How do you see yourself? Who appears in your mind’s eye when you think about yourself? And what does she look like when you think about your best self?
One of the greatest motivators for me to change and to keep on changing when it comes to my health and wellbeing, is an image I have in my head that shows how I want to be. It’s not a picture of how I want to look, but more of how I want to feel. When I imagine my best self, she looks happy. Smiling. Confident. Healthy. Calm. Peaceful. I can see how she feels.
Simply saying I want to be all of those things isn’t enough for me. Knowing what I should do or could do aren’t powerful motivators either – I don’t like being told what to do much. What does work though is picturing the outcome, the goal, the dream, because it’s what I want.
At the moment I’m reading Ian Gawler’s book The Mind that Changes Everything, in which he discusses the power of the mind and imagery in achieving goals. Ian used imagery and meditation to heal himself of cancer, and has since authored several books on both the mind and meditation. In this book, he explains how our mind thinks in images and how the mind is a powerful tool that can act as either a destructive or constructive force in our life. He shows how your mind will manifest your thoughts, so it’s best to think of positive goals, rather than the negative situation you’re trying to leave behind.
Your thoughts are what give your mind focus. If you think about what you shouldn’t do, that’s all the mind will see – the thing you shouldn’t do. But if you think instead about the alternative, or even the result you will have after making the change, that is what the mind sees and focuses on.
Thinking about how I want to be – that best me, in all her glory – has helped me move forward. To tackle detoxes, to make the extra effort in the kitchen, to take on study, to step out of my comfort zone. Thinking about the end result means my mind isn’t preoccupied with what I’m leaving behind. I just keep thinking of the next step forward, the next step towards the best me.
So, when you think about how you want to be, what do you see? And what do you need to do now to meet her?