There is a concept I have been finding most helpful lately…the idea of the “future self.” There is a way in which we often fool ourselves into thinking that our “future self” or “future me” has endless amounts of money, energy, time and commitment. We think…yes! I’ll sign my future self up to help a friend run a garage sale, take a weekend study intensive, pay off a big purchase, etc. Oh, future me has so much time and isn’t worried about how to pay the rent because the version of me right now really wants a new iphone!
I think part of this comes from our credit card culture…we buy now and pay later…with interest! We want it so much we’re willing to pay more. Hey! Future me won’t mind. Oh, but I do because the me in this moment is in fact paying off all of commitments and bills me in the past signed me up for. Ugh.
If this rings true to you as silly as it seems I’m thinking you’d like to get off this ride as soon as possible, but how? Well, step one is to take responsibility for whatever you, in the past, signed you up for AND stop committing yourself to things in the future until you know how to discriminate the yes from the no. I’ll give you a hint: If you’re not willing to pay for it now, don’t have time for it now, don’t have energy for it now, don’t have passion for it now, etc. You won’t want to do it later.
Does that sound too simple? Do you somehow still believe that your self in the future will be stronger, wiser, faster and richer? Somehow you will become more disciplined, open and loving? Well, the only way to make that true is to be kind to yourself in the present and listen to yourself in the here and now.
The simplest things are often the most impactful. Experiment with paying attention to this tendency in yourself. At the very least you’ll create space where there once was stress and worry. If you’re telling yourself a story that you can’t stop and you must keep pushing I would say that that’s a fear based belief running in your mind that will not get you where you truly want to be. So, be kind to your future self, take care of her, stop pushing her beyond her limits.