We have discussed the importance of self-care, but how can you take it to the next level? The answer is, implementing self-care for your future self. The idea of the future self, and utilizing that concept as a tool, will change your life completely. First, let’s define what it is. Your future self is yourself 5 minutes from now, tomorrow, 5 years from now, 30 years from now, etc.
What I want to offer, is to develop and establish a relationship with your future self, from a place of deep love.
This is a very practical concept that everybody utilizes because we plan for our future. (Some of us do it more than others, but we all do it.) When we think about our future, we're thinking about ourselves. So one of the things that I want you to consider is that you have a relationship with yourself based on the thoughts that you think about yourself.
A lot of the work that I do is to help you change the way that you think about yourself because a lot of you don't think about yourselves in a very positive way, and I feel like a lot of my work is to help you change that.
What I want to do here, is help you expand that relationship you've been working on with yourself in the present (thinking of yourself as worthy, capable, etc.) and I want you to think about the relationship that you have with your future self. I want you to imagine her as a someone. (Now, it is you, but we're going to use you as kind of an analogy and separate you from you so we can talk about that relationship.)
I want to encourage you to get to know your future self and love her and take care of her by establishing your thoughts about her now. You will be using your imagination to practice this form of self-care.
Some of us have terrible relationships with our past selves and our future selves. We're beating ourselves up for the things we did in the past and we're beating ourselves up for who we are now, and we're beating ourselves up for our future because we don't believe in any kind of possibility.
But if you have an amazing relationship with yourself in all the tenses, you can create an amazing life for yourself. If your current self does things like, loses the weight, quits drinking, starts the business that makes sense and produces money, or whatever big goals you’re working on now, FOR your future self, think about how you are setting yourself up! What an amazing relationship of gratitude and deep self-love you’ll have with yourself!
Ask yourself, what are the gifts that I can give to my future self? The me of tomorrow, the me of a week from now, the me a year from now, the me 30 years from now. And what if I think about her as more a priority than me in this moment?! (This means really relying on your prefrontal cortex and delaying your gratification for your future self.)
Taking care of yourself is the least indulgent thing you can do. It's really hard to focus on yourself. There are a lot of ugly thoughts in our own brains. There are a lot of terrible feelings. We'd much rather buffer away our lives, but this is self-care in it’s truest form- it’s not glamorous. It takes commitment and hard work, but it’s so worth the effort.
It’s saying, I’m willing to feel, I’m willing to experience that hard urge now, I will pay the price for you because I don’t want you to deal with the effect of giving into my urges all the time. I want to spare you from that, future self, this is my gift to you.
And here’s the other sacred piece.
When you do that for yourself, you will realize that is the hardest person to do it for. Everybody else after that will become easy. You will become the most generous, most giving person that you know because if you can give to your future self, if you can discipline yourself to take care of yourself, you will do the same to everyone else in your life from a kind, disciplined, wonderful place.