Thoughtful Thursday: Episode 9
FOR MY ROAD WARRIOR TRIBE
Thoughtful Thursday: Episode #9
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday’s, a weekly series where we explore our brains, one thought at a time, and learn how our thoughts either move us forward or hold us back.
Today’s topic is past self vs future self.
OK everyone, hold on tight for this one because it will require you to think about your past self and your future self. I know, too much brainpower required right now, BUT, this will be the subject that will propel you if you are stuck so read on.
I’m calling on my “road warrior” community because I think you all are the ones that need to hear this most. Change is in the air. As the possibility of general availability of the vaccine becomes clear, so does the uncertainty of what your work environment will look like.
For many, we’re used to getting on a plane every week or a few times a month to visit clients, build relationships, get out of the home office and frankly, for some, get away from being so close to our spouse and kids. I know, you love them, but if you’ve traveled for years, being on the road was a double edge sword. It was hard to leave home but it also gave you a bit of freedom from chores and maybe even meant getting a full night’s sleep. But what will the future look like? Will you be able to travel again? Oh sure, the airlines will be flying, but will your company allow you to travel? Will you have to go back to an office or will your extra bedroom be your permanent new office. Either way, it’s important you prepare yourself for all the mind drama that your brain will tell you. That is why I like the past self vs future self exercises. Let me explain.
I like to write a letter to my past self thanking her for all the extraordinary work she has put in to get me to where I am. It sounds funny, but for those of us with the road warrior constitution, we just assume that was what was necessary to get ahead, BUT, did you ever stop to think of how much you’ve been through? How many hours we’ve spent in airports, on airplanes, in hotels, entertaining clients, late nights in the hotel working on presentations, long days of meetings, airline delays and cancellations, and the list goes on and on. That is why it is important to thank that person for having the stamina to keep pushing even when you wanted to give up. Even when the kids were crying because you had to leave again, even when your spouse was crying on the phone at night because it was so hard parenting alone. You know, the things that pulled you apart.
Now the fun future self stuff. There are two ways I do this. The first is to write a letter to your future self about what your goals are. Something like, “Hello Beautiful, bet you never thought you would meet that impossible goal they set for you AGAIN. But you persevered and look at you now, a top producer in the company”, way to go.
The other way I do this is what helps me keep going when things are hard and I feel like giving up and it goes something like this “Hello Beautiful I wanted to let you know how amazing things are right now. I know you thought you would never be able to do it (insert your toughest thought here) but you did. Remember when you were ready to give up, throw in the towel and believe the nonsense that your brain wanted to tell you about “oh, it’s too hard”, “you don’t have what it takes” and the list goes on, but you didn’t listen and you did it anyway. I want you to know that the success you will have is beyond what you imagined. That the life you were trying to build actually came true. All of your hard work now will be worth it. Trust me.
For all of my fellow road warriors and anyone trying to deal with the uncertainty of what was and what will be, take a deep breath and write yourself some letters. Have your own back and tell yourself how strong and wonderful you have been and will be in the future. I know for many of you this will seem silly, but put your ego aside and give yourself credit for what you have done already and what you are capable of doing in the future. Times may be uncertain but you get to chose what to make that mean. You may find yourself writing lots of letters to yourself when you need a pat on the back because let’s be honest, it only matters when it comes from within.
Until we meet again, choose your thoughts, they are all yours.
Kim Jolicoeur is a Certified Life and Stop Overdrinking Coach helping people regain control of their lives, one thought at a time. For a free consultation go to kimjolicoeurcoaching.com.