Are You Looking in the Right Direction?
“You see every day, every week, every year of my life my hero is always 10 years away. I'm never gonna be my hero, I'll never attain that. I know I'm not and that's just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”-Matthew McConaughey
Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and closed out 2017 with a bang.
I had some great family time, friend time, and time with my guy.
Over the break, I participated in one of my favorite family traditions. Every year, we all layer up and have a 5k race the day after Christmas.
This year it was Cold with a capital “C”.
I was honestly hoping someone from my family would speak up and cancel the whole thing, but our spirit of competition runs deep, and we all went out into the 17-ish degree weather to get our run on.
About halfway through the run, I realized I had been looking over my shoulder for a mile and a half to see who was behind me and getting close.
Every time I looked back, I wasn’t looking where I wanted to go. I'd lose my footing a bit on the slippery roads or get in my head. Meanwhile, my cousin’s husband (who always beats me!) was looking forward and gaining more traction ahead of me.
This looking back thing was slowing me down and psyching me out. Not only was I not looking where I was going (hardly safe), but I was also stuck retracing my past steps and evaluating them.
I promised myself I wouldn't look back for the remainder of the race and turned around to look forward. A quarter of a mile later, I started imagining myself way ahead, running faster, feeling light, and crossing the finish line with a smile.
I chased that version of myself until it was me crossing the finish line with a smile.
I didn’t break any speed records, but I did make it back for some awesome veggie chili (don't worry meat eaters, there was a carne version as well). It also got me thinking about how we go about creating the businesses and lives we want.
It made me wonder, how many of us are dreaming, setting goals, or making intentions while we’re looking over our shoulder to see what’s behind us and what might catch up with us?
I have this theory that it isn't because of capabilities or willpower that we don’t achieve our goals in business + life. We're all so much more capable than we believe; we fall short of our goals and dreams because we’re constantly looking back over our shoulder and stuck in the past in a previous identity of ourselves.
Many of us are repeatedly replaying old tapes of memories, stories, and even identities that we formed decades ago. Then we wonder why we keep getting more of the same.
Creating a business we love, the life we want, our version of success...all of it starts by first turning our neck around to face forward. To win in a family race or create anything new in our life, we have to hit 'pause' on the old tapes, assess our present reality, and then project ourselves into the future we want.
But, man, oh man, do we want to keep looking back to make sure there's nothing that's going to come up and surprise us or bite us in the ass. Like it or not, we can't affect, undo, or redo anything that's behind us.
Take that family race, looking back over my shoulder wasn’t going to change anything. I wasn't going to keep someone from passing me or somehow re-run those previous steps faster.
In order for me to get where I wanted to go and get out of the cold, I had to look forward and focus all of my energy, motivation, and intention on moving one step at a time to the finish line.
As we get ready to close out the first week of a new year, I don’t want to tell you how to set goals or resolutions, how many goals to set, why you should set goals, how big you should make your goals, or even that goals make us more successful (though, that’s all stuff I believe). Instead, I want to encourage you to turn around and look forward.
When we create goals based on the past, they tend to be based on fears and stories we’ve convinced ourselves are true. We might set goals tied to what we want, but often they're a watered-down version and take a back seat to protect us. We limit what we think is possible based on what we've already experienced.
Sometimes, we don’t make certain goals because we have a memory of failing in the past. We'll reason, if it didn’t work out then, why would it work out now?
If we take the time to shift and look forward to that person we want to be and need to show up as to create the life we want, we can move into the future until we become that person.
If we're always looking forward in this way, we're always chasing and stepping into an ideal future version of ourselves.
When we make goals from a forward-looking space, we set goals that will move our business and life in the same direction.
This year, I'd like to invite you to spend some time looking in front of you and getting to know your future self. Create an image of yourself you can chase to the finish line and then some.
We’re always going somewhere - make sure it’s somewhere you want to go.
To your future self, I'm wishing you your version of success!
P.S. Rather watch and listen than read? I'm going live inside my Facebook group Business Besties and Creative Bosses today to talk more about looking forward and future planning. I'd love to have you! (It's free) Click here to join!
P.P.S. I'm sharing my end-of-year ritual to close out the year and look forward into 2018 below!