Imagine showing up for life every day as the person you want to be rather than the person you are. You’d put on a costume and persona congruent with who you’d like to become in a year or two or three. And you’d experience yourself as that person now.
What type of impact might that have on your ability to succeed…to become that person? It might make all the difference in the world.
Jack Canfield, bestselling author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, offers the attendees of his Breakthrough to Success retreat a “Come as You’ll Be in Five Years” dinner party. Why? According to his website, “The best way to understand how incredible your ideal life will be is to EXPERIENCE it for yourself.”
During this dinner party, people talk, act, and dress the part while enjoying the praise of other attendees. Additionally, they celebrate all that they imagine they will have achieved in five years. Canfield’s sales page reports doing so ignites “your determination to make your dreams come true!”
Create a Daily Experience of “Come as You’ll Be”
Now, imagine the impact this exercise would have if you repeated it daily.
Show up for work daily dressed and behaving like the person you will be in five years. Interact with friends, family members, co-workers, and random people you meet during the day as the person you will be in the near future. Approach every task, responsibility, hobby, and moment of free time as if five years had passed and you are the person you imagined you’d become.
There’s a world of difference between experiencing your future self in this manner for one evening of dinner and dancing versus doing so every day. The first—one special night—would be fun and give you a taste of what life as this version of yourself would be like. However, going through the exercise daily of “acting as if” would create the habit of being that person.
Fake It ‘Till You Make It
Basically, I’m telling you to follow the advice you’ve probably heard before: Fake it ‘till you make it.
Some people hate that saying. They think it means you show up as someone you are not, which seems inauthentic.
I don’t agree.
If you are acting “as if” you are the person you want to be as a way to help yourself step into that version of yourself, that’s not “fake” or inauthentic. That’s congruent with the way you see yourself—at least the self you’d like to become.
And you are helping yourself break the habit of being your current self and form a new habit of being a future version of yourself. If you want to learn more about this concept, I suggest you read Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Many new behaviors feel fake until they become habits. And you can only become congruent with a different version of yourself by acting as if you are that person now. Habit is formed by repetition. Eventually, the you of today will be transformed into the you of tomorrow.
3 Ways to Step Into Your Future Self Now
If you want to begin role-playing (a nicer way of saying “fake it ‘till you make it’) your future self, here are a few ways to start:
1. Act As If
Determine what behaviors, gestures, vocal qualities, posture, and habits you would need to have if you were to become the version of yourself you would like to be in the next year or two. Make a list of them. Then, take them on! You might focus on one the first month, such as posture, and then add in a second, like a new way of speaking, the second month. Continue adding in new ways of being in the world each month. If it becomes too hard to keep up with them all, just work on one aspect until it’s habitual. You want to “feel comfortable in your skin” as you change your way of showing up.
2. Dress for Success
Yes, it’s true, that when you dress for success, it becomes easier to succeed. While other people’s perception of you can play into any one of these tips, including how they think someone should dress, what’s more important here is how you feel in your clothes. When you get dressed to go somewhere, does what you wear help you feel confident, enthusiastic, proud, experienced, knowledgeable, or plain old good about yourself? If not, you need to go shopping for a new wardrobe.
It’s also true that your clothes can’t cover up a lack of experience, courage, self-worth, or confidence. But they can help you feel less lacking in these areas. And when you feel good about what you’re wearing…when you dress the part…you are more likely to start feeling better about yourself and your abilities.
Many experts advise that you dress professionally even when you work from home…for the same reason. You will bring a different attitude and energy to whatever you do. And that will be seen and felt by you and everyone with whom you interact during the day.
3. Plan for Success
You can’t just assume your daily schedule will allow you to move in the direction of who you want to become and the life that would go with that version of yourself. You have to plan for that progress and outcome. That begins with you getting out a planner and determining how your future self would schedule his time. Would she work out first thing in the morning or spend a few hours tackling a priority project? Would he get up at 5 a.m. and meditate, journal, and read before showering and going to work? Would she be careful not to put anything on the calendar that isn’t aligned with her purpose and goals? Would he block time for hobbies and vacations? Would she schedule a five-minute break every hour? Would he work four days per week and spend one day on personal development?
Additionally, use your planner to set deadlines related to your progress toward becoming this new version of yourself. By what date do you want to have developed a morning routine, for instance? Or by what date would you like to have leveled up your income or transitioned into a new job? By when will that new behavior be habitual? Determine when you will accomplish any tasks that will move the needle toward success—and decide this on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
4. Visualize Your Future Self
Every day, take 10 minutes to visualize your future self—in a year, in three years, in five years. What will you look like? How will you behave? What will your life be like? What will you have accomplished? How will you feel? What will your relationships be like? How will you spend your time?
Visualization is enormously important. It may seem like daydreaming, but your mind doesn’t know the difference between when you imagine and what is real. The more you visualize yourself already having accomplished this transformation into Self 2.0, the more likely your mind will help you do whatever it takes to become that version of yourself.
You also need to keep your goal in mind at all times. More simply said, stay focused!
It’s super easy to let “life” get in the way of your dreams…unless you commit to not letting that happen. Make your goal of stepping into your best self and creating the life of your dreams your number one priority.
Every day, think about this goal. Visualize your dream. Behave “as if” you have already become that person.
Do this consistently, and you will find yourself and your life transformed faster than you thought possible.
Are you trying to become the person you know you can be? How will you create that transformation? Tell me in a comment below.
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If you are struggling to step into your best self…if you are afraid you may never be the person you dream of becoming, it’s time to take action. Give me an hour of your time, and I’ll help you see how to move toward fulfilling your potential and purpose so you make a positive and meaningful difference in this lifetime. Apply for a one-hour FREE Certified High Performance Coaching strategy session. Fill out this application.
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