Here’s a fun little trick you can use in those situations where your insecurities get the better of you.
You know the ones…
- You want to ask for something, but you’re afraid you won’t get it.
- You really want to speak your mind, but you’re afraid of rocking the boat, even though it’s killing you inside to remain silent.
- You want to try something new and exciting, but you’re afraid you’ll make a fool of yourself.
Basically any situation where you could’ve made a major, positive change in your life… but you gave into fear instead.
Here’s what I do in those situations:
I picture myself at a fork in the road.
On the left is the future where I gave into my fear and did nothing.
So I hop in my little mental time machine and fast forward 5 years into that timeline.
From there, I look around at what my life has become (or NOT become) as a result of my past cowardice. I think back to the old me, standing at that fork in the road, and allow myself to feel whatever feelings come up: disappointment, anger, disgust, contempt…
Whatever feelings arise, I just let myself really feel them, enough so I can remember them when I return.
Then I hop back into the present.
And I repeat the process for the right hand path… the path where I did whatever I needed to do to get where I wanted to go.
I look around at what my life has become and I think back to the old me who made it all happen, with gratitude and respect, before returning to the fork in the road… in the present.
Here’s the exciting part:
Now, instead of two vague options to choose from, I have two very real possible futures in my mind’s eye.
Do I go left… towards the future Jason who hates me and the world I’ve created for him?
Or do I go right… towards the future Jason who loves and respects me?
The choice is obvious when you frame your decisions this way.
And it’s impossible to ignore when you really flesh them out in your imagination like this, because…
What usually happens is, our insecurities keep telling us – here in the present – “Oh, no! What will other people think! You can’t do that!”
But now, thanks to this visualization exercise, you don’t really care what other people think because now…
You’re being judged by your future self.
Your insecurities are no longer a weapon that others can use against you in the present. Instead, they’re a weapon your future self can use to motivate you towards the better of two futures.
If one of those future selves absolutely hates you for being a coward, and the other loves you for being brave, that’s going to pack a helluva lot more emotional punch than whatever other people may or may not think of you in the present.
It’s incredibly effective.
And just a small example of what you can do when you get great at visualizing.