I recently listened to Dr. Benjamin Hardy’s audiobook Be Your Future Self Now and am currently obsessed with the concept of the “Future Self.” This involves making decisions and taking actions today that support the version of yourself you aspire to be in the future. It means taking steps intentionally and strategically that you will reflect on days, weeks, years and even decades from now and be thankful to yourself you did. In other words, designing your life consciously rather than living on autopilot, setting your sails toward your desired outcome and not simply allowing the wind to blow you to random places.
Designing and setting goals toward your desired future self means you can positively affect your current life trajectory and speed up getting to where you want to go.
If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done…
Think about it. For better or worse, your good and not-so-good habits repeated over time have shaped your life. Your patterns reveal your priorities and help form your identity. Knowing this, what habits can you drop, and what new ones can you adopt to become that desired version of your future self?
Visualize your future self if you keep doing what you’re doing. Do you like what you see? If not, visualize your desired future self. Five years from now, what does she/he/they look like? How does she/he/they dress? What is her/his/their lifestyle? The idea is to claim the identity of your future self even if you are not there yet. Once you take on an identity, you’ve given yourself an internal fuel source. We tend to behave in ways that reinforce who we believe we are.
Dressing for Your Future Self
You might ask, “What does this have to do with style, Dee?” Well, your mindset and style are intertwined. What we wear influences what we feel, think, and do (or don’t do.) Scientists refer to this as “Enclothed Cognition.” What you feel informs how you show up, your actions, and ultimately the results you get. So, to put it bluntly, when opportunity knocks, don’t be in your sweatpants!
Dress for the Results You Want to Create
Let’s say you see your Future Self as an expert in your field. How does that expert dress? How do they dress differently than you currently do? Work to close that gap in your closet, and you’ll be closer to your chosen identity. Your elevated style will become just part of who you are.
When we have outgrown the former version of ourselves but have not quite reached our future selves, the becoming part may feel uncomfortable. We can have all sorts of feelings about it. Dressing for your Future Self now can help you feel more confident and make the becoming part feel less awkward.
For example, if you see your Future Self as more polished and put-together, you can start by wearing more tailored clothes. Choose trousers over jeans and a crisp shirt or blouse over an oversized sweater. Think about adding accessories if you previously overlooked them. You don’t need to reinvent yourself overnight. Baby steps are still steps in the right direction.
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