March 11, 2021

The Future's What You Make it, so Make it Good

“The goal is that ultimately your future is the thing predicting your daily behavior, not your past.” That little nugget from “Personality isn’t Permanent” author, Dr. Benjamin Hardy, in his conversation with Hal Elrod on The Miracle Morning Show. Tune in to hear more from Dr. Hardy on how to best invest in yourself for success, why hope and purpose are key elements for a meaningful present, what keeps you stuck in the past when planning for the future and how unresolved trauma can freeze your personality, preventing your ability to change.

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What if I told you, I have something shiny and new? It’s 10 easy steps to a new and improved, upgrade that’s you. A few simple hacks is all you have to do. Just take this course, buy that program, read this book, hire that coach, try this practice, do this exercise. Now follow that guy. No, follow that girl, oh shoot, no wait, chase that squirrel. Down a rabbit hole, and back again. Oh, no, here we go again. You’re a project that has no end. Like Humpty Dumpty, trying to put yourself back together again. The end.  

Sound familiar? It’s my Neverending Story. I’m always on the hunt for a self help hit. Like an addict looking for their next big score. I just need this one last thing, before I’m ready. Or actually, you know what, maybe one more after that and then I can start. Start dating, start a business, start connecting, start speaking up, start saying no, start saying yes, start my car and go...but no, not even the car will start. So then I stop, stop before I start because in my head, it’s already failed. Failed to be perfect, so I failed to start.

And perfection, she is a biotch. Whenever I drop a podcast, I think, that was the dumbest thing I’ve ever said. What was I thinking? Why did I post that? And I lay in bed, tossing and turning, debating if I should delete it before anyone hears. Because no one would even know, right? I mean, who do I think I am, vomiting my message that is my mess, all over the unsuspecting women of the world? What did they ever do to me? No one wants to hear about my wild and crazy, not so wild and crazy, non-existant sex life. You know, my daughter and I went for a walk in the park the other day and saw some pretty frisky lookin geese out there. So yeah, even birds see more action than I do. I digress.  

I was in a group coaching call the other day and the topic of perfectionism came up because, well, I brought it up and the coach said I shouldn’t worry so much about it because people are in their own heads thinking about themselves and no one is thinking about me and whether or not I’m perfect. Wait, I’m sorry, what? That’s just plain crazy talk. No one is thinking about me? Is this guy for real? Uh, yeah, I don’t get it. But of course, he’s right. Which only makes it worse when I procrastinate out of the need for perfection because no one really cares except me, when shit doesn’t get done.

And if you think about it, am I ever really ready? Is there ever really “the perfect time” to do the thing, go after the goal, pursue the dream, leave the guy, date the guy, quit the job, pivot in the career, create the life? It’s great to have a plan and prepare, you need that, but nothing will change if I spend all my time getting ready for a date that I never actually go on. I’ve done my hair, I put my face on, I’m dressed to the nines and now it’s time to hit the to speak. Because in the end, I still have to take the action. No one can do that for me and no amount of preparation can completely protect me from the fear and imperfection of trying something new. But they also can’t predict the self confidence and satisfaction that comes from taking control of my life, having agency over my future and gaining the freedom that goes with it.    

If I think about where I was just a few years ago, it’s a complete 180 from where I am today. It might surprise you to hear that I am a very different person from who I was back then. It was right before my divorce, I really hate that word but, and I remember the utter chaos of emotions I was feeling. I had just left my home, my family and everything I knew to move down the road to a shit box apartment and live on my own for the first time in my life. OOph, my heart’s beating faster just thinking about it. And, let’s see,  what did I bring with me? An air mattress, my daughter’s old pink and orange IKEA blanket, a few of my belongings and 2 plates, 2 spoons, 2 forks and 2 knives. DId I think I was going camping? I mean, What. The. Fuck? So as you can imagine my confidence and self esteem was through the roof.  I  remember looking around that tiny little place and thinking, “Tracy, what have you done? What are you doing? Have you lost your damn mind?” And, I don’t know. Maybe temporarily I had. ANd maybe it’s just what I needed in order to do what I did. Of course hindsight being 20/20, now, looking I think, huh, I’d tell HIM to get out and find a place because...yeah, okay, I probably still wouldn’t but I sure as hell would take at least, FOUR plates, spoons, forks and knives and a nicer blanket. Yeah, that’s right! I’m crazy like that! But I can tell you, had I not left then, I never would have because I would never have been ready. There was never going to be this magical perfect time.  And all the self help motivation and inspiration in the world, it couldn’t have helped me in the long run if I didn’t make my move. Eventually, I’d have found a distraction or let too much time pass and that window of opportunity would no longer be open. Because that short lived, call it what you like, courage, crazy, desperation...temporary insanity, it would have passed. And would you look at me now!? I have a big girl bed with 2, count ‘em, 2 full sets of silverware. What!? I’m basically a baller.      

This leads us to who I have been reading, listening and obsessing over recently. He’s my latest guru of choice, Dr. Benjamin Hardy, PhD, author of Personality Isn’t Permanent. The man who has me looking at everything I do in the present through the lens of my future self. Understanding that my personality is constantly changing and who I am, even those short 3 years ago is not the person I am today. And that the past does not predict my future...unless I allow it too. He’s also got a great free 30 day course on his website that I’ll link to in the show notes. 

But it’s all got me thinkin, where do I want to go from here? I can only get so many sets of silverware. What’s left after that? Does it only go downhill from here? Or can life get better after cutlery? I mean, obviously I could upgrade at some point and what I have now will eventually wear out but what do I do in the meantime? These are the questions I ask myself and I think Dr. Hardy would say, “start designing the person I want to be in the future and begin living in alignment with her now.” AKA, become the architect of my personality, creating it/her with purpose and intention. 

And If you’ve ever seen the 1985 movie, Weird Science, where two crazy teenage boys create the woman of their dreams on a computer and bring her to life. It’s kind of like that, minus the bra on your head, or not, whatever floats your boat. I’m not here to judge. And of course, the emphasis being on your inner game vs the outer. Remember the episode with Sam Ovens a few weeks back? If you go and re-listen to his interview, his perspective on creating the person you want to become falls right in line with Dr. Hardy’s and he gives some great advice on how to do just that. 

If you liked what you heard from Dr. Hardy and want to learn more, check out the rest of the interview between himself and Hal Elrod on The Miracle Morning podcast, episode #327, “Why Your Personality Isn’t Permanent with Dr. Benjamin Hardy. Links to that and both their social media are in the show notes below. Along with the website for the free 30 day, Create Your Future Self course. And believe me, you’re gonna want to check that out.  

If you enjoyed today’s podcast please subscribe and share with someone you think might benefit and until next time, Thanks for listening.