When I was in my 20s, I thought that 60 was old. My upbringing had painted pictures and stories in my mind of grey, fragile women who had ceased to follow their passions or keep their dreams alive. However, at 63, I am nothing like those images, and I am grateful for how far we have come in redefining what it means to grow older.
In fact, I couldn’t wait to be 60. There was something that excited me about moving into this phase of my life. Something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but it felt joyful, light and full of possibilities.
However, it wasn’t always this way. In my 40s, I dreaded growing older. I suffered from severe arthritis which left me bed bound for months on end. I had to stop doing many of the things that I loved in my life, like teaching my dance and fitness classes and coaching my clients. I felt depressed about what was to come. I thought, If I feel this bad in my 40s, what hope is there for me in my 60s?
And yet, life has a funny way of teaching us what we most need to learn if we allow it to. I began to question my thoughts and the “story” I was telling myself about my future. I started to research ways to help my body feel better.
I changed what I was eating. I allowed myself to rest when I needed to. I focused on what I could do, rather than what I couldn’t, and I began to believe in myself again – something that I had lost along the way.
Slowly and gradually, I began to heal and grow strong again. The swelling in my joints began to subside, and I learned how to move again without pain.
One of the most powerful lessons that came out of this time in my life was that we have the power to create and influence how we will be in the future. We are not the victims of our past or the things that happen to us. We are powerful beyond measure, and we get to make vital choices every day of our lives in how our future self will unfold and evolve.
Many people believe that they are passive in the role of ageing; that they don’t get any choice in how they will age. However, the reverse is true. We are extraordinarily influential in how we shape and influence our experience of the future.
There is no reason why we can’t continue thriving, learning, creating, growing, loving and enjoying life well into our 80s, 90s and beyond. Yes, we may need to adapt and change certain things to help support us along the way; however this is what life is… a constant adaptation and learning to respond to the events that we find ourselves in.
Remember that you are already good at this. You have survived this far. You have already navigated the ebbs and flows that life offers you. You have already changed beyond measure and are still here to greet another day.
You have already faced loss or disappointments. You have embraced joy, good times and love. You have most likely experienced pain of some sort and yet you have carried it bravely. You are epic, strong, courageous and full of hope and dreams yet to be born. This is who you are. The evidence already exists just because you are here.
Take a moment to really allow these words to sink in. Look how far you have come and really take a moment to acknowledge who you are and your incredible journey through life so far. And as you do this, become open to the possibility of falling in love with the version of you that is yet to come.
Gently open your heart to being excited by all that this future you brings to your life. This version of you already has navigated life’s ups and downs and knows more about what you truly and authentically desire. Imagine this future you cheering you on and calling you to be all that you dream of being.
Whilst we cannot control the events and situations that happen in our life, we absolutely have the ability to choose how we will respond to them. This is important. If we can look for the good and learn from life’s experiences, we can allow ourselves to grow and evolve. We can deepen our experience of life and choose to think, feel and behave in ways that support our dreams and desires rather than become lost in what often feels overwhelming and out of our control.
As an age empowerment & body confidence coach, I love to share my tips and insights on how to create the lives we desire at every stage of our life.
Enjoy these five positive steps for falling in love with your future self.
If you want to know how you will be tomorrow, take a look at how you are being today. Our future is created in the present moment by our thoughts, our words, beliefs, actions and behaviours. Creating a vision of your future self requires us to look at our own thoughts and beliefs about what is possible for us as we age.
What is the vision you have of yourself in five, 10, 20 or 30 years from now? Begin to craft an idea of how you imagine yourself to be. What are the feelings that you associate with this future you? What words describe this image of your future self. What are you doing, enjoying, creating, experiencing and learning?
When I think of my future self, I see myself vibrant, full of life and creativity. I imagine myself moving with ease and grace and inspiring others to live their most joyful lives. What is your vision? Who do you see and what do you feel when you think of the future you?
It is worth taking some time to invest in creating this image of you as it becomes the blueprint for what your mind perceives you to desire.
Buy yourself a journal or notebook. Every day, write a paragraph (or more) about who you desire to be in the future. Include details such as what you are doing, who you are seeing, what excites you and how you feel about yourself and your life. The key is to write as if you are this version of you NOW!
Write as if you have already experienced what you desire and always write in the 1st person by starting every sentence or thought with “I.” For example:
“I had a lovely day today. I wrote the first couple of pages of a book I am thinking about writing and then had a lovely lunch with a dear friend. I am feeling so good about my life and all of my opportunities.”
Future NOW journaling is an effective way to train the mind to focus on the positives and create more of what you desire to experience in your life. Remember that you are writing about what you desire to happen as if it already has!
When you speak in loving, supportive and appreciative ways about your body, yourself, your life and others, you create an inner environment of joy, peace and love. It is from this inner space of feeling good about yourself and your life that you can attract more joy, peace and love.
Words are the architects of our lives. They are enormously powerful. Words will either lift you up and encourage you or shut you down and make you feel powerless. When you begin to speak with a positive and mindful intention and awareness, you begin to craft a life built on what you want and not what you don’t want.
Think about reframing negative or self-limiting words such as changing the word “anti-ageing” to “pro-ageing.” Or, “It’s too difficult” to “It takes time.” Remember that how you are talking about your life is how you are creating the experience of your life.
A lovely exercise is to write down three to five feelings that you would love to experience every day of your life. Be as creative as you like. How do you truly desire to feel? My own top feelings are free, joyful, peaceful, loved, and fulfilled.
Once you have written down your top five feelings, think of ways that you can activate these in your life. For example, if you chose to feel happy, then think of the things that bring you happiness. If you chose peace, then think of what truly makes you feel peaceful every day.
The key is to honour these feelings every day by engaging in an activity that aligns with how you desire to feel. Keep your actions small and do-able for the greatest results.
There is an extraordinary powerful tool that we have as humans and that is the power of imagination. Every single thing that has ever been created in this world began with some sort of a vision. Every invention started with someone seeing a potential or a possibility for something to be created.
There is a saying that goes, “If you can see it, you can be it.” And when we apply this to our own life and what we desire for the future, we are able to craft a new vision of what our life may look and feel like. Spend a little time every day imagining your future self. Let this version of you call you forwards. Allow yourself to smile as you imagine this future you. Just engaging in a couple of minutes of positive visualization every day begins to cognitively prime the mind for what is to come.
If you would love more coaching tips and inspiration for feeling fabulous, do join me on Instagram where I share effective and empowering thoughts and exercises on loving yourself and living your very best life. It would be lovely to have your company!
What do you think your future self will be like? Do you want to share something with her? What lessons do you have for her? Have you tried to practice being future you now?