If you haven’t read part 1 of this article start here.
HOW TO BECOME YOUR FUTURE SELF NOW
1. Imagine the Future You Want
“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” – John Lennon
When was the last time you really dwelled in possibility and just let your imagination go wild? We tend to lose the dreamers and fantasizers in us the older we get beneath the cluttered surface of have to’s and ought to’s and what our brain thinks is “realistic.” It’s easier for the brain to remember the past than imagine the future.
You will be confined by the walls you build for yourself in your mind. So take down the walls. Let that mind go wild and free. If anything were possible what would your future look like? Would you have a beautiful loving family, travel for two years, own your own business, be the lead actor in an award winning movie? Would you drive your dream car, start your own nonprofit, live in your favorite city in the world?
Some people resist going here because they don’t want to feel disappointed if it doesn’t happen. If you don’t allow yourself to dream of your future then you’re just disappointing yourself ahead of time. You’re failing ahead of time. There is no downside to using your imagination. If you dream big and believe in it and then you show up in a big way as that future self that has it that is going to change your life even if the exact dream didn’t come to fruition. The person you become, where that road leads, the experience, relationships and moments that will come from that wouldn’t be possible if you hadn’t decided to believe. To really show up. If you dream is small then you can show up small, the future you didn’t have to expand and level up all that much. Think big. Let your mind go there. If it doesn’t feel a bit uncomfortable to do this then you aren’t doing it right.
2. What actions, inactions, behaviors and decisions would the future version of you take to create that life?
You can break this down into the you a year from now vs. the you 10 or 20 years from now. It’s actually good to do a short-term future and a long-term future version.
You don’t need to know the “how” of creating your future to believe in it. That’s what stops a lot of people. They don’t have evidence from the past or an exact roadmap for the future so they make that mean it’s not possible. Don’t worry about the exact steps, just ask yourself how does that person behave? How do they show in the world every day. What do they wear? A nice suit because they have a fancy job, casual clothes because they are finally working in a flexible job and can work from home. What do they eat? They mostly eat healthy foods they have cooked at home or they moved to a big city and often eat out at all sorts of restaurants. Who do they spend their time with and how? They spend more time with their kids doing fun things not just homework or hanging around the house.They only spend their time with people they truly enjoy, so their circle has gotten smaller. How much money do they have? They are loaded. Or maybe the you a year from now doesn’t have much at all because you invested it in your business, school or to travel but the you in ten years has a lot in the bank and in savings. Where do they live? They live in California or Europe or exactly where they live now but in a home they built themselves.
What habits would they have? Meditate, meal prep, journaling, getting up earlier, family dinners, getting dressed for the day instead of sitting in their pjs, track their spending.
What would they do? Follow through on their commitments to themselves, ask for the promotion, work on their book for an hour every day, take a pay cut to get necessarily experience, put in the long hours to get their dream job, find a workout they enjoyed to take care of their body, take the damn vacation, start the company, be open and go on dates, set necessary boundaries.
What would they not do? Over drink, over eat, over spend, Netflix every night, spend hours on social media, try and control everything, doubt themselves, let failure stop them, resist their fear, stay in a job they loathed, take on other people’s problems, continue to date unavailable guys, be overwhelmed every day with all the stuff they “should” do.
How would they show up for the people who are important in their lives, their kids, family, significant other, friends and employees. Be the kind of mom who lets their kids fail so they can grow. Allow themselves to be vulnerable and communicate what they want with their partner. Prioritize time for themselves so they could give the best of themselves to others.
3. How would they feel? How would they manage their feelings?
Your feelings fuel your actions (or inaction). Every action is because of a feeling, the decision-making part of your brain is very emotional and wants to do things or have things because it thinks it will make us feel a certain way. Ask yourself what feelings would fuel your future self to take the actions they take?
The future you would feel…
- Confident to ask for the promotion or start the company
- Acceptance instead of trying to control everything
- Hopeful and patient in working towards finishing their book, finding the right person or saving the funds to move somewhere new
- Motivated to put in the long hours
- Focused and at ease throughout their day, not overwhelmed
- Resilient and strong when things don’t go as planned and challenges come up
- Compassion and love to those they care about most even when they are in an argument
- Courage to keep going without evidence
- Grateful and abundance instead of operating from a place of scarcity
- Secure in who they are
They would allow themselves to feel the good feelings and the bad ones instead of trying to drown them in alcohol or food or over working.
Here’s the thing. Any of those feelings are available to you right now. How you think about things generate how you feel about them. When you really believe in something for your future you create those emotions now. When you are thinking about things in your past you wish didn’t happen or you regret then you are creating those emotions now. Both the past and future only exist in your mind. You create them by how you choose to think, start living from those feelings your future self feels now.
4. What thoughts do they think? What do they believe, what is their mindset?
What are everyday thoughts that enter their mind? What are their deeper beliefs? A belief is just a thought you keep thinking. What’s their overall mindset in certain situations?
To start living with those feelings your future self feels now you need to align your thinking to those emotions that ignites the desired action.
Becoming the future you starts with becoming them in your mind, if your thoughts don’t align with your feelings and behavior you won’t get the future results. Your brain is going to naturally default to the same old thoughts and mindset. You have to actively purposefully start training your brain to think differently.
The future you would think….
- I am worthy of real love
- I’ll learn what I need to learn to develop this skill
- This doesn’t define me
- Screw perfection
- I can be happy with another person even though my first marriage didn’t work out
- This is no longer what I define as success in my life
- Losing my job gives me freedom to choose a better path forward
- What they think of me is irrelevant
- This doesn’t align with what I want for my future and that’s enough of a reason to choose something else
- Things will fall into place exactly as they are supposed to
- I don’t need to go to war with my body
- I don’t HAVE to do this or do that I’m free to choose
- Worrying about this is a waste of my time
- Part of living a human life with a human brain is feeling all of the human emotions, nothing has gone wrong because I’m not happy right now
- I’ll use this pain to help me grow and be stronger
They would also think from a different perspective in certain situations…
- The future me who lost the weight or stopped drinking wouldn’t even be thinking about not eating the food they want to eat or drinking the drink they want to drink when walking into the restaurant. They would be thinking about the people they are meeting, what they want to talk about, the ambiance etc. NOT obsessing about drinking or food.
- The future me doesn’t obsessively think to themselves don’t be nervous before a big meeting with high level execs that they don’t feel they deserve to be in. The future me knows they belong there, they don’t doubt it or question it. The future me isn’t focused on nerves, they are about what they wanted decided at the end of the meeting or how they can create a deeper relationship with the people there.
- The future me wouldn’t be thinking I hope this guy likes me the whole time on the date she would be thinking does this guy fit with the type of person I want in my life?
It’s common to feel a bit of imposter syndrome here as this type of thinking often leads to big shifts in your identity and we tend to cling to the ways we have defined ourselves, even if we don’t like them, even if we want our future to be different!
5. Create a Relationship With Your Future
The relationship with yourself right now is the most important relationship of your life. The second most important relationship is the one you have with your future self. To create your future from your future you need to have a real relationship with that person.
When you get into a new serious committed relationship you have to let go of your old one. To create a relationship with your future self you have to recognize you have outgrown previous versions of you and be ok with leaving parts of you behind. You have to detach from the person you were so you can become the greatest version of who you can be.
You need to start truly identifying as you 2.0. Take all those thoughts, emotions and actions you identified and start living them. If you had a crystal ball and could see that for certain you did create that successful business, find the love of your life, shed the weight, become the writer or real estate mogul, how would it change things? What thoughts would you then easily naturally think, what emotions would you effortlessly feel? When you believe in your future you get to enjoy it now, you get the “knowing” and the mindset and emotions that comes with it.
Start asking yourself questions every day:
- How would the person I’m becoming live this day?
- What is something I can do right now that my future self will thank me for?
- How can I make my future self proud of me right now?
- When you make decisions ask what would the future version of you do? How would they think about this? The future you is always wiser than the you right now.
Talk to Your Future and Past Self
Letter From Present You to Past You
Write a letter from you now to your younger self. What would you tell your younger self to stop doing? What would you tell them they needed to start thinking about differently in their mind? Please younger self don’t get arrested at that party, don’t marry that guy, don’t hate your body, don’t think you are not good enough, stop worrying about money but be responsible with it.
Letter from Future You to Present You
Now write a letter from your future self to you now. Date the letter, is it you a year from now, 5 years from now or 20 years from now? What does the future version ask you to start doing and stop doing? What would they want you to know? What do they want you to believe and feel? What would they also thank you for? Thank you for taking that chance, for not treating your body like shit, for doing the right thing, for forgiving your mom or your ex. It’s so motivating to think about what you are doing now and how that’s a gift you are giving to your future you that they will thank you for.
I like doing both short and long-term letters. Looking back at the letter you wrote to yourself a year ago every year is incredibly impactful.
The future you is so much wiser, consult them, and start becoming them today. The only thing stopping you from becoming them now is you.
“We are the masters of each moment.” – davidj
When you give full attention to the present showing up as the person you want to become in each moment, that will allow you to fulfill your intentions for your future. The future is your inspiration, your motivation to the live your potential in this moment and the next future moment of now.