Click here to follow Joe Nabrotzky on LinkedIn

Note: Soon, this site and the podcast will shut down as I refocus on sharing the content directly on LinkedIn through posts, videos and articles.

The BEAR model serves as a results recipe to produce what you want in any aspect of your life. Each letter in “BEAR” represents a sequential ingredient – B for Beliefs trigger E for Emotions, Emotions fuel A for Actions, and Actions produce R for Results.

Envision seemingly impossible results and then deliberately “BEAR Up” by up-leveling how to think (Beliefs), feel (Emotions) and act (Actions) until dreams become reality (Results).

Think about any one thing you want to change in your life or leadership to make it better, what would it be?

  • Do you want to become the boss people want to work for?
  • Get a better relationship with someone you care about?
  • Have more money?
  • Get healthier, maybe lose 50 pounds and show your six pack abs?
  • Increase the revenue of your business by 100,000, a million or a billion?

For whatever you want, why is it that you want that? 

Even if you don’t know the reason yet, we do.

The reason why you do or don’t do anything, or why you want something is because of the way you think it will make you FEEL.

Every action you take or don’t take is because you want to feel a certain way.  What drives us is the desire to feel certain emotions.  That is the driver of why we humans do anything. 

We seek what feels good and avoid what feels bad – we avoid feeling pain and discomfort.

If I want to get six pack abs, I’m doing it because of the feeling I believe I’ll feel when I get those abs or the feeling I will feel when I get what those abs get me.

If I don’t take action, let’s say I don’t ask the customer for the sale, or I don’t have the tough performance conversation with my employee, it is because I don’t want to feel a certain feeling.

But if the driver of all action is because you want to feel a certain way, what creates your feelings in the first place? 

Why do you feel sad, happy, confident, content, focused, angry or inspired? 

Is it because of the circumstances in your life, what you have or don’t have?  I’ve heard it all before:

  • If only I had better employees, then I’d enjoy being a manager.
  • If only I had more money, then I would be happy.
  • If only I moved, then I’d feel at home.
  • If only I had a better job, then I’d feel fulfilled.
  • If only I changed companies, then I would feel less stressed out at work.
  • If only my partner was this or that, then I would feel love and connected.
  • If only my mom loved me, or my dad showed I was worthy of his approval then I would feel valued or that I matter.

In all these cases, the feeling of happiness or whatever feeling you want is always a thing or circumstance away.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  No! 

None of these circumstances cause your feelings.  They can’t.  That’s not how it works.  We’re here to tell you that circumstances do NOT cause your feelings.  So many people think happiness, feelings of love or other emotions they want to feel occur outside of their control and that is simply not true.

Joe first learned this 20 years ago when he spent a few years in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon jungle.  He was surrounded by people who had almost none of the circumstances or luxuries he had while living in the US – the things he thought led people to feel happy, and yet they were some of the happiest people he ever met. 

Think about it.  You know people who have a lot of money and are happy, but you also know wealthy people who are miserable.  You know people who have no money and are happy, and others also poor who are miserable. 

The same is true for any circumstance…their childhood, job, company, home and more.  The reason is because any external circumstance is not what causes us to feel anything.  If circumstances could cause feelings, then every person with the same circumstance would feel the exact same way every time, and we know that’s not true.

So if circumstances don’t cause feelings, what does?”

The thoughts you choose to BELIEVE in your brain cause EMOTIONS you feel.

There is a difference between what is going on in your life, and what is going on in your mind.  They are different.

Beliefs in your brain cause feelings, NOT circumstances.

Beliefs in your brain cause feelings, NOT what you have or don’t have.

Beliefs in your brain cause feelings, NOT what that other person did or said.

Beliefs in your brain cause feelings, NOT your past.

What you choose to think about in regards to your circumstances either makes you feel better or worse, regardless of what is going on in your life. 

It’s not what happens to us, but what we choose to think about what happens to us that causes us to feel any emotion, including the really negative ones like suffering and pain.

That may sound like bad news to some of you, that your own thoughts are causing any pain you feel, but it is some of the best news you will ever discover…because if YOU are the creator then you can create something that you actually want.

It works on the flip side also:  all the happiness, joy, feeling motivated at work or in life, and good feeling emotions are also not caused by your circumstances or the things outside of your control.

Are you starting to feel more empowered, yet? …you will!

No more thinking to yourself, I will feel better or feel happy after I have…

  • the right boss
  • the right employee
  • the right job
  • the right partner
  • the right body
  • the right amount of money

No more feeling like you must change your circumstances to feel better.  You can feel better even if no circumstance in your life change…even if your boss or your employees don’t change!

Most leaders have no idea of the world they’re creating because they’re not aware of what they’re really thinking and the impact that has on their emotions, actions and results. 

And the way to uncover your beliefs (what you think), and your emotions (how you feel), is what we call the BEAR model. 

We call it the BEAR model or c’ing (like seeing) your BEAR because each letter represents an important part in the process.

Circumstances are neutral facts, your past, what other people say or do, or anything else outside of your control.  You form beliefs or a sentence in your mind for what those circumstances mean, those beliefs drive your emotions, emotions fuel your action or inaction and the combination of those actions create results.

The BEAR model shows that your results are caused by your actions which are caused by your emotions, which are caused by your beliefs…it all starts in your mind with what you choose to think.

Most all the problems and struggles in your life, and all the results you want but are not yet getting, are because of your BEARs – how you think, feel and act.

You take any circumstance or situation in your life and walk through the different components in the BEAR model to see, like the letter C, your current BEAR (Beliefs, Emotions, Actions and Results).

And then if you want different results, you lead and direct your brain to envision the future results you want, then figure out what new beliefs, emotions and actions you need in your new models to get the results you want.  In other words, you BEAR UP.

Let’s go through each component.


  • Circumstances are facts.
  • They can be proven in a court of law.
  • They are not good or bad or based on opinion since they are completely neutral. Fact cannot be problems.
  • If you’re adding any adjectives, judgement, or subjective value to that fact, then you know it’s no longer a circumstance.
  • They are the things in the world that are outside of our control, they just are.
  • Circumstances include what other people say or do…because we can’t control it.
  • Our past is a circumstance… since there is no way we can go back in time and change it to be anything different; it is outside of your control.
  • In order to be a circumstance, it must be true for any person in every case.
  • Circumstances is the only part of the BEAR model we cannot control. We choose and control all the other components.
  • We sometimes go extreme and either think we control everything or nothing, but that is not the case. We can’t control our circumstances, but we can control everything else…our beliefs, emotions, actions and therefore results.

B is for Beliefs:

  • We think thoughts all the time; those thoughts that we believe to be true, we call beliefs.
  • And there is a continuum of beliefs.  On the far left are fleeting thoughts that consciously or even subconsciously pop into our brain, that we barely attach any belief to, and on the far right are beliefs we hold deep in our core.
  • What we decide to think about those circumstances and the stories we tell ourselves. These thoughts and stories form our beliefs.
  • We try to keep each belief in each model to one sentence.
  • Many of the beliefs or thoughts you have are helpful. They help you function
  • Some of our beliefs actually don’t serve us, they can even be harmful. In some cases they can even cause us unnecessary pain, suffering and confusion
  • Beliefs have the power to create emotions, actions and eventually results
  • The problem is that most of us aren’t even aware of the beliefs in our brain since we don’t pay attention to what we’re thinking.
  • Circumstances are neutral until we put meaning behind them and that takes it from facts to beliefs…and our beliefs are choices we choose

E is for Emotions:

  • An emotion is a feeling. It’s a vibration in your body
  • We like to have it be a simple, one word view of how you FEEL
  • I feel sad, I feel happy, content, grateful, frustrated, focused
  • There’s your circumstances, what someone did or said, etc., then what you make it mean, and then how you feel about it.

Think of it this way, the thoughts that you are thinking trigger an emotional fuel, and this fuel is a chemical that is released from your brain and then travels throughout your body.  It feels like vibrations throughout your body.  That emotion fuel, if let’s say it is anger, anger makes our heart rate speed up, it sometimes makes our throat tighten up, for some it makes them feel physically charged and their arm wants to reach out and punch something.  Or when I feel the emotion of embarrassment, the embarrassment fuel that vibrates through our body causes our face to immediately feel a flush of heat and our cheeks turn red.

When we talk about emotions, it is not the same as sensations in the body.  Jody Moore helps us understand the difference by sharing that a sensation starts in the body and then travels to your mind.  Things like the sensation of being physically cold.   It starts in your body and then tells your brain, hey, I’m cold, do something about this.  Or sensations of feeling physical pain – you scrape your knee and your body has pain shoot up to your mind to say, hey, something is wrong here, take care of it.  And sometimes we have sensations in our body that we don’t have control over, like chronic pain or physical sickness. Emotions, on the other hand, start in the mind and then travel to the body.  They start in the brain in the form of a thought, something you believe.  Your brain then releases a chemical, like a fuel that then flows and vibrates throughout your body.

A is for Actions:

  • All of our action or inaction comes from our feeling. It is all based from our emotions.
  • When you feel angry, what you may do will be different than when you are feeling caring or loving.
  • That’s why I call it emotion fuel since those feelings power us to take action.

R is for Results:

  • The Results are what we create and therefore have in our lives
  • The combination of all our actions or inactions are what produce our results. And they can be considered positive or negative results.  Results we like and results we don’t like. But they are all results.
  • Every result in our life is perfectly aligned to the beliefs, emotions and actions that led to those results.
  • The result does not mean it is the desired end goal of the individual, rather the result I am referring to is the consequence of the actions as it relates to the individual.  For this model, if you have anyone else showing up in your results, you know you ran the model incorrectly since other people and what they do or say is always a circumstance outside of your control.
  • And the results are a direct loop that prove out whatever thought you were thinking. That’s a very important piece, the results in this model should connect to your belief, as it is the physical manifestation of the mental thought.

Joe had been working on the BEAR model for about two decades, as he was studying the brain and human behavior, and then using it to train and coach leaders.  But several years ago we came across the work of Brooke Castillo from the Life Coach School.

Let’s tell it like it is, people. What Brooke did was take the concepts Joe had been working with the BEAR model since the late 1990s and elevated them to an entirely new level.

Brooke explained all the best of the best on personal and self-development in a way that made them easier to understand and implement.   We liked her work and similar CTFAR model so much that Brittany went and got trained and certified directly by Brooke and uses her brilliant coaching tools and process. 

But even Brooke with her CTFAR model (Circumstance – Thought – Feeling – Action – Result) would be the first to share that her model is just one way of describing true principles. 

It’s similar to gravity.  The law of gravity states that what goes up will come down.  No one person can claim they invented gravity, rather there are many different ways scientists describe or apply that true law or principle. 

The BEAR Model and many other similar models are ways behavioral and cognitive scientists use to try to describe the laws behind why we do what we do, feel how we feel and get the results we get.  In order to produce results that you want in your life, you must become aware of the laws on which those results are predicated or based on.

We give all credit for the value you get from the BEAR Model and concepts around managing your mind to Brooke Castillo and all the other brilliant leaders in that space.

And what we’ll teach you is how to become aware of what your brain is thinking and separate it from your circumstances so you gain power over what you can control.  You’ll learn how to reprogram your brain to believe on purpose.  You’ll be able to process and even create emotions that lead to taking massive action.  Soon, you’ll be getting the results you want.

If you prefer to listen, try these podcasts in this order to get the foundation

  • 1. Episode #3 Reprogram Your Brain – Part 1: Do A Daily Thought Download (21 minutes). Click here for the video version.
  • 2. Episode #4 Introduction To The Bear Model – How To Solve Any Problem and Get Results – (45 minutes).
  • 3. Episode #6 Reprogram Your Brain – Part 2: Believe Before It’s A Reality (45 minutes).
  • 4. Episode #13 How do you BEAR Up.  Practice doing a Thought Download daily and run 1-2 BEAR models a week.  If you want help, CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE one-time, 30 minute mini-coaching-session on-line with Brittany Nabrotzky.
  • Bonus Episode #7 See an example of the BEAR model in the work setting with an employee who couldn’t stand her boss

Once you BEAR Up and can lead yourself, you can then focus on how you apply the leadership mindsets and skills sets to GO LEAD #BearUp&GoLead.

This is how you get the results you want, to become the deliberate leader you were meant to be.

Are you ready?

Come join us by subscribing to the FREE PODCAST so you can BEAR UP and GO LEAD!

Click here to follow Joe Nabrotzky on LinkedIn

Note: Soon, this site and the podcast will shut down as I refocus on sharing the content directly on LinkedIn through posts, videos and articles.

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