Every problem is a thought problem

How our thoughts create our problems – and our solutions

Everything in our lives is a result of the thoughts we think.

This statement is the foundation of ‘The Model’, a coaching approach developed by Brooke Castillo (The Life Coach School).

I personally use ‘The Model’ on a daily basis to work on decluttering my mind and letting go of useless or harmful thoughts and feelings. 

Every problem is a thought problem

This is how ‘The Model’ works:

As soon as we have a thought about a circumstance – a fact that’s outside of our control -, the thought creates a feeling, which causes us to act and behave in a certain way, which then leads to a certain result:

Circumstance/facts -> Thought -> Feeling -> Action/inaction -> Result.

We are free to choose our thoughts. Unfortunately, we often choose problem-focused thoughts rather than solutions-focused thoughts.

It’s always the thought that things shouldn’t be the way they are and that something has gone wrong that is causing the problem.

However, thinking the circumstances should be different will never change the circumstances.

The thought that things should be different creates a problem for us, because it negatively affects our feelings and diminishes our ability to show up and act in a way that we want to show up and act.

We can’t create positive results and solutions if our thoughts focus on problems, on all the things that should be different.

The good news is that if we ‘create’ our problems by choosing certain thoughts, we can also solve our problems – by choosing different thoughts.

Let’s have a look at a little simplified example.

Scenario A) – Problem-focused thoughts

    • Circumstance: ‘It’s Tuesday morning, 6.44 a.m. The bus is going to leave in 6 minutes. My red jacket is not in my wardrobe.’
    • Thought: ‘I can never find what I am looking for. I am a mess.’
    • Feeling: ‘I feel stressed, angry at myself.’
    • Action/Inaction: ‘I put on my green jacket. In the afternoon, I go shopping and buy a new red jacket. I also buy a black and a blue jacket because they are on sale.’
    • Result: ‘I squeeze three more jackets into my wardrobe. It’s a mess. I still don’t know where the missing red jacket is.’

The thought (‘I am a mess’) about the circumstance (‘The red jacket is not in my wardrobe’) causes feelings of stress, which drive me to do some frustration-shopping, which results in the problem of having a cramped and messy wardrobe. 

Scenario B) – Solution-focused thoughts

    • Circumstance: ‘It’s Tuesday morning, 6.44 a.m. The bus is going to leave in 6 minutes. My red jacket is not in my wardrobe.’
    • Thought: ‘My wardrobe needs a clear-up. This could be a fun-activity if I did it together with my sister. I can ask her to join me for a ‘decluttering-party’.’
    • Feeling: ‘I feel excited, active.’
    • Action/Inaction: ‘I put my green jacket on. In the afternoon, I call my sister to arrange a decluttering-party. We spend the next Saturday with sorting and trying out my clothes.’
    • Result: ‘My wardrobe gets cleared-up. I find my red jacket. I spend some fun time with my sister.’

Switching from problem- to solution-thinking needs some practice, of course, it doesn’t happen over night.

However, as soon as we start to pay more attention to what’s happening in our mind, we become more and more aware of what we are thinking and how our thoughts influence our feelings, our actions and our results.


Next time when things are not as you wish or expect them to be and you realise that you think you have a problem, you could ask yourself:

    • ‘Why do I think that this is a problem?’
    • ‘How could it not be a problem?’
    • ‘What would I be thinking if I always searched for solutions?’


Mind-decluttering is so important if we want to change our life to the better.

Yes, it’s not always easy. It’s similar to decluttering our home: We get so used to what we have that we struggle to make let-go decisions.    

So we need to learn to declutter and organise our thoughts and feelings. The new space and clarity in our mind enables us to take action and create positive change in all areas of our life (including our home). ☺

The good news is that you don’t have to manage it all on your own. 

I can help you get it sorted out – the problem-focused thoughts in your mind and the clutter in your home. With my support it’s going to be easier and faster.



Are you tired?

Tired of trying to (re)organise the various areas of your life entirely on your own?

Tired of investing vast amounts of time and energy in finding a way to create a better organised = better life?

Tired of feeling overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, stressed, disappointed, exhausted, …?

Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.

We can do it together.

You can decide to get my support, advice, and guidance – and achieve the desired changes in your life so much faster and easier. 

Check out how I can help you.

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