While the past is the past and something we can’t change, many of us still choose to live there.
What if, instead of arguing with the past or wishing it were different, you channeled that energy and focus on your future?
Your future is something you can affect. A blank canvas of possibility. It’s time to say goodbye to what has been, love it for all it has taught us, and get excited about the future.
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Hey you Beyond Happy people. I need to come up with a name for this tribe. Note to self on that. I’ll be brainstorming. Suggestions welcome.
So I’m Becky Hoschek. If you’re new to Beyond Happy, I’m a life coach and really, if I had to make it super simple, I’d say that I help you change your life by changing your mind. And we do that by learning to manage our thoughts and emotions. I work with mostly women, some are entrepreneurs, some are moms, many work from home, whether that’s raising kids, being self-employed or even working from home for an employer. At that’s just some, but not all. As for the podcast, there are also men who listen. Some are dads. Some aren’t. Whoever you are and whatever life looks like right now for you, welcome.
This work – thought work, as I like to call it – is powerful and can really help anyone who applies it. It’s for anyone who desires to make positive change. We talk about all sorts of things on Beyond Happy, and today we’re going to talk about the future you – who you’re becoming. This is also the first time I’m pairing a podcast episode with a fun free resource! A worksheet that goes along with this episode! As far as what this looks like and where you can find it, we’ll chat more about that in a bit.
But first. Before we dive in, I have to tell you a story.
Yesterday, as in the day before I recorded this episode, was rough. I’ve been a type 1 diabetic for… let’s see… 13 years now, and to be honest with you, I forget I’m diabetic most of the time. It’s just my normal, you know? But yesterday was not normal. I woke up super weak and drained feeling, and my trusty little sensor that I use to help monitor my blood sugars showed me that I’d had a hypoglycemic episode basically the whole time I was asleep. This means that the whole night, my blood sugar was much lower than it should’ve been. And this means that the sugar our body and brain uses for energy wasn’t abundant. It’s kind of like your car about to run out of gas. When this happens, your body uses the remaining available sugar for only the most important things – your brain and your heart primarily, and you basically wake up feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck. And you’re still laying on the pavement, really not wanting to move.
Now when you have a low blood sugar at night, and you’re finally awake? Your body DOES go into survival mode. And your brain is telling you GIVE ME ALL THE SUGAR. LET ME EAT ALL THE THINGS. So you do, and guess what happens?! Your super low sugar becomes a super high blood sugar, and BASICALLY you have a day where you’re chasing high and low blood sugars with insulin and then food, rinse and repeat, like a wild roller coaster, until you finally get it stabilized. Which did eventually happen in the afternoon.
But even when my kids came home from school yesterday, I was still wiped out. Lying in the chair and reading a book. Now, I don’t have these kind of days as a diabetic very often at all, so the kids took notice. They played outside and tried to let me have quiet to rest. And when their dad got home, I let him take over and I went to bed. I read a bit more and then fell asleep super early. I crashed.
Early this morning, in the darkness of my predawn sleep, I heard whispers and shuffling around me. I was a little disoriented at first, but upon the light switching on and the presentation of a tray by our daughter, Annabel, I realized I was being served breakfast in bed. You guys. This girl has my heart. Last night when I was already asleep, she had asked her dad to wake her up early so that she could do this for me. She wanted to make sure my morning started better than it did yesterday. She proudly offered me two eggs, a piece of peanut butter and jelly toast, and coffee. She said that the eggs were because her dad said I needed protein. Love it. I’m getting teary just thinking about it all over again. That she had the forethought and the care to want to do this for me at 9-years-old? It was so sweet and yet also is about so much more than just eggs on a tray.
It’s about being shown what’s right in front of me. It’s that despite all of my questioning about parenting and life and what we’re doing right and wrong, that I get the most powerful glimpses into who she’s becoming. And who our boys are becoming. And gestures like the one she made this morning are super thoughtful and sweet, but what she doesn’t know is what I see beyond the tray. Beyond the breakfast delivery. It’s that I see her heart. And I see who she’s becoming. And yes she makes mistakes and she gets in trouble sometimes. She has bad days and good ones. And they are collectively shaping her into who she’s becoming.
Now I’m super sentimental and talking about my kids like this makes me very emotional, but the fact that this happened just this morning led me to want to create this episode.
Because it dawned on me this morning – pun intended – that the way I see my daughter is the way that God sees me. And you. He sees our hearts. He sees our intention. He sees not what we messed up yesterday or what we wished we had done differently, but He sees who we’re becoming.
If you follow me on instagram, you know I LOVE Bob Goff. If you don’t follow me on instagram, you totally should! come hang out! I’m @beckyhoschek. Bob Goff says some of the wisest, God-inspired words, and I really love this one of his quotes:
Don’t let who you were talk you out of who you’re becoming.
Don’t let who you WERE talk you out of who you’re becoming.
And this is exactly what we’re going to talk about today. Who you WERE, who you ARE, and most importantly? Who you’re becoming.
The way our brains work causes us to look for evidence to support our thoughts and beliefs. Your brain wants to prove to you that your thoughts are correct. So it looks for evidence to reinforce a belief you have. It’s because of this that many of us reach into the past in order to believe what is or isn’t possible for us today. We make what we did in the past mean what we are or aren’t capable of in the future. It’s also a huge reason why we tend to stick with what’s familiar. With what’s comfortable. Because it’s what we know.
So what happens when you want to be someone you’ve never been before? What happens when you don’t have past evidence to show you what’s possible?
We’re very programmed to create our life based on past experiences. But when we want to make change, when we want to do what we haven’t before, when we want to BE what we haven’t before, how do we make that happen?
First, I want you to remember that your future can be exactly what you want it to be. Maybe you want your future to look very similar to your life as it is today; maybe you envision it being different in nearly every way. You don’t have to have proof that it’s possible, you don’t have to have proof that you’re capable and you don’t have to have permission. The dreams and tugs on your heart are there for a reason. And when you’re called to do something or be something that you were created for, what’s stopping you?
We get confused by the future, because it’s unknown. We look to the past to show us what we’re capable of, but the past can’t show us what’s possible in the future, right? There’s no evidence because it hasn’t happened yet. When I ask you what changes you’d like to make, what you’re capable of creating in the future, you might get confused. Because you only have evidence if you look backward.
When we do this, when we keep looking in the rearview mirror, we limit our capacity for growth. We get stuck because we’re looking for evidence that isn’t there. If you think about it, it’s REALLY hard to drive forward – to steer and stay on course, when you’re looking in the rearview mirror, isn’t it? No wonder so many of us feel stuck, spinning our wheels.
“Can I really feel better about myself?” you ask. Your brain shows you the past and you hesitate, feeling unsure because it’s never happened before. You don’t have proof of feeling better than you do right now.
“Can I write this book?” you wonder. Your brain will remind you that you’ve never written a book, so what makes you think that’s a good idea?!
Maybe it’s –
Can I be more patient with my kids?
Can I be less critical of my spouse?
Can I feel more confident in who I am?
Can I start my own business?
Can I make more time for myself?
Can I lose 20 lbs.?
Can I stop eating sugar?
Can I stop my online shopping?
Can I get out of debt?
In all of these cases, your brain is going to look for evidence. Evidence from the past, to give you the answer.
And it’s why when I ask my clients, why they haven’t done a certain thing yet, they’ll tell me, “Well, because I’ve never done it before.”
I love the analogy one of my coaches uses about this very thing. She talks about thinking back to when you were a baby, learning to walk. If someone asked you why you weren’t practicing learning to walk, would you say, “Because I’ve never done it before?”
That sounds funny, right? Of course we have to practice learning to walk. We have to get up and try. We have to fall down. And get back up. That’s how we learn. Saying we’re not going to try to walk because we don’t know how sounds ridiculous. It also seems so simple. So obvious to us.
And yet, as adults, we do it ALL the time. ALL the time. We say, “I can’t do that because I don’t know how” or “I can’t be this way because I’ve never done that before.” Can you imagine if you lived life never doing anything you’d never done before? You’d never do anything.
So the first step in answering the question “Who are you becoming?” has to do with taking a look at what you believe. About growth. About possibility. Because if you’re used to seeing what’s possible for you as being limited to what you’ve done in the past, it can feel pre-determined. Fixed. Already established. This is why, instead of asking, “Who are you?” I’m intentionally asking “who are you becoming?”? There’s a big difference between the two. Because the question itself involves a belief in change being underway, of a process at play. Of growth and possibility. Asking you “Who are you becoming?” shifts the focus away from your past, even away from the right now, and toward your future.
If left to your brain’s default way of doing things, you’ll continue to define yourself by your past. From there, all you’re going to do is recreate your past. Over and over. If you believe that will serve you well, then that may be exactly what you decide you’d like to do. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that. Yet, if you do desire for your future to look different that your past has, or even how life looks right now, let me tell you about another part of your brain.
Part of your brain in all it’s miraculous design is called your imagination. And it’s not just for kids. Your imagination lets you create. Dream. Your imagination sees possibility not from what has been, but what could be. And this is where you can create your future from. This is one of your God-given gifts – your imagination. A brain that allows you to dream and create, and this includes creating a future that can look very different from your past, if you want it to. This includes becoming someone who may not look like the you from ten years ago, last week or even yesterday. Anything is possible. Just like your future, your imagination is like a fresh white canvas – ready for you to create what’s next.=
The way we can begin to create a future that looks different from our past is by imagining what that better future looks like. And answering the question, “Who are you becoming?” starts to define that. When you start to dream about and imagine your future, and you start to believe what’s possible, it can become possible. When we have a future we’re excited about, we begin to feel better NOW. Already. Before any of these future changes or happenings have even happened. How could that be?
Well, remember – our feelings are created by our thoughts. Always.
And when we have these big, powerful, exciting dreams about what our future is going to be like, we feel the feelings now. It’s kind of like when you plan a vacation. It may be a year away, but you’re already excited. Because you believe it’s going to happen. Because you’re already thinking of what it’s going to be like, how much fun it’s going to be, how warm and beautiful and lovely and relaxing and all the things… and it’s not the vacation creating that, because you’re a year away from the vacation. It’s your thoughts. Completely your thoughts anticipating this amazing trip that are creating amazing feelings in the right now.
I’m telling you. Thoughts. Are. Powerful.
You can see that when you live focused on the future, instead of the past, your perspective can change completely. And these thoughts can completely turn your life upside down – in very good ways, if you choose to think positively and belief in what you can create in the future.
When you believe in the big, exciting things ahead in your future, in what’s possible and what that will be like, you can create those emotions right now. And when you think about things that have happened in your past, maybe things that you regret doing or things that happened, you’re also creating those emotions.
So, who are you becoming? What do you want your future to look like?
Others of you might be a little stuck – you might still be wrapping your mind around the idea that your future is something that you get to create. Whaat?! Maybe this is a brand you concept for you. Maybe you come from a mindset where you’ve believed things are what they are, and will always be. Or maybe you’ve seen yourself as a victim of circumstances beyond your control. Maybe for you, this is an invitation to see your life in a whole new way for the first time. To think about what could be different. How you could be different, if you want to be.
I know this can be a topic you have a lot of thoughts on. Maybe it’s introducing you to thoughts you’ve never had before about your life. If you’d like to spend some more time with this, I’ve created a free resource for you – a worksheet that can help you move forward in living with a future focus. It’ll walk you through some questions and prompts to help you make the paradigm shift that’s necessary when we’re working through big life questions like this one. You can find a link to this worksheet by visiting beckyhoschek.com and clicking on the Beyond Happy banner at the top of the page. From there you’ll scroll to episode 15, and find the link to the free worksheet in the show notes.
Before we wrap up this episode, I just wanted to address some of the questions that might come up when you’re thinking about your life, your past and your future.
What do you really want?
Many of us are so wrapped up in the daily hustle and bustle of life, so busy just trying to survive and make it through another day that we don’t stop to consider our dreams. We don’t stop to think about, in the big picture, what we really want in life. Taking it a step further, some of us believe that we’ll never be able to get what we want anyway, so daydreaming and imagining the future seems like a waste of time.
If you find it difficult answering the question, What do you really want? One reason may be that you’ve never really asked yourself before. Maybe it seems risky. Scary. Selfish.
Maybe you find it easy to answer what you DON’T want, because that’s something you HAVE spent a lot of time thinking about.
What I want to offer you is this.
If this topic is bringing some things up for you, I believe it’s for a reason. You have purpose. We all do. We desire a meaningful existence. There is soul-fueling work you were meant to do. Going after what you want isn’t selfish or frivolous. It’s a must. If you want to live fully as who you were created to be, you have to ask yourself these questions. Maybe you’re exhausted because you’re going through the motions, living a life that feels meant for someone else. Maybe you have a nudge that there’s more for you, that there’s more to life than that you thought. Maybe you’ve had dreams but the idea of actually doing what you’d need to do to even get started feels really scary. So you don’t. I get it. Change is uncomfortable. Growth is too. But if we’re going to be uncomfortable half the time, would you rather be uncomfortable right where you’re at, wondering what could be, or uncomfortable learning and growing and changing on the way to who you’re becoming?
It’s never too late.
I want you to know it’s never too late to make change. To reach for more. To decide you want to stop living in the past and start creating your future. Intentionally. On purpose. No matter how young or old you are, what season of life you’re in, what you’ve survived or lived through, what you did or didn’t do, if you are breathing, and you want to make change, you can do it. You can make it happen. Whether you have little ones at home, whether you’re anticipating retirement or loving life as a grandparent, it doesn’t matter. If now is the time when you feel called to create change, then now is the exact right time.
If what we’re talking about, embracing who you’re becoming and creating a future that you desire to live speaks to you, I want you to get the worksheet and dive into this work. Who knows what might come up for you? Who knows how taking these minutes to think about your life could change everything? I’m so excited to see how asking these questions serves you.
Remember what I said at the beginning of this episode, about my daughter delivering me breakfast in bed this morning? And that more than a breakfast tray, that I see her heart. And I see who she’s becoming? I believe there’s a bigger plan for every single one of us imperfect humans. Just like like my daughter, you and I make a lot of mistakes. We get in trouble sometimes. We have bad days and good ones. And they are collectively shaping us into who we’re becoming.
I hope you have the best week.
Remember, you can do hard things.
You were made ready.
I believe it.
Talk to you next time.