When you imagine yourself getting coffee next week, or going on a vacation next month, or paying your taxes next year, you probably imagine yourself being just a little bit better off than you are right at this moment, even if the event in question is boring or not that fun (taxes being case in point). Maybe you envision yourself as just a little less stressed, or a little more fit, or making more money, having better hair, or somehow just a little bit happier in some metric valuable to you. This, as it turns out, is something we all do all the time without even realizing it.
I recently read about a study which said that when humans imagine their future, they almost always imagine that they will be happier in the future than they are right now. This fact really struck me as interesting and quite profound. And while I think this is actually a wonderful and totally natural phenomenon, I also know that there are real ways in which this holds us back.
Entertain me for a moment and do this: instead of imagining the things you know you’re going to be doing in the future (getting coffee, taking a vacation, paying your taxes), I now want you to imagine the things you want to do in the future. The things you fancy yourself doing, the stuff that you wish you could do right now but you're waiting on the right time for. What are those things?
Maybe that’s something small like wearing that hot dress in your closet, or booking a photoshoot for yourself, family or business, or asking that person out. Maybe it’s something bigger like actually starting that business or side hustle. When you imagine these things that you want to do, do you hear a voice that says something like, “I wish I could do that now, but I’ll be more ready for it later”?
I wish I could wear a crop top now, but I’ll be more ready for it later when I have a flatter tummy. I wish I could start my business now, but I’ll be more ready for it later when I have more time. I wish I could book a boudoir shoot now, but I’ll be more ready for it later when I’m in better shape. I wish I could try CrossFit now, but I'll be more ready later when I'm more fit. I wish, I wish, I wish. Later, later, later.
And we do this so self assuredly, like we know that "later" is the perfect time, and when later comes, we'll be so ready to do the thing. Have you ever noticed that "later" almost never seems to arrive when you think it will? ... Or at all?
If we were to dig a little deeper here, I think we'd find that these "laters" are actually a dismissal of an insecurity we haven't quite faced yet. The truth is that we're likely struggling with our feeling of worth; we don't feel smart enough, or supported enough, or thin enough or the list goes on.
What is it, really, that makes you feel unprepared, right in this moment? Take that answer and dig into it. Like, realllllyyy dig into it. Get to the messy, ugly, tough-to-face bottom of it, because that shit will set you free. If it's support you need, reach out to your loved ones. If it's self confidence you need, invest in building that for yourself. If it's permission you need, you already have it.
Friends, we have got to STOP WAITING and START doing. STOP waiting for the last 10 pounds to disappear. STOP waiting for your schedule to magically open up. STOP waiting for some far off illusion of you being more ready, more happy, more fit, more ANYTHING, and do the thing NOW.
I mean, have you ever really stopped to think about the sheer length of the list of things that you’re waiting for some “perfect” time to actually do? How much of life you’re leaving on the table because of those last godforsaken 10 pounds? How much you’re risking actually never experiencing in your time here on earth?
Because, guys, that’s the real truth to this. How long have you been waiting for those last 10 pounds, for that open schedule, for that perfect time? My guess is, it’s been a while. Why would you continue to wait on these trivial matters (that may or may not ever actually happen), knowing damn well that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to you?
Knowing that you passed up photos with your newborn because you were carrying some extra weight (that was used to nurture and grow and birth an entire human)? That you work out in long pants on that 100 degree July afternoon because you have some cellulite (that is a natural part of that powerful body that you’re in the gym growing and building in the damn first place!)? That you never pursued your passion because you were afraid you would fail (when you know so well that even failure trumps not trying)?
If you were advising your friends on this matter, you’d shout from the rooftops about how ready they are now! How wonderful it would be to see them forge ahead! How proud they’d feel of themselves for trying! How they are an inspiration to those around them!
But when it’s us, we decide we’ll wait. And I’m just not into it anymore. It’s time to do the damn thing.
Ask that person out. Take that class. Work out in a sports bra. Start that blog. Wear that bathing suit. Book the photoshoot. Use the damn nice china!
And do you want to know why? Because YOU ARE WORTHY OF IT NOW. Let that marinate around in your mind. Say it aloud. You are worthy of these things right at this very moment. You are smart. You are strong. You are capable. It’s just your mind holding you back, and it’s time to kindly ask it to sit the fuck down.
Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to any of us, and no matter how much we like to think that we’ll be happier, more prepared, or more worthy of what we want in the future, the time is now.
Deciding to just get out there and do scary things can be hard at first, especially when you still don't feel "ready". I've created a free download for you that outlines 5 simples activities, habits and rituals that you can do today that will make a big impact on your ability to live in the present.
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