Did you used to day dream? Can you remember that delicious feeling of fantasising about the person you’d become?
It’s a great way to unleash creatively and clarify your goals. Scientists note that a wandering mind may also be a sign of an “active and well-equipped brain”.
Day dream your way to the person you’re becoming
When we resolve to change, we often focus on turning an old habit into a new intention or letting go of something that no longer serves us, like nail biting. (“I will not bite my nails!”)
But focusing our energy on “not” doing something may keep us locked in the past.
What if you got to metaphorically delete your past, all those things you’re not good enough at or did ‘wrong’, and start afresh?
Who is the person you want to become?
Imagine allowing yourself to be a different version of yourself, what kind of person would you be – outgoing, reflective, spontaneous, kinder or more curious?
“Who are you becoming?” is the question coach and podcaster Brooke Castillo recently posed. It can be very liberating to focus on your future self without reference to the past.
So often we define ourselves by our past. We did a degree, became a parent, had a tough day, or felt a particular emotion. Or we might say we’re bad at maths, are a hopeless cook, or aren’t creative.
What happens if we look to the future instead? When we look forward to a holiday or starting a new course, we’re becoming our future self – the person meditating on a tropical beach or working towards a new career.
Take a moment to sense your future self. How does it feel to unleash your wandering mind and inhabit your future? Who is the person you are BECOMING, not the construct of who you always thought you were?
We can wipe out old regrets and preconceptions, exam results and limited capabilities if we stop being held back by the past.
Go forward with a clean slate
We’re not born knowing how to walk or talk, yet most of us do so every day without a second though. If you have a driver’s licence, it might have been a shock to discover that learning to drive was so much harder than it looked. The past self who first got behind the wheel, is not the person who now jumps in her car and navigates the traffic with ease.
We are capable of acquiring not just new skills, but insights and attitudes. By letting go of preconceived ideas about ourselves and what we can and can’t do, our world opens up. We start changing the present. The slate is wiped clear, nothing is holding us back!
When I first heard this podcast, my rational brain fired off a lot of negative rebuttals. But having a past life in the theatre and an ardent daydreamer, I gave the next step a go.
Castillo suggests acting into the new you, just as an actor learns a new role. Take some time to write an elaborate script. Be like a method actor, get clear about who this new you is and fully embody this character.
If acting into the new feels a little odd or unnatural, approach it as a brain training exercise. Scientists consider day dreaming as a sign of an active and well-equipped brain.
If you’re a lapsed day dreamer the acting approach could be a pathway to accessing your creativity.
Give it a go
If you’re struggling with allowing yourself to inhabit the person you’re becoming, and let’s face it all new skills can be challenging, remember how you want to feel. Act and talk as if you are that person already.
If you’re in a rut or struggling with blocks, Gill Stannard works with individuals and small businesses to create a healthier and happier future. Book a naturopathy (for health and wellbeing) or mentoring (to move your business and life forward) consultation online.