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Episode 78 - Your Secret Success Tool [Your Year Series Pt. 12] 


Welcome to Episode 78

In this episode, we explore the power of modelling behaviour as a key tool for success. We delve into cognitive and intuitive modelling, emphasising how observing and emulating successful behaviours, attitudes, and strategies can pave the way for personal growth.

Rhiannon encourages listeners to find role models in areas they seek success and apply these modelling techniques to achieve desired outcomes.

In this podcast, you'll learn:
  • Modelling behaviour is observing and replicating the actions, attitudes, and strategies of successful individuals to achieve desired results.

  • It involves cognitive modelling (conscious analysis) and intuitive modelling (unconscious adoption from surroundings).

  • Role models like Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, and Warren Buffett have popularized this technique.

  • The brain mechanisms involved in modelling include mirror neurons, neuroplasticity, and reward systems.

  • The process: Observe, Identify, Imitate, Adapt, Repeat, Integrate.

  • Visualising success is a crucial step in effective modelling.

  • A structured approach: Define behaviour, Identify a role model, Study execution, Practice strategies, Evaluate progress, Visualise success.

Episode Transcript:


EP #78


“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 78, with Rhiannon Bush


Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.



Have you ever wondered by someone has something you don’t? Looking from the outside in here seems to be no logical explanation for how they got it and even though you want it, you don’t have it and can’t seem to get it. It sucks huh?!


Well the answer to your question my friends, is modelling. Yes. Modelling. It’s one of the first things we’re taught as NLP students – how to model behaviour. It essentially formulates success by looking out the hierarchy we spoke about in Episode 73 – Stop Limiting Your Thinking.


Modelling effects our values, beliefs, thoughts, actions, outcomes and life. It involves observing and emulating the actions, attitudes, or strategies of another person who already has the results we want.


To model behaviour, we take the time to really study someone – hello fellow people watchers – and get super curious about what they do, why they do it, and other things about them to observe and take on that behaviour as well – we imitate. A lot of the time we can’t explain why we do what we do – how we walk, talk, carry ourselves, think the thoughts we think… so this process can be difficult and layered.


Cognitive modelling is the process of actively and consciously working to understand somebody else’s behaviour. Think of a student studying somebody and deliberately analysing how someone walks, talks, and acts with the specific purpose of copying that behaviour to meet with success.


Intuitive modelling is something we learn from a very young age and do first and foremost with our parents – that’s feeling and absorbing the way those around us behave and we tend to adopt and replicate behaviours and patterns from those around us without being explicitly aware of it. Intuitive modelling doesn’t involve deliberate analysis like cognitive modelling does.


Some of my favourite people and authors have discussed and popularised modelling.

  • Tony Robbins

  • Richard Bandler and John Grinder: NLP

  • Warren Buffett

  • Tim Ferriss

  • Napoleon Hill

  • Robert Kiyosaki


Modelling focuses on what, how and why – what the person does (the way they act, the way they hold themselves, what they say) and how they do it (their internal computing – self-talk, questions, and values) and why (their beliefs and assumptions about them, the world and them in the world).


For example, if you’re a sprinter and you want to be competitive, you can look at Andre De Grasse, Asafa Powell or Tyson Gay. You can research their training schedule and diet, find who they were coached by and get that same coach, emulate everything they did to get faster and race successfully. Or you can do the same but for Usain Bolt. If you’re a sprinter, why wouldn’t you emulate the best? The one who holds the most records?


And the best thing, the thing that makes this the secret success tool, is that we have so much information available to us today, there’s not much we can’t find out if we really try, and it can be applied to anything. Music, art, sport, gym, telling a joke, being organised, skills we want to acquire like cooking or time management. Anything. All on the basis that everything we want to be effective at has a formula by which to be effective at that. We just have to learn what it is and we do that best by looking at those who have already achieved it.


And if we’re already highly skilled in something, but we’re still not achieving the level of success we’re hoping for, then it’s about something more than the skill itself. And this is where modelling is great. Because you get into the juice – the persons energy, their mindset, their attitudes, their state, their self-talk. You get to try it all on as if that person was right there with you each day, working hard to help you succeed and conquer what you’re setting out to do.


Why not model the best there is? Aim high because you’ll go a lot further by aiming high than if you aim low.


There are many reasons to model – access new experiences and abilities, flexibility in our own lives and behaving differently to how we do today, especially if it’s not serving us, finding patterns in unwanted experiences like addiction, anxiety or depression to overcome them, and goal achievement for a satisfying life.


For my sciencey, but-I-want-to-know-why friends, several things happen in our brain when we mirror. When we model behavior, several brain mechanisms come into play:


1. Mirror Neurons: These neurons fire when we observe someone else performing an action, mirroring the observed behaviour in our own brain. This neural mirroring aids in understanding and learning behaviours by replicating the observed actions.


2. Neuroplasticity: Modelling behaviour can alter our brain's structure and function through neuroplasticity, allowing the brain to reorganise itself in response to learning and experience. Repeating that modelled behaviour can create new neural pathways, reinforcing the behaviour.


3. Social Learning and Reward Systems: Modelling behaviour can activate the brain's reward system. When we observe successful behaviours or outcomes in others, our brain releases neurotransmitters like dopamine, motivating us to imitate those behaviours for potential rewards.


4. Learning and Memory Formation: The process of modelling engages areas of the brain associated with learning and memory, such as the hippocampus. As we mimic and practice the modelled behaviour, these brain regions encode and consolidate the learned actions.


Overall, modelling behaviour stimulates various neural networks involved in perception, imitation, learning, and reward processing, contributing to the acquisition and replication of those observed behaviours. When we do that, we can achieve a similar outcome in whatever it is we’ve been deconstructing and implementing – to stop doing something or start.


To model behaviour we need to:

  1. Observe. Closely watch and pay attention to what it is somebody else is doing who has achieved success in the area you want to achieve success in too.

  2. Identify the specific behaviours, attributes and attitude of the role model. The things that are effective, desired and influential. Identify what aspects are going to get the best result for you and are worth mimicking.

  3. Imitate those aspects you’ve identified as being the most impactful. Practice it, adopt it, repeat it.

  4. Adapt. The way the role model may not be the way you need to do it to get the best result for you, but by adapting it for you, your life and your circumstances, you may get an even better result.

  5. Repetition and feedback. Repeat the actions, behaviours, strategies and see what happens. Calibrate the feedback and refine. Keep adapting and adjusting as necessary until you get the outcomes you’re looking for.

  6. Integrate. The more you repeat the modelling, the more ingrained it will become until it’s unconscious behaviour. It doesn’t become integrated without repetition.




To achieve our goals, model behaviour. Find someone who has what you want. And who’s done it well and consistently. This could be in person, online, wherever.




1. What is the specific behaviour or skill I want to model? Define the behaviour or skill you aim to learn or replicate. Clarity on what you're modelling will help focus your efforts.


2. Who is a role model or expert in this behaviour? Identify who you want to model and then study their actions, approaches, and mindset. If you want to kick it up a gear don’t do this as a creepy stalker, just ask them. Get to know them and become friends with them. Spend the time.


3. Find out how they execute the behaviour? Break down the steps or elements involved. Analyze the process or techniques they use to perform the behaviour effectively.


4. Ask yourself - what strategies or resources can I use to practice? Develop a plan for practicing your role model’s behaviour. Determine ways to incorporate it into your routine and practice. Repetition will get you faster results and from there you can keep or modify the changes you’ve made to get better results.


5. How will I know if it’s working? Establish a few key ways to track your progress. If you’re the sprinter – it’s your time. If it’s your gym routine – it’s how much weight you’re lifting. If it’s weight loss – it’s how your clothes are fitting. If it’s time management – it’s how stressed you’re feeling on a scale of 1-10 and how much you’re getting things done. If it’s baking, how did it taste and look? Evaluate this. Keep doing what works and change what isn’t.


6.Visualise. Break down the steps and visualize your role model doing the thing you want to succeed at. Use your eyes to see them – how are they standing? Use your intuition to feel them – What is their energy telling you? What is their posture? Hear them – how are they breathing? Visualising them and success will help you identify what they do that you need to do more of to get a similar result.


And don’t just have one role model…if you have a few at a time you’ll more easily identify the gaps between your behaviour and theirs (and therefore the outcome they’re getting versus the outcome you’re getting).  Too many and you may miss important things so I would suggest a maximum of three.


Who will you model? Who has the results you want? Write that down, and schedule a time to speak with them.


I’ll see you soon.



Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…


I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!



Please note, this transcription may not be exact and Chat GPT maybe used in the writing/editing of this episode.

Questions? Topic Ideas?

Reach out to Rhiannon today
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