It's only fitting that I created this post on my oldest daughter's birthday! She herself has worked tremendously hard for her success as a newly graduated resident physician in New York City!
As a coach, I often recommend to my clients an exercise where they close their eyes and envision themselves as their future selves. I call it "Envisioning Success."
I remember when I first heard of this exercise. You begin by closing your eyes and visualizing yourself as your future successful self.
I tried to imagine my future self a year from now. However, I struggled to come up with an image. My perfectionist self was like, "Yeah, no, Nicole. You have to get it right, and that's not what your future self would be like, look like, or would have. When you get it perfect, come back. Otherwise, you may as well forget it for the time being."
Close your eyes right now and try it. What comes to mind? Do you have difficulty as well, envisioning your successful self?
When I was starting out, my vision was cloudy. I wasn't clear on what my future self would be doing, saying, thinking...I didn't have a clear idea or role model really of a successful woman who embodied the traits I resonated with.
I knew I couldn't envision myself like, for example, Martha Stewart, who is an incredible business woman, but not so well-balanced in the other areas of her life, like a romantic relationship.
I really like Louise Hay - her personality was very warm, loving, and nurturing, which I am also, but I also have a personality that is different. I can be very outgoing. Having seen her in person, she was charismatic, but in a softer way.
So my role models all had traits that I admired and could see myself as in the future, but this still left me struggling to find me - me in the future as my successful self. Fulfilled in all areas of my life. Authentic in who I am. What the heck was that supposed to look like?
Then it struck me that:
- I must not be the only one having difficulty with this.
- I don't need to be perfect in my future vision.
- I can tune into the feelings I want to be feeling on a consistent basis! What would that look like for me and my future self if I was radiating love, joy, peace of mind? Aha! I can do this now...
The mind is a powerful tool you can use to improve your life. The more you tune into your powerful mind by choosing empowering thoughts and feelings, the more you direct yourself toward your best future self.
I did a video on this very subject where I talk about envisioning success (see below).
It's really as simple as closing your eyes and seeing yourself in your mind's eye a year from now. It doesn't matter what you're wearing or where you are - if need be, picture yourself in your favorite outfit with a white background all around you.
Try this exercise now without worrying about what you'll be doing, saying, having, etc.
Envisioning Success Using Your Future Self Exercise
- Close your eyes.
- In your mind's eye, imagine your future self. Don't push into the thoughts and feelings of what they "should" be looking like and what they're surrounded with. Really feel into how joyful, loving, and at peace you are. See yourself smiling because you feel so happy and fulfilled! Breathe into that! Take a few deep breaths.
- As you see your future self, have them send back to you all those wonderful feelings they're experiencing. Let them flood you with those high energy vibrations! They're radiating! They're shining! That's you! Feel what that feels like!
- As you watch them radiating all these positive emotions, imagine your present self asking them for their wisdom on success. Listen for any answers that may come. You may or may not hear anything at this time. That's okay. Just keep feeling those wonderful feelings.
- Stay with this feeling until you're ready to open your eyes.
What I've found is that if you find it difficult to see yourself in the future, then feel yourself in the future instead. It's just as powerful!