The Puzzle piece MY FILTER
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Explore the Puzzle framework
Witness how others have used the Puzzle and inspire yourself
Pick one Puzzle piece
Apply the tip(s)
Follow up on results
Acknowledge positive impact
The puzzle tips
INTRODUCTION TO THE PUZZLE PRACTICE BOOK
The practice book is available to keep track of my thoughts, and support me step by step through my transformation to live well.
I will find here all the Puzzle tips, together with some help on how to apply these tips, and measure progress.
I can either print it and write on it, or use a side booklet of my own to take notes.
3 key advises to live well are:
Start small, and build up from there.
Experiment in place and/or with people I am comfortable with, then expand.
The more I practise, the more comfortable I am, and the easier it gets!
Have fun anchoring these new habits!
SETTING THE SCENE TO LIVE WELL
How do you feel starting this practice book? On a scale 0 to 100.
How do you want to feel after applying the Puzzle in your life? On a scale 0 to 100.
Close my eyes and imagine being there.
Capture here with my own key words what it feels like - with some thoughts, feelings and sensations how it will be:
When do I want to be there?
And when do I want to start?!
I have chosen to focus on the tips of the Puzzle piece:
Capture why I have chosen to transform the role "my Filter" plays
On a scale from 1 to 10, capture my perception how dysfunctional the Puzzle piece "my Filter" is today
On a scale from 1 to 10, write down what success will look like after I have successfully practiced the tip for 7 days in-a-row
Last, capture what I have achieved after these 7 days
SETTING UP EXPECTATIONS
CALLING OUT MY COLD CASE
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
When I have a Cold Case, my emotions are amplified, and my Filter is under the full control of my Ego. The 1st step to change this dynamic is to put a tag on the Cold Case box. It helps to put a name on what is in it.
Acknowledge and name what makes me uncomfortable is the beginning of solving it.
To be effective, the labelling of my Cold Case shall comply with 3 core principles:
1. Start with 'I', as it is about me. My Cold Case is not about what someone does to me, it is about how I feel - and that I am the only person who can make me feel. Therefore, my label should not say ‘when you do this, you make me feel…” but rather “when you do this, I feel…”.
2. Must be a grammatically positive sentence, as while "not to" is used in language to communicate, my brain does not process negation (ex. do not think of a cat results in exactly the opposite!). If it helps, I can start by naming my Cold Case in a negative way - something I don't have, I don't like, that is not happening, etc. - and then rephrase the sentence into a grammatically positive one .
3. Be precise. As an example, "when you laugh at me, I am mad" is not enough. I should explain why it makes me mad (ex. when you laugh while I am talking seriously, it makes me mad because I feel stupid and worthless!").
1. I do not have one single Cold Case. I have plenty! Everyone has plenty!! I find out about them when my Ego brings them to light, else they are fine resting in storage!
Accordingly, I am likely to come back to this section of the Puzzle a few times - until I master getting rid of my Cold Cases.
When I acknowledge I have a Cold Case, I am not always ready nor willing to dive into it. Take it easy, step by step. I have been living with it until now, I should be able to cope a little longer!
I am in the way to address it, that is already granted. I will find my own rhythm to get there, being kind with myself.
2. As a start, I want to find the right words to describe my Cold Case. Each word carries an impression, a meaning - so it is key I find the words that resonate with me. I can also find help with on-line synonym sites or leveraging ChatGPT.
To build the label of my Cold Case, follow these guidelines:
Start my sentence with “I” as I want to take accountability - as accountability means I have the power to change “it”. It is not about what others or life does to me, it is about myself and my own Cold Case.
Has to be grammatically positive. The sentence in itself can describe an issue: what matters here though, is that there is no negation in the sentence.
I am not describing what my Cold case is not, I am describing what it is! Reason being that while we all use negation to communicate, our brains do not get it. For instance, “Not thinking” about a table immediately results in picturing a table!
Note though that at times it is easier to start describing what is not, as a way to get to what I want to say. Anything works to get to the right label for my Cold Case - just remember that, in the end, it is a grammatically positive sentence.
3. The label of my Cold Case needs to be very precise. It does not describe what is happening on the outside, it refers to what is happening to me on the inside. It can include the trigger (ex. “everytime someone does…., I…..”, “when you do…., then I …..”), and then describes how I feel about it.
When I think I found it, double check: on a scale from 0 to 1000, how accurate is the description of my Cold Case ?!
If my score is below 950, then continue working on it!
I will know when I have found the right sentence to describe my problem. I will just know it! Until then, I shall iterate and search for what makes sense - until I nail it!
Once there, write down here what the final label of my Cold Case is:
Table of content
Calling out my Cold Case
Tempering my Cold Case
Solving my Cold Case
Reflecting back on this experience:
What worked well?
What will you change with the next Puzzle piece?
Be kind to yourself!
Habits come and go: what matters is to be directionally correct.
It is OK to come back to a Puzzle piece you have already tackled, or to take more time to anchor a habit.
Do as it suits you best.
SOLVING A COLD CASE
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
I have a Cold Case: it is clouding my judgement, disconnecting me from reality and amplifying my reactions.
To set myself free, follow these 6 steps:
1. Go to a quiet place, where I feel safe and comfortable. Ensure I also have time to rest and relax afterwards.
2. Mobilise my Ego to be in it with me. Partner and ask it to protect me as I solve my Cold Case, and fuel me with the courage to solve it. I am not very happy to do this, but it did bring up this Cold Case, so the least it can do is help me solve it!
3. Remind myself why I am doing this. While I was not ready to solve my Cold Case at the time, I am now. I have changed. I have lived more. And I am ready because this emotional bomb pollutes my life, over and over. I have reached the point where continuing to live with it has become a bigger burden than addressing it.
4. Alone or with someone I trust, I start digging into my Cold Case. Unpeel the onion from the situation where I was triggered. What happened? What made me react so strongly? And how do I feel when...? How is this true? Why does it matter? Ask myself the 'how/what/why...' questions - until there is no more to answer. The answers can bring me far away from the situation I have lived - and that is OK. There is no right or wrong, there is only to follow the flow of answers that come to mind. I do not try to control my thoughts, I take what comes and I keep digging.
5. When I have reached the bottom of my Cold Case, tears can come - as it is a very powerful process to go through. These tears do not bring sadness - they bring relief. They mean I have reached the bottom of my Cold Case, and am ready to let it go as I change how I think about it.
6. The next day, if what used to trigger me no longer touches me, then I know I have won! My Cold Case is forever gone. Else, I need to dig again.
As I am ready, let’s solve my Cold Case!
First, decide whether I want to do it alone, self-questioning or with someone I trust.
There is no rule, just go for what intuitively feels the most comfortable.
Take a moment to talk to and onboard my Ego.
Below are some examples of what I could say to my Ego. I shall find my own words, to make sure the two of us are in it!
I could for instance thank it for making this use case visible. Thank it for always being here to protect me. And explain to it that I do need him for protection. I need him because the danger is not what could happen, the danger is actually my Cold Case itself. It carries a lot of emotions, and that is scary! It is like a bomb in my head, and no one wants to live with a ticking bomb in their head right?! So the two of us are going to partner, and remove that bomb. It will require lots of courage, and that is why I need my Ego on my side. Plus I need my Ego to feed me too with its willpower.
Then take another moment to remind myself why I am doing this.
This Cold Case has been polluting me for years.
Have I decided to get rid of my Cold Case? Yes No
Is it possible to continue living with my Cold Case? Yes No
Is now the time to get rid of my Cold Case? Yes No
If I have 3 “yes”, then let’s get rid of my Cold Case. Else, leave it there for now, temper it, and come back to it when I am ready.
To get rid of my Cold Case, start digging. Ask myself why? Ask myself how it feels? Ask myself whether this is true, and always true?
Also, don’t try to control my thoughts. Go with the flow of the answers.
In fact, there is probably no logic to my answers! I am starting with a very concrete situation, and I will probably go through ideas that have nothing to do with it! I do not need to understand the flow: I have made a connection, that is all there is to know. Go from one thought to the next.
Keep asking until there is no more question to ask, and no more answer to give.
I will know I have reached the bottom of my Cold Case because I will be deeply touched. Then I will know I am at the heart of my Cold Case. I will know why it is in my life, and what I have to overcome to live well. And therefore, with that knowledge in hand, I am able to fix my Cold Case.
Write down here what the root cause of my Cold Case is:
Every single Cold Case is a misunderstanding from the start. And that wrong interpretation of an event deeply hurts - that is why I sent it to storage, well packed and as far away as possible!
Today I am a different person. My understanding of the World has changed. I also have aged, and learned. I am equipped today to rewrite this story. I am able to change my understanding of that situation, and by doing so I will cut the roots of my Cold Case. And so it will vanish. As easily as that.
Rewrite here how the situation should have been understood in the first place. Course correct the misunderstanding, and watch my Cold Case disappear.
Allow me to share a personal example to illustrate this process.
When my grandfather died, I was 11 and I was devastated. Many years later, after going through questioning myself, I realised that I had convinced myself of the following: “if my GrandFather had loved me as much as I had loved him, then he would not have left me. And as he did, it meant that I was not good enough to be loved”. Quite a strong statement right?! I had misread the natural death of my grandfather.
By getting to the root cause of it, I was able to tell myself that people die, and that has nothing to do with how much they love you. By course correcting how I understood the death of my Grandfather, I was able to let my Cold Case go. And that transformed the way I relate to people, as now I believe that, even beyond death, I am good enough to be loved (which is also the opposite idea of my Cold Case)!
How do I feel, now that I have resolved my Cold Case?
Come back to the Puzzle as you see fit
Seeking for inspiration?
Go through Thoughts and People’s stories to find out how others have leverage the Puzzle to solve their challenge
TEMPERING A COLD CASE
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
To lower the impact of my Cold Case, I shall look into the exact opposite idea, and associate real life people to it.
For instance, if my Cold Case is "I will never find another job", the opposite idea could be that "plenty of jobs will come to me"! Notice that, in this example, it is not just that I will find plenty of jobs, it is also that I will not need to look for jobs: they will come to me! As I capture the opposite idea from my Cold Case, I need to address all the parts included in my label (hence the importance of labelling my Cold Case well).
Once I have found the opposite logic to my Cold Case, I find at least 3 persons who live as per this opposite logic. People I know or heard of and that (ex) have been offered jobs without even looking.
This is to anchor that there are options: the opposite of what I strongly believe in also exists.
After I have labelled my Cold Case, as I first need to know what “it” is about (cf. the tip “calling out a Cold Case”), I can start tempering the effects of my Cold Case.
Before I go any further, on a scale from 0 to 100, write down how much I believe my Cold Case is true?
First, to temper my Cold Case, I need to find the opposite idea of what my label says.
Write down the opposite idea of my Cold Case here:
And once I have found the opposite idea, then I will identify 3 people I know (personally or because they are famous). 3 people that live as per this opposite idea.
Why is it important to find 3 examples, in my life or in the media?
Because it demonstrates that what I think is not always true. It gives perspective that it happens in some cases, but not all. And accordingly, it tempers my Cold Case because I realise that there are options.
#1 person’s name:
#2 person’s name:
#3 person’s name:
To assess to which extent it worked, on a scale from 0 to 100, write down how much I now believe in my Cold Case.
Here is a personal anecdote to illustrate this tip.
I was convinced at 99% that “when you are rich, you have lost your values on the way (and that is why you managed to get rich!). So basically, rich people are bad people. And that was a cold case to me, as I struggled between needing a good income - as a single Mum - and fearing I would lose all my values if I earned well! I both wanted and did not want to be rich!
So I worked on what was the opposite idea of my Cold case.
I came up with “poor people are nice people”. However, it did not work - as this is the same idea rephrased. Poor people are nice, rich people are bad people - these are 2 different ways to phrase a similar opinion.
This was not the opposite idea of my Cold Case. The opposite idea is “rich people are nice people”. Obvious once said…. but it took me a while to find it, as so deep in the logic of my Cold Case!
Then I found 3 persons that became rich and are kind to others: I listed Oprah (helping communities), Bill Gates (with his Foundation) and Kathy Byron (an author I really like, who went from being homeless to writing best sellers and helping others).
And back to the scale: after having gone through this whole exercise, I now believe in my Cold Case at 1%! Because this thinking process demonstrated to me reality is not that black or white: there are some alternatives, and these alternatives can suit me better.
YOU ARE MASTERING THE TIPS RELATING TO THE PUZZLE PIECE "MY FILTER"!