little bit more about the model, please give us either a, send us an email or look us up on our website. We love to hear from you. And how about this? I’ll even give you a free coaching session one on one coaching session with me

Doreen: If you mention this episode today.

Jeff: That’s a good idea. I mentioned well, they’re going to find out how they heard about it and I heard about the model on the episode.

Doreen: Now. But we’ll keep that open for the next 30 days. Right? So if you’re interested in a complimentary coaching call, this is not a sales call. This is we will dive in to an actual issue, like a coaching issue and do a little intake with you beforehand so we know what you want to coach on. It’ll be a coaching call and it will open up your thoughts as to what this may do for you.

Jeff: And see if coaching is right for you.

Doreen: Absolutely. All right, everybody, listen, be kind yourself to yourself, love yourself and love others. And we will see you next week.

Jeff: Bye bye.

Doreen: Not see you, but talk to you. All right, buddy. Have an amazing day.

Jeff: You have the vision of what you want your life to look like after divorce, but maybe you just don’t know how to get there. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and want to find out more about our coaching, visit us at That’s L A D as in life after divorce dash

Doreen: Until next time, have an amazing rest of your day. And remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce.

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