I’m going to dive into a little story from my life. As I’ve said in another blog, I hit a milestone age last year. I turned 40 and the best part of turning 40 was I completed a huge challenge I set for myself at the age of 38. I wanted to challenge myself to do something mammoth. So I decided to run 40 half marathons in the UK and Europe and complete it by my 40th Birthday. I remember the day I set this task - I was in my old flat in Compayne Gardens, sitting in my kitchen and sharing this thought with my husband. I didn’t panic or stress and for not even one moment did I doubt that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I knew it was going to get done.
You are probably thinking that when I set this challenge I was a runner for a long time, fit and strong and had raced many races. No, none of that is true. I was 15-20 pounds overweight, on a crazy diet I had l picked up from somewhere with zero strength training and not even a clue as to how I would train for a half marathon. All I had done were a couple of 10k races. Yet I was so sure I would go and do all 40 half marathons in 2 years. And I did just that. My family and close friends knew the old me very well – they had always known the overweight, non-fit me and it was quite a change and shock for them to see this runner emerge from nowhere. So, how did I do it?
Here’s my truth. Simply put, I connected and embodied my Future Self. If you are going, hang on, I have no clue what you are saying, then my friends let me explain. I decided to finally stop looking only into my past to take lessons from there. My past showed me things I had done – so I believed that if I had done something in the past I could do it now. While that was good in some cases it was hugely limiting in many others. My self-limiting belief was I have never done this in the past so I can never do it now.
So I decided to change my belief, look into the future, find my future self and then work backwards. In other words when I set the challenge at 38, I visualised my 40 year old self who had already completed the half marathons. I asked myself – who is my 40 year old future self, what does she look like, what’s her hair like, what is her body like, what clothes does she wear, what does she eat, what does she drink, what strength does she have, how does she take care of obstacles, how does she train and what can I learn from her. Once I embodied her, I listened to her. My 40 year old taught me to eat clean, to stop drinking alcohol, to run 3 times a week, to strength train, she helped me research and execute training plans and most importantly, she made me leave my limiting beliefs behind, put on big girl shoes and run. I visualised my future 40 year old future self as a badass, tough, strong, compassionate full of wisdom self, one that could rock the 40 half marathons and more. I embodied her at 38 and 2 years later I became exactly her.
Now I always look at my future self to help me with goals big or small. My 45 old future self that I’ve embodied now at 40 will help me achieve the goals I want to by 45. All I need to do is be her now and work backwards. Here’s the golden nugget, my friends - Once you become future-focused, you can start visualising your future self. Your future self is already who you are without the negative belief systems that hold you back today.
One of the best tools you can use on a daily basis is to use your future self as a mentor. She is your ticket to the life you want. I am always asking myself what my future self would do in certain situations. I imagine her free from the negative belief systems I currently have. She has the confidence of completion that I can borrow when I am feeling anything but confident. She is at the top, with a clear view, telling me what to be careful of and what I need to steer clear of. She shows me that achievement is possible. By believing in her, I believe in myself.
For some of you, this may seem strange, uncomfortable and even alien. But my friends, I invite you to try it as this is a skill worth developing. Nobody knows you better then you and all your answers are within you, so perhaps its time to look?
If you are interested and would like to explore your future self then take a shot at this exercise:
Bring out your thought journal. Go to a quiet place, sit down with a cup of tea and get really introspective. Ask yourself – Who is my future self? How old is she? Is she a year older than me, 5 years older or more? What has she accomplished and how is she different from who I am today? What can she tell me about my self-limiting beliefs? What is she telling me about my life purpose? Once you listen and journal, I want you to set some powerful goals for yourself - goals accomplished by your future self. Once you’ve done that become that person literally now and start manifesting the result. It’s not the other way around. Have a great week my dear friends and have fun finding your future self.
I’d like to leave you with this quote from Louise Hay – “If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become truth for you.”
I'm Poornima Nair, Qualified Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Founder of Live Authentic Coaching. If you are curious about coaching, interested in being nurtured, inspired and pushed to your edge, to discover and create the relationships, career, lifestyle, finances you are longing for, please reach out to me for a taster of what great coaching does to foster the clarity, mindset, qualities and skills that will allow you to breakthrough.