Hi there – it’s your future self. Guess what? YOU DID IT! You started that business everyone said was too crazy to evvver turn out OK. You snagged a sweet guy who actually cooks dinner on the nights you work late. And your friends? You legit have noooo idea what you’d do without seeing them for Friday drinks and Sunday yoga every week.
But here’s the thing. Looking back on alllll the epic stuff you’ve accomplished through the years, I’ve noticed a lil’ bit of a pattern. You worked SUPER hard…but you also went through WAY more heartache, struggles and teary nights with Ben & Jerry’s than you had to.
Now, if you’re a long-time reader of this blog, I know you’re probably like, “What the heck?!? Caitlin talks allll the time about how I should really feeeeel whatever pain’s in my life.”
And, yes, it is suuuper important to let yourself to feel negative emotions when they come up and practice self-compassion when you’re in an icky emotional place.
At the same time, though, a TON of the pain and struggles we experience are accidentally created by us and our choices. And you don’t have to deal with half the shit you’re putting yourself through to become who you want to be (AKA, me!) in the future.
How The “Stories” You’re Telling Yourself Are Keeping You From Improving Yourself – and Your Life
Now, no one wants to feel more pain. And if you’re going through some major crap right now, it’s definitely not your fault that you’re hurting. However, your mindset is an uber important factor in how you feel during shitty events. And when I look back at an embarrassing, blah or totally horrrrible time in our life, I realize that soooo much of that pain was created by the mental stories we told ourselves about that experience.
Think back to when you felt suuuuper down about yourself or just life in general. Now, there were some outside triggers of those icky feelings, right? Like moving to a new city where you didn’t know a single person or haaaaaating what you saw in the mirror? But there was another layer to that pain, too: the hurtful stories you told yourself about your sad feelings, like “I’m never gonna get over this,” or “I’m not worthy of being happy,” or “If I never get out of bed again, no one would even care.”
It’s those kind of stories that make every struggle soooo much harder. And we tell ourselves those stories about every single area of our lives.
The Stories You Need to Stop Telling Yourself ASAP
Take your last breakup, for instance (you know, the one that still keeps you up at night). I know it hurts. But let’s consider why you’re hurting soooo bad. Sure, losing someone you love is freakin’ hard. But what stories are still running through your mind that make this pain a billion times worse? That you’ll be alone forever? That your ex wasn’t who you thought he was – and that you are soooo stupid for not seeing that right away?
Or, think about an addiction you’ve hard-core struggggggled with before. It could be to alcohol or fast food or others’ approval or whatever. Yes, feeling like your whole life or self-worth is tied to some outside thing majorly sucks. But you feel even worse when you start thinking crap like, “No one would hang out with me if I didn’t drink…” or “I have noooo self-control around McDonald’s, so I’m never gonna change!”
You see how these stories actually create MOST of the pain we’re dealing with?
And the worst part is, these stories do waaaaay more than just tank our mood. They also transform an experience or action into something that is part of who we are. And that means we’re doomed to keep repeating those “horrible” behaviors, no matter how shitty they make us feel.
The Mindset Change You Need to Make to Live an Epically Happy Life
Ready to learn how to let go of alllll this emotional drama? Because, the truth is, you DON’T have to be controlled or limited by those negative stories. You can stop struggling and start growing…just by getting in touch with me, your best, healthiest, most confident badass self.
Here’s how it works. Think about something right now that you are suuuuper pumped about working toward in your life. Then imagine that you are right on the verge of scoring a HUGE win. Maybe it’s an epic promotion at your job or getting engaged to someone who really gets you or finally figuring out the foods that make you feel freakin’ ammmmazing. Whatever goal you want to set, imagine you’re right about to pull a Beyonce and slay that thang.
But, suddenly, there’s a plot twist: you get fired from your job or your boyfriend cheats on you or something just goes horrrribly wrong, and you feel totally powerless, discouraged and, well, broken.
This is when it’s easy to let your imagination run wild and tell you all sorts of icky stories about how “nothing evvvvver” goes your way or how you must “not be worthy” of that job or true love.
How to Take Back Control Over Your Stories About Every Experience
But this time, take back control. Think of how I – your kickass, future self- would react. And instead of just accepting those false, hurtful stories, consider the true facts. Yep, you lost your job. Or, yep, your boyfriend cheated. But now YOU get to choose what story you write about this. Maybe losing your job is gonna finally give you the freedom to start that kickass freelance biz you’ve been daydreaming about for years. Or maybe you reflect on your relationship with that cheating boyfriend and think, “This isn’t a story about how I’m unworthy of love or how he’s a lying scumbag. It’s about two different people who are moving in different directions in life. And it hurts and sucks, but we’re both gonna move on and be OK.”
Even if you go through something really crappy – like being arrested for drunk driving – you can still control what story you tell yourself about that moment. So instead of, “Wow, I’m a horrible person and I soooo don’t deserve a second chance,” you can think, “You know, I was going through a rough time in life, and that isn’t an excuse, but it’s a reason to show myself a lil’ self-compassion. And this is the wake-up call I need to take recovery seriously and become the sober badass I know I wanna be.”
The truth is, your future self – AKA, me! – knows everything. I know how losing your job will push you to become the QUEEN of networking. I know how a brrrutal breakup will teach you how to love being single and be comfortable livin’ it up on your own. And I even know how hitting rock bottom will force you to make BIG changes to your life that will make you happier and healthier in the end.
That’s why, if you can see your present struggles through my eyes, you don’t have to hurt so freakin’ much – even when life throws you one hell of a curveball. Because you can already imagine allll the amazing things that obstacle is going to bring.
How to Use Your Future Self to Be a Confident Badass In Your Present Life
So think back to that epic goal of yours that you’re super excited about. It could even just be going home for the holidays, since that’s the season we’re in now. Then, imagine something going really, really wrong, from setting the Thanksgiving turkey on fire to your dad ending up in the hospital. And picture how you’re gonna feel: disappointed, maybe even angry at losing progress on your kickass plans.
But here’s where you change things up. Sure, let yourself FEEL those crummy feelings and show yourself a little extra self-love and self-care. But then remind yourself that you are NOT a victim. You are a victor who uses every situation to learn, grow, connect or love yourself and others more. And for you to do that, you can’t just wallow in the “poor me” drama and think about how you’re nevvvvver gonna be OK. Instead, you need to move on to processing the situation like you would 10 years down the line…as me.
And to do that, you can ask yourself a few questions, like: “How would my future badass self deal with this situation? What would they do? What do they decide it means about them and the world and the other people involved? How much energy do they decide to invest to ‘fix’ this problem – or what might they do instead? What will the story about this experience be?”
And let those answers help you decide what action you take next!
Of course…getting to know me is easier said than done. So if you’re struggling to cozy up to your future self or figure out what goals you want to set and achieve in the first place, check out the Future Self Meditation for help. In it, you’ll be guided step-by-step through reflecting on your life now and the life you want in the future. By the end of the meditation, you’ll not only have a better idea of what you truly want out of life, but also WHO you’ll be when you get there. To learn more or to start meditating your way to a more fulfilling future today, click here.
The Last Steps of Achieving Your Goals With Help From Your Future Self
So, you’ve thought about your goals. You’ve thought about how I would react to a HUGE obstacle getting in your way. And now that you’re creating true, reflective stories around those less-than-great experiences, make sure you work these universal truths into your new narratives:
- It’s gonna be OK, and it already is OK.
- Things are, overall, going to get better…and that this experience is already making you better or stronger or smarter in some way, even if you can’t see it now.
Use those reminders as fuel for feeling like you’ve got this. Like you are already the powerful, level-headed, confident badass that is your future self.
And then, drop the struggle. Let me – your future self – help you create a more empowering narrative and guide you through this experience with loooads of confidence and hope. And feel yourself grow, not because of the “growing pains” associated with struggle, but because of the love and reflection and self-awareness you’re showing yourself and all of your experiences.
If You Remember One Thing About This Message From Your Future Self…It’s This
I know, right now, you’re doing the best you can to find true happiness and improve yourself.
You are setting goals.
You’re trying out new, healthy habits.
You’re giving your all to kick ass at your job and find a true life partner and feel more at home in your body and achieve all the other billion amazing things you want out of life.
But I also know how much it freakin’ hurts when life doesn’t go according to plan and the stories you’re telling yourself about those experiences are full of self-hatred and self-blame.
That’s why, the next time shit hits the fan, know that I have your back. That I can help you create a story about that cruddy event that is just as empowering as it is true…and that you don’t have to feel trapped by the negative “what if’s” or “maybe’s” swirling through your brain. Instead, you can use me to think of all the ammmmazing stuff you’re gonna learn or take away from every situation.
I’ll end this letter with one final truth bomb:
You are strong (but getting even stronger). You are smart (but getting even wiser). And you are soooo more capable of handling tough times in life than you often believe.
And once you start believing in that – and in your own power – nothing will be able to hold you back. Before you know it, each and every “horrible” situation will have passed…and you’ll be one step closer to not only slayin’ your goals, but also becoming that healthy, confident “future self” you keep dreaming of being.
See you soon…
Your Badass Future Self
What’s one less-than-awesome experience you can look back on now and see in a more positive light? Tell me in the comments!