Isn’t it funny how life happens and you hear or see something at just the right time that you were meant to. It’s happened to me, this week. Not only once, but twice, two days in a row!.
The thing I heard was “what would your future self say to you now?”. I heard this from my coach (yes, I have a coach) and from a mentor, in the space of two days. The context I heard it in was what would your future self say to you now if you take this action/make this change/don’t take the action/etc.
I loved this!!!
You see, when you set a goal, you are setting an objective/outcome for the future. In order to achieve that goal you often have to:
- do things you haven’t done before. Things that may be uncomfortable and out of your comfort zone. After all, if it was easy and comfortable, you probably would already have achieved that goal.
- think in a way you haven’t before. The thoughts you’ve had up to now have only gotten you to where you are now. To achieve something more than you have, you need to be able to think differently.
- make sacrifices.
When you set a goal, which will be achieved in the future, you think you’ll be fine with these things.
When it comes time to take the action required to achieve your goal, your present self may not be OK with these things. They may feel scary, hard, unknown, confusing. Therefore, you make excuses, act out of fear and don’t take the required actions. What’s effectively happening is the primitive part of your brain is effectively making you retreat back into the cave, away from the unknown, to keep you safe.
One way to overcome the fear your present self is feeling is to put yourself into the shoes of your future self. You can do this so simply by asking yourself “what would my future self say to me now if I do this’. Also ask, ‘what would my future self say to me if I don’t so this’.
Think of it like this:
If I do this, what would my future self in one year’s time say to me now. How proud would they be? How thankful would they be that I took this step?
If I don’t do this, if I stay stuck, what would my future self in one year’s time say to me now. Will they be happy or disappointed? Will they wish I took this action?
What would me in the future say to me now if I took these steps, got a bit uncomfortable and risked a little bit in my life?
I’ve used similar questions to this with clients before. Questions such as ‘what will happen if you do this’ and ‘what won’t happen if you do this’. These questions are great as they require them to think of the consequences of their action or inaction.
But, the future self questions go another step. By asking what your future self would say to you, you are forced to really put yourself in that time. You are forced to not only think of the consequences of your action/inaction but also how you feel about it. And, remember, we make decisions based on feelings and emotions, not just on logic or consequences.
Can you see how powerful this question is. After all, you don’t want to let your future self down, do you?
So, is there something you’ve been putting off? Something you’ve been procrastinating or ignoring that you really want to do as it will lead you towards your goal? If so, take a few moments and ask yourself these questions:
- What would my future self say to me now, if/when I do this?
- What would my future self say to me now if I don’t do this?
Don’t let your future self down, you owe more to yourself than that.