We are not controlled by our past or what other people think of us. But yet without a clear, vivid narrative of who we want to become, we remain in the status quo. The momentum of our current path narrows our vision of what may be possible. The daily demands of the urgent keep us focused on small tasks, limiting our investment in long-range strategic goals for ourselves. We are often seduced into short-term gratifications that expend our time and money, thereby committing us to greater costs down the road. We feel trapped in the present and the radiance of hope for experiencing our full potential dims. How we see and carry ourselves sets the benchmark for how others view and treat us. Internalize your future self and start living it today.
Each of us is on a journey. At some point, we realize we need to transform into the next best version of ourselves. Change can be hard for most people. The challenge is that we can become very comfortable with who we are and what got us to a level of success. Over the course of many years, our brain becomes hardwired to think in a certain way. Our aspirations and spirit on what we can achieve become constrained. A situation or event may require us to change even if it was not our choice. A divorce, a job loss, or an economic event can drive the need to change – and sometimes faster than we want to.
“Many of us make the mistake of treating our identity as a fixed, immutable object. We believe it cannot be altered, at least not signficantly. As a result, we never try to create a new identity. One of the greatest obstacles to changing our Mojo is here – in the paralysis we create with self-limiting definitions of who we are” – Marshall Goldsmith (Source: Mojo by Marshall Goldsmith)
What we need to drive change is an aspirational vision of our future self and strategies that let go of certain things so we can evolve naturally.
Knowing who you want to become sets our aspirational direction. We are all shaped by our life experiences and as we craft a career strategy, there is an opportunity to take a new direction that will ultimately define us. Although it may take time, we all have the ability to redefine who we are, and this will evolve as we take the journey through life.
Think about it as a “defined identity” that you articulate instead of someone else deciding how they perceive you. The person you want to become should include perspectives from both your career and broader life. In the Mojo book, Goldsmith defines this as “Created Identity”.
“The most truly successful people that I have met created identities to become the human beings that they chose to be – without being slaves to the past or to other people. This concept is the beating heart of Mojo.” – Marshall Goldsmith (Source: Mojo by Marshall Goldsmith)
1 – Let go of your past.
What got you here won’t get you there.
Accept that your past is irrelevant to today and who you can become.
Free your mind from the emotional handcuffs that serve as excuses to change.
2 – Vividly visualize your future self in action.
Write a short story about how you will be living in your aspirational state in 3-6 months.
Identify the attributes you want to be described by others.
Make it aspirational and as detailed as you can.
Visualize yourself living a typical day or week.
Read your story periodically to convince yourself and take action toward your future self.
3 – Listen to the hope of your future self.
Envision you are meeting your future self.
Take in how you look and how you carry yourself.
Share how you are feeling right now with your future self – your challenges and limiting beliefs.
Look with the wisdom and eyes of your future self to see how your small self is stuck.
Listen to what you need right now to be more courageous, loving, and free.
Listen that what your future self wants you to know and trust.
Sense how the love and wisdom of your most evolved being lives within you now.
4 – Practice being your future self today.
Understand that people judge and treat you by the appearance of the role you play.
Present your best front and play your role to maximum effect.
How you carry yourself reflects what you think of yourself.
Leverage the Strategy of the Crown – If we believe we are destined for great things, our belief will radiate outward, just as a crown creates an aura around a king.
Practice acting like a king (or queen) to be treated as one – be overcome by your self-belief.
Experiment With This
- Use subtle visuals in your home and workspace that reinforce hope and inspiration for your future self. How does it feel when you think about your future self?
- Refine or write a story of your future self every 3 months. Look back on previous versions to see how far you have come. What do you feel is holding you back?
- Catch yourself when limiting self-beliefs enters your mind or words. What facts or reality disprove these? Is how I am carrying myself limiting who I can become in the eyes of other people?
- Envision your family, friends, or professional colleagues at a small gathering with other people. Your name comes up in conversation and someone wants to know more about you. How do you want to be described?
- Evolving into our future selves takes time, patience, and confidence. What is within your control to change? Are you unrealistically expecting external factors not within your control to change for you to make this transition?
Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN by Tara Brach (Chapter 3 – RAIN Reveals Your True Self)
Meditation: Calling on Your Future Self (podcast by Tara Brach)
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (Law 25 – Re-create Yourself, Law 34 – Be Royal in Your Own Fashion: Act Like a King to be Treated Like One)
The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene (Law 3 – See Through People’s Masks: The Law of Role-Playing)
The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks
Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy – by Patrick Bet-David (Chapter 1 – Who Do You Want to Be?)
Be Your Future Self Now: The Science of Intentional Transformation by Dr. Benjamin Hardy