Have you ever thought of who you want to be? Which person do you want to become? What do you want to achieve? In sports, in life, at work, in school?
We ask ourselves these questions way too rarely, yet they are so important. How can we become who we want to be if we don’t even know who this person is or where we want to head to? Or like L.A. Seneca already said already thousands of years ago “If you don’t know what port you are sailing to, every wind is unfavourable.” Reflecting our own ambitions, goals and ourselves is essential for becoming our “best possible selves”.
So here is an instruction for a little visualisation exercise you can do at home:
Imagine you are your future self in five years and everything you have every wanted to achieve went really well. You had worked really hard and now reached all your goals.
Think of what you had to go through. How did you personally develop over the last five years? What did you do well? What was difficult?
How did you deal with difficulties? What did you do to keep on going? What helped you in these situations? Why did you not give up? What did you learn from these experiences?
In the past five years, you obviously also made many positive experiences. What were they like? What did you feel, think, do?
Last but not least, you for sure didn’t spend the past five years isolated. Which people helped you develop to the person you have become? Who supported you? How was your relationship with them?
Try to write down your great dreams and goals with as many details as possible – from this “future retrospective”. Take your time – about 20 minutes. When I work with athletes, I normally let them present their goals for five minutes in front of a “virtual audience”, such as their family, sponsors and trainers. It should be a “future presentation” in which the athletes talk about their career and development and take these important people on the journey of how they have become the person they would be in five years.
Other psychologists recommend to repeat the visualization of the goals/ or the 5 minute presentation for two weeks daily in order to anchor our “best possible self” in our character. 😉
I love this exercise in all its variations because it’s very effective and you have to reflect a lot. And on top of that, it can also be very very funny! It can be used in both sports, school and business. And as I’ve said earlier – we think about who we want to be and where we want to head towards to way too rarely. (And then we wonder why we end up in a job we might not like or an unsatisfied with our life…).