SUZY READING, LIFE + ME’S WELLBEING PSYCHOLOGIST, DISCUSSES GETTING OUT OF OUR OWN WAY AND SAYING HELLO TO OUR FUTURE SELF…
So you’ve set some goals, you feel that burning desire to take action and for the next few days you are right on it. A week later however that fire may not be burning so brightly. Maybe we find it is in fact us that is getting in the way of progress. Are you good at self-sabotage? You’re not alone.
PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE SELF
When I am working towards a goal, I find the concept of “past”, “present” and “future” self helps me in this process. Your past self is everything you have done in the past – the person you were yesterday, 5 years ago, 20 years ago. When it comes to goals, know that you can’t change your past self, you can only change how you feel about it.
Your present self is the person you are right now, in this moment, today. This is where your control lies – you have the power to effect who you are right now, your choices in this moment!
Your future self is the person you are becoming tomorrow, next month, in 10 years time. Understand that your future self is the culmination of every decision your present self makes – it helps me make better decisions when I make that connection.
When faced with a decision that impacts on your goal, hold in your mind’s eye how each choice could affect the person you are becoming. Does the choice you’re about to make support who you aspire to be? Relate this back to past decisions and the results of those actions – learn from those choices. Can you delay gratification in this moment to nurture your ‘future’ self, even if your ‘present’ self is crying out? Is there a way that you could find satisfaction in this moment that doesn’t then sabotage the person you aspire to be?
STRIKE A BALANCE
Try to strike a balance between caring for your present self and your future self. When making goals, meditate on your future self – who is this person you are becoming, allow them to have a voice, listen to them! Hold this image at the front of your mind. Give this desire top priority and approach decision making mindfully.
Know that the choice is yours and that by making better choices MOST of the time, you will get much closer to becoming the person you want to be. Remember also to be kind to yourself. It can take time to carve the path you want to be on, so be persistent and compassionate.
Acknowledge too if you need a little help realising your vision. If this has been something you’ve wanted for a long time and what you’re doing isn’t working, then enlist some support. Equally, if this is new and you don’t know how to tackle it – reach out for help.
Suzy is a Chartered Psychologist, Yoga Teacher and Health Coach. She specialises in self-care, helping people manage their stress, emotions and energetic bank balance. Suzy is a contributing editor for Psychologies Magazine and author of ‘The Self-Care Revolution’ published by Aster.
Suzy is Life + Me’s Wellbeing Psychologist. If you have a question for Suzy for our Q+As, or if you have a suggested topic you would like her to cover, email [email protected]