Becoming Your Future Self: Part 2

future self
As we saw in Part 1 of Becoming Your Future Self, practicing future self work is guaranteed to positively transform your life! It may sound like an exaggeration, but I do believe in the power of this work, and I am convinced that the shift it mindset that it creates is profound. There are many different ways to do future self work.  Ideally it becomes a daily practice of intentionally moving toward your vision, and away from anything that doesn’t serve that vision.  Here is a little more why, and then some how… When I read through the work of those who teach future self work, and take what I believe to be all the best pieces, it feels like a marriage between a disciplined and charismatic business coach, and a soft spoken, new ager; who teaches the law of attraction- and honestly, it is a terrific match! I do think “law of attraction” and “manifesting” has been mischaracterized to some extent, to the point of losing general credibility as something that can work to help you create the life you want. I am not here to suggest that you can simply envision your future self, and it will be come reality.  What I am suggesting, and what science can support, is that holding a vision for your future, and emotionally feeling what that future is like, CAN help to make it a reality, by influencing your mindset and behaviors in the present. All behavior is goal driven in some way, so know where you behaviors are leading you. Studies show that the mind does not differentiate between reality and imagination the way we might think.   A study looking at brain patterns in weightlifters found that the patterns activated when a weightlifter lifted hundreds of pounds were similarly activated when they only imagined lifting!  In some cases, research has revealed that mental practices are almost effective as true physical practice. How wild is that? Visualization acts directly on the brain, altering brainwave activity and biochemistry, and its effects branch out into every aspect of life. If visualization can alter you body, what how can it influence your much more malleable mind? One of the powerful ways this practice can transform you, is that it shifts the focus from your identity being driven by your past, to be being driven by your future; a future that you get to design. Traditionally, psychology has viewed behaviors as being driven by the past, but accumulating evidence in many areas of research suggests a shift in framework, in which navigation into the future is seen as a core organizing principle of behavior. In other words, stop being attached to the person you think you are, and be guided by the person you want to become. It is really an incredible shift, given that you may have had little influence or personal power in your past, which can lead to feelings of shame, remorse, anger, etc. When you know better, you do better; and your future self is wise, so let them lead! With a future focused identity it is easier to get go of limiting beliefs linked to our past. As humans, we assign meaning to our experiences, so it is really helpful to look at not just what happened to us, but at how our views of the past limit us in the present. Our memories are in part reconstruction: every time we recall them, the brain rewrites them. And how our brain rewrites them is influenced by our current concerns, understanding, and feelings. While we are writing our futures, we are also re-writing our pasts! future makeResearch shows that those who feel connected and in-tune with their future selves are better prepared for the future and take better care of their health than those without this same connectivity.  So how do you get, and stay, connected with your future self? Fortunately there are already some excellent resources out there to guide you in doing this work, and it is more information that I can cover, even in a 2 part blog post, so here are some resources: Dr. Benjamin Hardy has excellent content on the future self. He lists 5 powerful strategies from imagining and creating your desired future:    Imagine who you want to be in 3 years    Feel, deeply, what it would feel like to truly be that person    Shift as much in your current life, as you can to reflect your future self    Expect everything, attach to nothing                                                     Measure the gain, not the gap He has a great article that goes into detail how to do this work, which can be found here. I also highly recommend his 30 day future self course! He is a wealth of knowledge on the topic.  I am working through the course now, and I am finding it really transformative and full of thought provoking content. Another great resource was created by Dr. Nicole LePera.  She is passionate about this work and freely shares this PDF of her Future Self Journal. She also goes over future self journaling in this YouTube video. There are many different way to practice this work, and there is a lot interesting research on the why and how of this powerful model, but it comes down to one simple idea: When you create a vision for you life, you see your current life in the light of that vision. So let’s get a clear vision, and walk the path towards that reality! Thanks for reading! With Gratitude, Aimee O’Neil LLMSW    
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Aimee O'Neil LLMSW

Aimee O'Neil LLMSW

Founder of Wisdom Cultivators

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