+ MINDSET SERIES: Future-Based Self
Forget about who you were, focus on who you can be.
We all carry in our minds a picture of ourselves. Who we perceive ourselves to be. And every day we measure our actions and routines against this picture.
With a clear future-based self, our mind holds us to account when we don’t live up to this improved picture of who we are. “Cognitive dissonance” kicks in and says, “This is not who we are.” and drives us to act in accordance with our future-based self.
Past Based Self: For most of us, the dominant image of ourselves is constructed from our past and our previous attempts, failures, struggles and insecurities. We view ourselves through this lens, so when we repeat these past habits we are simply being who we have always been.
Future Based Self: Some people develop a future-based picture of themselves that acts as a driver for forward momentum. They don’t do this by setting goals, but rather by creating a competing and better picture of who they are for their brain to measure their actions and decisions against.
Focus on who you can be: Action Steps
Write your future based self-statement using present tense statements about your improved future self.
For example: “I show up on time, do what I say, finish what I start, and say please and thank you.”
TIP: Developing a future-based self isn’t achieved by setting goals, but by training our brain to view ourselves differently. You can accomplish this through daily reading of your “future-based self-statement.” This is a description of yourself stated in the present tense, the way you want to be.
In times of uncertainty and anxiety, it’s important to remember what you’re in control of and how to take care of yourself, your business and your mindset. The Positive+ Mindset series is designed to offer you 10 tangible ways you can maintain a positive outlook, express gratitude, lead with compassion and empathy, and turn negative thoughts into positive ones that will improve your thinking, actions and outcomes.
Adapted from Dan Sullivan’s “The ‘Scary Times’ Success Manual.”