Facts versus Story

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Written by Jo Braid

Dr Jo Braid is an experienced coach for doctors. She helps doctors move from burnout to balance, overwhelm to owning it. She works with doctors at any stage of their career to plan for their most successful and sustainable future.

April 9, 2022

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Fact versus Story

When working in a coaching relationship, the coach is like a mirror to all of you that you don’t see in the mirror.  There is no judgement or opinion on you, rather a reflection of your thoughts back to you so you are aware of them and decide what to do with them. Keep them or change them (creating a different feeling, how you show up and your results).
Facts are facts. Circumstances. They can be scientifically proven or would be agreed upon in a court of law.
Thoughts are how you interpret the world around you. Your reality of the facts in your life. Opinions. Subjective. Thoughts can be negative or positive or neutral. It’s up to you.
For example saying
“I never finish what I set out to do”
Is a thought. You may think that is a fact but it is a thought and it is likely you do finish most tasks you set out to do. What even really defines finished?
Another example
“My work colleague/X is a bully/annoys me”
Is a thought. It is your thoughts about this person that determine your perceived relationship with them. The facts are “this person said words”. And your thoughts about them determine how you feel about them and what actions you take.
Some facts include “It’s 29C outside today”, rather than “it’s hot today” (a thought) or “I weigh x kg” is a neutral fact based on the scale reading, rather than your opinion on what the number on the scale is…..and how that can change your day and your self talk etc.
This is the crux of the model of coaching I use (from The Life Coach School) and it can be really eye opening for clients when they clarify their thoughts from the facts. I don’t make it mean anything right or wrong about which thoughts they have – it is an observation – and it’s up to them what they choose to do with their thoughts.
This week you could have a look/listen to what you often say to yourself or believe – and really challenge if it is a fact or a thought….I highly suggest you choose thoughts that make you feel better.