Although it can be impressive to watch the waters of Lake Erie strike hard against its shoreline, seeing the erosion this causes to the banks of the bluffs can feel a bit troubling.
I have been amazed over the past few years to see big trees toppled over as the ground beneath them crumbled, forever changing the landscape. It seems as though it’s been even more severe this year, perhaps due to the historically high water levels.
The park where I walk houses two beautiful camp areas that the park system has created and maintains. Each year, the erosion causes them to be dangerously close to the unstable edge of the bank, and then the park staff must move them back and completely rebuild them.
It seems that in the springtime when they move the campsites back, they only go back far enough to allow for a gorgeous view. I’ve watched them do this several times since the park was developed, and each time I wonder why they don’t go back further?
It makes me think of the famous quote that is often attributed to Albert Einstein:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
Now, I don’t actually believe this behavior is insane. As a matter of fact, I know it is definitely human.
Most of us get stuck in familiar thought patterns (that drive our behavior) as we go through life, dreaming about the changes we want to make, but continuing to do the same things and getting the same results.
So, when I notice myself doing this, I try to visualize my goals as if I have already achieved them. I ask myself, “If this were the case, what would I be thinking as I looked back on today’s situation?”
Then, I ask myself what future me would encourage me to do today and what she would say about my fears.
I must sometimes remind myself that my current situation is the result of all my past beliefs and actions. And so, if I want to change my situation and reach higher towards my dreams, then I have to think and do things differently.
When I look back at some of the transformations I have made in my life, such as starting my coaching business five years ago or losing weight last year, I can easily see these were fantastic changes to make. However, when I initially started, each were intimidating for different reasons.
I imagine that if I could go back and give past me advice about the fears that kept me up at night when starting my coaching practice, I might say: “Go to sleep. This is one of the best moves you will ever make. Doing what you love is going to help you feel incredibly happy and fulfilled. It’s going to be awesome!”
I think if I would have done that then, my journey would definitely have been even more fun and far less stressful.
And if I could go back and talk with the past me who believed for YEARS that she didn’t have the willpower to lose weight and therefore was incapable of getting the results she wanted, I might say: “Just follow the plan. It’s going to be easier than you imagined.”
When you think about some of the goals you have achieved in your own life, I’ll bet you can barely remember how scared you were to take the first steps. At the time, you probably had lots of doubt, but now you can look back and think, well that should have been a no-brainer.
Please keep this in mind as you set new goals, face new challenges and follow your dreams in the new year. And then, try envisioning your life with your goals completed and consult with the future you.
This will help you to make decisions from the brain of the future you, who is relaxed and confident. The future you KNOWS that you’ve got this, and so taking steps forward will just make sense.
The future you believes in you without a doubt, and so do I!