The following is an excerpt from Dr. Benjamin Hardy’s new book (released today), Personality Isn’t Permanent, published with Penguin Random House.
Dr. Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist has found that people don’t do a very good job predicting their future, not because they can’t… but because they don’t! The reason why, from Gilbert’s research, is that very few people spend much time imagining their future selves!!! Instead, we assume that who we are today is who we’ll always be.
Your personality and comfort zone are the same thing. Going outside your comfort zone will create uncertainty in your life. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll experience failures. You’ll experience anxiety and sometimes frustrations. However, you’ll also have lots of deep learning and peak experiences, because as you intentionally go outside your comfort zone to create the life you want, you’ll evolve and change as a person.
In psychology, there is a concept called “psychological flexibility,” which means you hold your current identity and current emotions “loosely” as you pursue meaningful goals. You’re flexible in challenging and new situations. You’re increasingly adaptive. You’re not rigid. You’re not stuck. You’re growing in your confidence.
Here are the steps to imagining and becoming your desired FUTURE SELF:
- Imagine who you want to be
- Journal about who you want to be
- Decide who you want to be in 3 years from now
- Start telling people about your future self
- Create a morning routine where you get up, get yourself into the right environment without distractions, and activate your future-self mindset
- Invest money into your future self—whether that be courses, skills, mentors, experiences.
- Change your environment to match your future self—including the information, food, people, and experiences you consume
- The bolder your action toward your future self, the more emotionally flexible and evolved you will become. The more emotionally evolved you become, the less constrained you’ll be by your past or your circumstances.