Tomorrow’s Forecast Looks Like …
Your mind is neither a fortune teller nor time traveller, but that won’t stop it from trying to project into the future or cast back to what’s already been. Minds are constantly gathering information to explain our present-moment experiences and that includes the melodramatic news bulletins it makes up about what will happen tomorrow, next week, or next year based on the significant experiences that have shaped you up until now.
And so, we run (almost continuous) commentary that starts with “What-if …” and very often ends with some version of things not working out, with an underlying meaning that looks something like this:
Prepare for the worst!
Things will always be hard!
You’re going to get hurt!
Remember what happened last time!
You’re not good enough and I don’t think you’ll make it!
And on and on it goes. I’m sure you can fill in a hundred blank spaces with your own mind’s forecast for doom and gloom. It’s annoying at best and exhausting at worst. Carrying the heaviness of this self-deprecating, self-doubting, self-criticising voice doesn’t make a smooth road in the direction of your dreams, goals, and the meaningful life you’re out to create.
I’m not going to patronise you by suggesting that you just stop listening to that voice. It’s not that simple. If there was an on/off switch you’d have used it by now.
What If the Forecast Is Wrong?
But I am going to suggest another way forward. While we can’t force our minds to stop problem-solving and warning us of things it considers threats to our sense of belonging, our enoughness, and our safety (because that’s what minds do), we can mindfully introduce light into the spaces between the grey dialogue.
Because the fact is that our minds are rarely correct with their predictions. They give us movie-trailer-worthy dramatisations for what usually turns out to be another run-of-the-mill life episode. And this means that there are large gaps that our minds fail to take into account when it comes to the future forecast, and those gaps are the ones that hold hope and possibility and magic.
Minds give us movie-trailer-worthy dramatisations for what usually turns out to be another run-of-the-mill life episode.
What if it worked out?
What if things go well?
What if the outcome is one of beauty and fulfillment and wholehearted action?
What if your deepest wishes come true?
Create Your Own Forecast
It’s here that I want you to consider the what ifs you’re living into. Are they helping or hindering you to go in the direction you want to go? I wonder if you can give yourself permission to introduce a conscious practice of giving voice to the potential for good to come your way.
There’s no rules about what this might look like. We are each unique in our goals and dreams, just as we are unique in the thoughts and beliefs that might hold us back. But here’s some ideas as a starting point to help you shift into imagining good:
Consider the ‘what ifs’ you’re living into. Are they helping or hindering you to go in the direction you want to go?
- Choose Wisely
Use your power of choice when considering which thoughts will get your attention. You can spend your mental and emotional energy on the grey forecast or on introducing a hopeful prediction.
- It’s Not About ‘Just Thinking Positive’
This is not about ignoring your mind’s natural instincts. It’s about respecting your mind’s job of keeping you safe while acknowledging that it’s a little too enthusiastic sometimes and can always use a helping hand to see the other (beautiful) possibilities.
- Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
We tend to believe things that are repeated often (either as thoughts or words we say). Repeat the things you’re hopeful about. Repeat the words that help you see the magic in possibilities ahead. Repeat your dreams and goals and desired path in the clearest picture you can imagine.
- Look for the Untruths and Offer Alternatives
Look for the inaccuracies in your mind’s previous predictions and consciously note how things turned out better than you expected. Bring that potential into what you imagine for tomorrow.
- Permission to Dream
The depth, colour, and richness that we imagine for our futures is usually dependent on how we perceive our worthiness. If your relationship with yourself is characterised by pointing out your weakness, mistakes, and imperfections, you will also experience blocks when it comes to imagining a bright and beautiful future for yourself. Drop the quest for perfection and imagine what life could be like if you honoured your worthiness for being precisely what it is: whole and enough exactly as you are. It’s from this place that you give yourself permission to dream of a life worth creating.
Here’s to forecasting good life weather – because we can.