The Mindset Model

The Mindset Model is the best tool that I know for solving any problem.

Brooke Castillo, Master Life Coach and CEO of The Life Coach School, created 'The Model' based on her years of research and studying. The concepts are basic truths of the universe. Brooke found so much information on the specific components of the Model (e.g., thinking, feelings, circumstances), but there wasn’t a way for her to apply that information to her daily life.

I use The Model daily myself to help me manage my weight, build my business, improve my relationships and lots more. The Model can be used to help you solve any problem too.

The basic premise of the Model is that you have thoughts, about the circumstances in your life, that generate your feelings, your feelings create your actions, and your actions create your results.

Before I show you how to use the Model in your life, let’s look at each of its components in more detail.



Circumstances are facts that everyone agrees on and that can be proven in a court of law. For example:

  • I am 5’6” tall
  • My husband said ‘specific words to me’ last night
  • I got grades B, B, C in my A levels
  • I weigh 10 stone 10 lbs

Circumstances include basic facts, events in the past, and other peoples’ words and actions. For example, if your husband said that he would be home at 6 pm and came home at 8 pm – that is a circumstance.

Circumstances—the facts of your life—are neutral.  They’re neither good nor bad. Circumstances only become good or bad when you have a thought about them.



Thoughts are sentences in your head. For example, thinking that your husband is inconsiderate for being late is your opinion. The same circumstance may lead to another wife thinking that her husband is working too hard. 

Another difference between a  thought and circumstance is that the circumstance WILL NOT contain any descriptive words or opinions. The circumstance is always only the bare facts. Even if 100 people out of 100 agreed on the same set of facts, it’s still a thought because it can’t be proven as a fact. The number of people agreeing with a thought doesn’t make it a circumstance. It’s still a thought.

Any time you add a qualifier to a circumstance, you are choosing to think a thought. If you say, “She has a horrible past,” that is a thought, no matter how many people agree with you. The descriptor “horrible” is a thought about the person’s past.

Most people have unsupervised minds. Human beings have approximately 60,000 thoughts per day. We don’t intentionally choose our thoughts, and that often creates challenges for us.

Nothing that happens in your life is amazing or horrible until you decide to have a thought about it to make it that way.  Everything is a circumstance until you put a thought to it. If you haven’t trained your brain to think intentionally, you will continue to repeat your past and have the same thoughts you’ve always had.



Feelings are one-word descriptions of a vibration in your body. For example, happy, sad, angry, overwhelmed, guilty, and joyful.

Most of us really don’t know how to feel our emotions because of the way our brains have developed to avoid emotional discomfort, we typically avoid, resist, and react to negative emotions. But we want to learn how to notice, acknowledge, and name our feelings so we can experience them as vibrations in our body, because often we do things that don’t serve us to avoid feeling them. Things live overeating, over drinking, overspending, gambling, and watching too much Netflix.

Many people confuse thoughts and feelings. For example, if someone asks you how you felt about your husband saying that he was going to be home at 6 pm and arriving home at 8 pm, you might say, “I am frustrated because he’s always late.” In this example, the feeling you’re having is frustration. The thought you’re having about the circumstance is that ‘he’s always late’. But whilst others may agree with you, your husband coming home two hours after he said he would be, is not, in and of itself, frustrating; it’s a neutral circumstance. Your thought that he shouldn’t be late is what’s causing you the frustration.

Distinguishing between thoughts and feelings is critical to feeling better. Understanding that your thoughts cause your feelings is how you learn how to feel better without changing your circumstances.

No one can cause you to feel a certain way. Your thoughts about what someone did (or didn’t do) is what causes you to feel something. No one is jumping into your body and causing the vibrations of emotions. Your thoughts cause your emotions—always.

It’s great news that your thoughts create your feelings because it means you can choose how you want to think and, therefore, how you want to feel.

That doesn’t mean you’ll feel good all the time. In fact, you’ll feel bad about 50% of the time. But you’ll feel bad because you’re choosing to feel bad, not because someone else is making you feel bad.

Why might you choose to feel bad? Because you want to be the type of person who is disappointed when your trust is betrayed, heartbroken when your spouse cheats on you, or devastated when your child is injured. Part of being human means there is bad with the good. You’ll likely want to feel bad when something you consider bad happens.

When you say someone else makes you feel a certain way, you give your power away. And in my experience, other people are notoriously bad at making us feel the way we want to feel. That is another reason to be thankful that you are responsible for how you feel.



Actions are what you do, don’t do, or react to (e.g., actions, inactions, and reactions).

In the Model, your feelings cause your actions, inactions, or reactions.

For example, because you’re feeling frustrated about your husband coming home two hours late, you decide not to talk to him for the rest of the week. The frustration you feel drives the action of giving him the silent treatment.



Results are the consequences or outcomes of your actions, inactions, or reactions.

Using the same example as above, the consequence of you not talking to your husband for a week might be that your relationship suffers.

The problem with most coaching is that it focuses solely on changing your actions. When you change your actions but don’t change the thoughts and feelings behind those actions, there’s resistance, and that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to see real change. That’s what happens when the symptom of a problem is treated instead of the root cause.

The Model is a way  for you to solve any problem.

To recap, the basic premise of the Model is as follows:

  • Circumstances are neutral
  • Your thoughts cause your feelings
  • Your feelings cause your actions
  • Your actions cause your results

 The components of the Model are as follows:

  •  A circumstance is a neutral fact
  • A thought is a sentence in your head about a circumstance
  • A feeling is a vibration in your body caused by a thought
  • An action is what your feelings cause you to do
  • The result is the consequence of your action

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