Over the years, I’ve shared a variety of approaches to goal-setting. In 2012, I suggested focusing on creating habits. In 2013, I said, start at the micro level, with micro-goals and micro-practice. In 2014, I said let’s resist the “all or nothing” lure of a new start and start fresh every moment.
Whatever approach you take, you can turbocharge the process by shoring up your belief that what you want is possible. How do you demonstrate that? By acting as if your future has already happened.This isn’t a new idea, of course. Napoleon Hill wrote about it in the early 1900s with his classic, Think And Grow Rich. Wayne Dyer says “you’ll see it when you believe it.” And Tony Robbins may have mentioned it a few times too. 😉 So if it’s such a proven technique, why don’t we practice it more?
Because we’ve been conditioned to wait for concrete evidence — a signed contract, a deposit in our bank account, our photo on the magazine cover — for confirmation that what we want is on the way. Because it takes incredible mental strength and imagination to see beyond the current physical reality, to disregard doubt (your own and others) and sustain consistent belief in what’s possible.
Because it’s not easy to break out of autopilot and the familiar comfort of routine.
But this is what people who achieve the greatest, most unlikely goals do. They start to think and act like their future self before anything in their current reality warrants it.
When tennis player John McEnroe was asked how, early in his career, he beat Adriano Panatta, one of the top-ranked players in the world, he said: “I was number one in the world. My ranking just hadn’t caught up yet.” Do you think with that mindset — and behaving like a #1 player who was used to winning instead of one ranked hundred something?— affected how he played when he was at break point?
When Amos Winbush III started his tech company in 2008, he was a 20-something musician with no business or technical experience to speak of. And yet, he was able to negotiate partnerships with CEOs and COOs of $60 billion, $40 billion companies without getting intimidated because he envisioned himself on their playing field. As he told me, “At the end of the day, I have a service, you have a company, you have customers that you have to give really great products to. We’re kind of scratching each other’s backs. So I just do it.” In six years, he’s built CyberSynchs into an $180 million company.
Sophia Amoruso, who went from a string of dead-end jobs to building Nasty Gal into a $100+ million online fashion player says: “You create the world, blink by blink. It is entirely yours to discover and yours to create.”
Stop seeing your current reality — your lack of revenues, discouraging press, competitive market — as an indication of what’s possible. Your mind can trump matter. Spend 10 – 15 minutes every day rehearsing how your future self would “show up” in the various scenarios of your day, and start acting like that…now.