The link between the you of today and your future self is strong. The choices that you make today ultimately shape the life that you will live tomorrow. If you have ever imagined yourself as more confident, more successful, more organised, happier, in a different job or changing career, then you have imagined your future self.
Yet all too often we arrive at a landmark birthday (typically one ending with a ‘0’) or reach a major milestone and realise that our reality starkly contrasts with the dream we had for that future self. How does this happen? Why does it happen? And, how can you build a deeper connection between yourself today and your future self?
Define success for yourself
All too often we get caught up in and measure our success according to the definitions of others. We do this in the false belief that by obtaining it ‘I will be happier’. If you are measuring your success according to someone else’s version, you are living a life dulled by comparison. Instead, give yourself both the permission and freedom to define your own version of success.
Get to Know Your Future Professional Self
As you know, here at A Career to Love HQ we are great believers in the power of pen and paper. So, once you’ve defined what success means to you, your next task is to sit down with a cup of tea, a glass of wine or a mug of coffee and on paper honestly answer these 5 questions-
- What do I want my next step in my career to be & why? Be detailed but flexible. Allow yourself to dream a little!
- On a scale of 1 – 10 how important is this goal to me?
- On a scale of 1 – 10 how ready am I to work towards this goal?
- On a scale of 1 – 10 how confident am I that I can achieve this?
- What 3 small things that I can do this week to move one step closer to my future self?
Practice Being your Future Self
If your future self wants to be a writer, you must spend time writing. If you want to be better leader, you must practice your leadership skills. If you want to get that promotion, you must step up to the mark and gain experience whenever and wherever you can.
The decision to practice or not, to lead or not, to do the course or not, to start the business or not, are the choices that lead you towards your ideal future self or leave you stuck. So, if you want a different future self, you have to practice for the future you want in this moment.
Focus on what you want, NOT what you fear.
Set targets and milestones for yourself. One small step at a time, day by day make progressive choices that lead you closer to your ideal future self. Don’t fear what you cannot do instead focus on what you can and will do.
Busy and Productive are not the same.
There’s a fine line between busy and productive but the difference is VERY important. In my search to explain it I found this quote by Peter Bergman which sums it up beautifully- ‘Busy is running on a treadmill while productive is running to a destination’. In both cases you are running but being busy is running in the same place while being productive is running towards a destination. If you want to be the best version of yourself in your future, slow down and figure out what productive looks like for you. Use today and every day to focus on getting things done that drive you towards your goal rather than hold you still and waste your energy.
Forget Perfection Aim for Better
Stop striving for instant gratification and constant perfection. Instead focus on being a little bit better today than you were yesterday. Deal with mistakes, failures or problems before you go to sleep at night and promise to move forward tomorrow. Think of what you do today as an opportunity to learn and do better tomorrow. Today is your investment in your future self.
Your #powerfulin60 checklist
Define what success means to you,
Get to know and then practice being your future self,
Focus on your target and not the fear,
Be productive more than busy and aim for better, not perfection.
Follow these tips to become the professional you want to be in the future.
By Sinead Brady