Envisioning your future can help you get where you want to be
Envisioning your future is the act of seeing in your mind what you want to happen. It is more than just thinking about what you want to happen. You need to see your vision as if it already happened. In your mind’s eye, your vision is real, as if you have already reached your goal.
Here is an example: When I taught my daughters how to ride bicycle, one of the first things I told them, over and over, is to "look where you want to go, and not where you do not want to go." If you look at the wall, you will hit the wall. So, look where you want to go, and you will go there. Envisioning your future is the same thing.
When we visualize how our lives will be when we have accomplished our goals, our minds have an interesting way of helping us get there. Visualization unleashes a critical component of goal setting. It helps you to feel the sensation of reaching your goal, even before you have achieved it. These sensations might not always feel good, for any visualized goal that is stretching you out of your comfort zone, can bring feelings of anxiety. Your brain releases endorphins, and just by thinking about your goal can feel real.
Envisioning your success in detail can help you overcome stumbling blocks along the way. It will help you get through the dark days.
A couple of years ago I launched my first coaching business. I remember going for a run one morning and thinking about what a failure I had become. My business did not deliver enough revenue, and I was struggling to make ends meet. As I ran, I kept thinking that I am not the coach I believed I were anymore, and that I might as well shut my business down and go work for someone else again. I was working hard but was not sure where I was headed. I had no purpose and therefor low levels of positive energy. You can imagine what those low levels of positive energy, and self-doubt, did to my creative thinking, which is key when you are in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar space where creative thinking is necessary.
On that run, my life felt like a mess and I knew I had to do something different or think differently. I was scrambling up the ladder of life only to realize that it was leaning against the wrong wall.
As Steven Covey put it: "If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take gets us to the wrong place faster."
I remember thinking about my life and that I needed to pull myself together to be great example for my kids to follow. They would probably give me advice that sounded like this, "look where you want to go Dad, and not where you do not want to go. If you look at the wall you will hit the wall. So, look where you want to go, and you will go there, Dad."
I thought to myself, "I need to have a purpose and find a way to make it come alive." I needed to adapt and change. I had to see my way to my future, and type of company I wanted to create. I had to lean my ladder against the right wall, so that every step I take gets me to the place I want to be. That was my turning point.
I started envisioning myself running a successful company. I saw myself standing on stages inspiring and serving people. I saw myself traveling the world to help world leaders think even bigger. I saw myself as a successful author. I also saw myself always prioritizing my family, with a healthy work-life balance.
Even though I did not know exactly how to get there, I began focusing intently on where I wanted to go, and gradually my path started to light up.
If you are serious about growth in your life, you will need to envision your future daily.
Just as important, you will need a team of empathetic witnesses around you.
All growth towards big goals is emotionally taxing. Do not go at it alone. Have a team who you can huddle around when you are drained, negative or scared.
If you are going to create a powerful future, you will experience an intense amount of failures, heartaches and pain along the way. You need a team of empathetic witnesses. You need people who encourage you to keep going. People who encourage you to dream big.
It takes courage to be honest with others. Accountability is the most powerful force in the world.
Who are three empathetic witnesses in your life, right now?
What other people can you add, or do you need as empathetic witnesses?
Who could you get on your team right now to help you get where you want to go?
How much accountability and vulnerability do you currently have?
Your team should include many different members. The bigger your future self becomes, the more empathetic witnesses you will need to help you get there.