I feel like I’ve spent a lot of my professional life looking for mentors – people that will tell me what I should be doing to get where I want to be. Hell, I’ve spent a fair bit of my adult life wanting someone to tell me where I should want to be, because I wasn’t even sure of that. Mentors are wonderful and can provide a lot of clarity and guidance, but I have come to realise that nobody knows what you want better than you. And you are the only one that can decide to roll up your sleeves and do the work.
What if I told you the best mentor you could have is right inside that gorgeous throbbing grey and pink brain of yours? I tried an exercise by the brilliant Tara Mohr recently and it blew my freaking mind. I want you to try it too.
You keen? Good!
Here’s what I want you to do:
- Put aside 20 minutes or so to really relax on your own, with no distractions. Have a notebook and pen at the ready.
- Get yourself into a super comfy position and relax. Breathe deeply and focus on your breathing.
- Imagine yourself leaving your body, floating above yourself, higher and higher so you can look down on your life and everything that’s in it right now. Remove yourself emotionally and just observe – your house, your neighbourhood, your work, your friends…everything that makes up your life.
- Now I want you to float forward in time. Let’s go forward 20 years. Imagine you have succeeded in everything that mattered to you. You have done everything you wanted to do. Let’s go visit Future You. Where does Future You live? Go there and see it as you float down and look around. Observe what Future You’s house looks like, who is living there, what does the décor look like, how do you feel as you walk around? Are there pictures on the walls? What is in the fridge? What does the garden look like?
- Now meet Future You as she welcomes you in. What does she look like? How is she dressed? How is her demeanour now that she has succeeded in everything you’ve dreamed of doing? What does she say to you?
- Future You offers you a drink and something to eat. What is it? Where do you sit?
- You have a conversation with Future You. What advice does she give you? What does she want you to do? To remember? To focus on? What is important to Future You?
- When you have finished your conversation, thank Future You and head out of the house. Float up, up, up and look down on that life that Future You has. That’s your life if you want it. Then float back into your current neighbourhood, your current life.
- Bring your focus back to your breathing and when you are ready, pick up your notebook and pen and make notes about your conversation with Future You. What did she tell you? What did you observe about her house, about her life, about her demeanour? How did you feel when you met her? What are your priorities now?
- Continue to make notes as they occur to you and keep Future You in mind as you and go about your daily life and make decisions. If you’re feeling stressed or worried about anything, chat to Future You about what choices she thinks you should make(you know, silently is fine so nobody thinks you’ve gone completely 2007 Britney).
- Oh and we’ve created a printable so you don’t have to be in front of your computer to do the exercise, download the printable PDF here: Future You Exercise
I tried this exercise a couple of months ago and have been best buds with my Future Me ever since. Man, that chick has her shit together. I mean damn! I cannot wait to be her – Future Carolyn is calm, generous and relaxed in the knowledge that everything works out the way it should. She makes decisions that are smart for the long haul – not knee-jerk choices for the here and now. She knows that if she keeps at it, she will succeed at whatever she wants. She doesn’t mind working hard and chipping away at those big goals because she knows she will get there in the end. I really love her.
Tara Mohr also suggests you name your Future You during the exercise, and if that helps you, by all means do it. Then you can just have post-its everywhere in your house that say, “What would Mitzy do?” and really freak people out.
If you’d like to read more about Tara Mohr, you can hit her website here. She also has a book called Playing Big, which I’ve downloaded onto my iPad but haven’t started yet. I’m tipping it’s going to be a cracker.
What does your Future You tell you? I’d love to know!
I think about Future Sonia all the time, but I must admit it’s in the short term future sense. I love that this is much longer term. A brilliant exercise I’m definitely going to try! x
Man, I reckon Future Sonia would be a force to be reckoned with. Future Carolyn would love to sink some bubbles with her! xx
Definitely going to be giving this one a try.
Let us know how you go! xx
I love this, Carolyn! The best part about it is (hopefully) the realisation after doing the exercise that you have the answers you needed all along. It usually just takes that extra effort of clearing through the mind chatter and intentionally connecting with yourself to get to them.
I also have Playing Big on my iPad too. I think it’ll be next on my list to read after I finish Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (HIGHLY recommend it).
Definitely going to give this a go, thanks so much for sharing. Giving ourselves permission to do these things is often all it takes!
Really interesting. I usually struggle to keep the sceptic within me silent long enough to try these kinds of things. For you, I’ll make the exception.