#27 - My future life is now?
When setting an intention for the future, one practice is to fully imagine every detail of your envisioned life and actually look back at how you got there. In Erickson coaching terms this technique is called Future Backtracking. It helps clients realize that their future is indeed within reach. By removing the fear factor that comes with looking at the chiasm between the known present and the unknown future, they are able to remove their invisible blinders, befriend their future and reveal its potential.
For those of you who are wondering what kind of strange practice this is, think of all the retreats you’ve ever attended with your teams where you were asked to collectively imagine your future (vision), then look back at the strategies that would lead you there. It’s basically the same process for the individual, except for the Force Field and SWOT analyses.
With this practice, you get to let your imagination run free, immerse yourself completely in your future, anchoring in how it feels to be there. Does your future feel free, happy, exhilarating, or peaceful? And what about it brings those feelings to mind and heart: career accomplishments, a successful business of your own creation, a beautiful home, a great marriage, and any other combination of possibility!? Don’t be scared…. Only when flooded with this future vision in as much illogical detail as possible, do you then look back and share information about how you got there with your present self.
So here are the steps again:
1. Project yourself X years from now into that positive future. The X is yours to choose. Take the time to land there and experience the joy. What do you see, hear, and feel?
2. Once the end state is clear, ask yourself: “How does this happen.” and “what made this future state possible”. Remember, you’re already there and looking back at the present.
Some of us get there easily. For others, visualization is like a foreign language. Going for a walk in nature or putting relaxing music on may help release the images, sounds or sensations locked inside. Once you find the future channel, stay tuned long enough to reveal its secrets. And if it doesn’t happen right away, be patient with yourself. There’s always a time to try it again.
It’s absolutely thrilling for me to see my coaching clients release the answers about their future self, answers that were lying in wait for them, when before they were stuck and unable to figure out what to do next. When freed from the pressure of the ‘right answer’, and liberated from over-controlling logic, most of us will come up with an elegant way forward.
Worth a try? Let me know how it goes.