I’ve fallen in love listening to the Life Coach School Podcast, and I recently listened to her Episode #173 Future Focus Thinking. This episode made me realize that I can easily change my life, and create the one I want, by changing the way I think from past focus to future focus.
You’re probably thinking…
What is past focus/ future focus thinking?
Past Focus Thinking
Past focus thinking is when you base your current possibilities on past occurrences. Ie.
- I’ll never lose weight because I have never lost weight before. I’ve been the same weight for as long as I can remember.
- I’ll never have a healthy, loving relationship because I’ve never been in one.
These two thoughts base what could happen on what have already happened. Brooke says in her podcast, “recycling old thoughts is what your brain wants to do because it’s easier, more efficient and feels safe and believable.” Both of these people find it much more easier and more comfortable to choose choices that keep them where they are. Stagnant – it’s too scary to change. This is what these two people may be thinking:
- Even if they feel gross eating greasy take-out or mindless snacking, it’s what this person has always done, it’s what they know best. It’s too scary to be seen at the gym; people may think – this person works out? Yeah, right. Or I’m afraid to buy healthy food at the store because people may wonder, why am I buying this food instead of junk?
- Even if they choose people who treat them badly, they know what that feels like. It’s familiar. They know what to expect from those people. It’s too scary to meet someone who may actually be good for me because they might reject me, and that tells me that I’m not worthy of a loving relationship.
If everyone thought in past focus thinking, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Innovation, technology, medicine, the arts, science wouldn’t be where it is today. You are debilitating yourself from growing if you are thinking past focused. Brooke jokes that if we thought past focused when we were babies, we would have never learned to walk. “Oh I can’t walk, so I’ll never learn how to walk.”
It’s time we start thinking future focused to become the people we want to be.
Future Focus Thinking
“The future is a creation in your mind that requires creativity, fear, the possibility of failure, the possibility of new things that could kill us.”
It’s not easy to think future focused, but it’s exciting and invigorating, and no matter what, you’ll grow. Future focus thinking is when you base your current possibilities on the possibility of achieving your future dream self.
- I’m going to lose 10 lbs of fat because my future self will have lost that weight and kept it off.
- I’m going to have a healthy, loving relationship because my future self loves herself and allows herself to be in one.
These two people will achieve these goals by thinking:
- I enjoy eating foods that fuel my body holistically (thinks this only when hunger strikes). I enjoy spending my time at the gym. It feels great whenever I dance. I’m going to spend time with my family by going for a hike (she/he doesn’t think of surrounding social events with food).
- I love myself, and I want to be with someone who makes me feel good. I’m going to work on myself to become the best person, so that I can find someone who is equally trying to work on themselves.
If you notice these two people aren’t thinking of the deficit of their desire. The first person isn’t thinking, ” I need to lose weight.” or “I need to avoid all these foods.” And, the second person, isn’t out searching for someone, but rather focusing on him/herself.
Brooke explains that only overweight people think about being skinny. Skinny people don’t think about, “oh how great it is to be skinny!” Rather, their thoughts are elsewhere. Or that people who don’t have money are the only ones who think about money. People who are wealthy don’t think about money. You are not thinking future focused if you are thinking about the deficit of your desire.
So, how do you think Future-Focused?
Think as if you had already achieved that goal. Ask yourself:
What would the you, that is already achieved, that has already become, that has already where you want to be, how would they make these decisions or what would they be thinking?
Here are a few questions to help you get started on thinking future-focused thoughts. If you’d like you can download this printable and answer these questions there.
- What thoughts are past-focused that is stopping you from becoming the person you’d like to become?
- Rewrite these thoughts with a realistic and positive spin, and with the possibility that you will achieve what you desire.
- What will your journey look like? What obstacles and wins will you experience? What would your future self (who did achieve the goal) do about each obstacle? How will you feel with each success?
- What thoughts would you think as your future self who did achieve what you desire?
If you need an example, here is my worksheet:
- The Life Coach School Podcast episode 172: Past Focus Thinking
- 2o Intentions to Start Your Day Consciously for a Healthier, Happier You.
What’s something you’ve told yourself that’s past focused, that you’d like to change?