In today’s episode, I want to introduce you to someone extraordinary. She is wise. She is capable. She’s beautiful. She’s confident. She’s abundant. She’s everything that maybe you wish yourself to be. Are you ready to meet her? If so, let’s dive in.
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.
Hello, gorgeous. Welcome back to another episode of the podcast. And if this is your first time, I’m so glad you are here. I just had a conversation with someone extraordinary. And I what to introduce her to you. Do you know who she is? She is my future self.
And guess what? Your future self, she’s extraordinary too. In this podcast, I want to talk about future self conversations. This is something that I do literally every single day to help me to align my present self with my future self.
This is a lot of the work that we do within the School of Self-Image membership. We get clear on what we want, and we get clear on who we need to become to create whatever it is that we desire. And using this process, we literally recreate ourselves, recreate our self-images to be a match for what it is that we want.
In order to do this, you must get to know your future self. So, your future self, I want you to imagine, is that version of you who is where you want to be. It can be the you of tomorrow. It can be the you of next week. It can be the you of 10 years from now. It can even be the you that’s 90 years old.
And the cool thing is that you can talk to all of these different versions of yourself. Now, here’s what’s really interesting. Science has shown that we have a difficult time imagining our future selves. And because we can’t imagine him or her, then we don’t have a relationship with that version of ourselves.
So, we don’t think about our future self when we’re making decisions today, which is often why we end up, in future moments, wondering, “How did I get here? This is not where I imagined myself to be. This isn’t what I wanted.” And it’s simply because of a lack of imagination.
In fact, there’s a quote by a philosopher, Derek Parfit, that says, “We neglect our future selves because of failure of belief or imagination.” So, either you don’t believe it’s possible for you to become that future version of you, or you don’t use your imagination to create him or her in your head and then align with being her now.
However, if there are goals that you have and dreams that you want to realize, this is imperative. It’s imperative that you get to know that version of you who has achieved those goals, who is where you want to be, so you can consult with her, so that she can guide you because she lives within you.
All of that wisdom, that intuition, that deep knowing, even if it’s just the next steps, that version is within you. But what we often do is we spend so much time conversing with everyone else, getting everybody else’s opinions, we abandon the future self that’s within us, who’s always there.
She’s always available to have a little conversation. In fact, right before I sat down – actually, I’m not sitting down. I’m standing up at my new standup desk. But right before I was going to record this episode, I was feeling a lot of resistance. And this happens when we are creating.
Resistance doesn’t mean anything’s gone wrong. It just means that you’re in the creative process and something within you is resisting stepping into that creation. So, I got up and I walked around. I stretched a little bit. And I had a conversation with my future self.
I was like, “Hey, I’m having a lot of trouble right now. I’m resisting doing this podcast. Tell me what I need to know.” And here is what she said. She was like, “Darling, just get it done. She your experience with me. Tell the people what we talk about. Tell them how you use me to create your life on purpose. Have fun doing this episode. Nothing serious is going on. You’ve got this.”
And you can see, that conversation gave me the energy to show up and record this for you. And now, I’m feeling the flow. I’m feeling the energy that she helped me to get into, which is making this so much easier than trying to do it with all of that resistance that I was feeling. And that is because I sat down, or actually walked around, and had a conversation with my future self.
When I was losing weight, I didn’t use the term future self. I didn’t even know of that term at the time. But I was doing this without even knowing I was talking to my future self. What I would do is I would imagine that future version of me that was slim, healthy, fit, who didn’t struggle with food, and I would imagine what it was like to be her.
I would imagine how she would think about something. I would imagine how she would sit down, how she would eat, how she would take care of her body. And I practiced being her until it’s just who I was, it’s who I became.
When I started my business, I would imagine the version of me that had 1000 email subscribers. That was my extraordinary goal when I first started. And I would think about her, that version of me who had 1000 email subscribers, and how she thought, how she felt, how she showed up in her business, and my work was to become her, to practice being her, how she thought, how she felt, and what she did.
But these days, I love to just have conversations with my future self. Sometimes, I imagine myself when I’m 90 years old, looking back on my life. And I’ll ask that version of me, “What do I need to do to make sure I have no regrets? What should I be focused on right now? What’s most important?”
Ad sometimes, she tells me the craziest things. Sometimes she’s like, “Oh girl, just go take a nap.” Or she’ll say things like, “Go schedule some time with your girlfriends.” Sometimes, she tells me to get over myself and stop the pity party and just get it done. But her wisdom is always there to guide me.
In fact, I was just thinking about something that happened a couple of weeks ago that brought up a lot of shame. And shame is such a terrible emotion. That is one that I don’t like to experience. And yet, I don’t know of a human that doesn’t experience shame.
But I remember at the time, I could feel the present version of me wanting to beat myself up, which is often what we do when we’re feeling shame. Shame is this belief that makes you feel like there’s something wrong with you. But I know, if I listen to my present self and I beat myself up, just from experience, that is not going to lead to a result that is going to be helpful to me, or to anyone in my life.
And so, I just sat down with my 90-year-old self. When I’m wanting a lot of wisdom, when I’m wanting a dose of relief, when I’m wanting to relax, I know I need to go way into the future, like to the end of my life. And maybe I’ll live past 90. That would be fun. But my 90-year-old self, she’s the one I consult with for the deep wisdom.
And I just brought this to her, and I was like, “Tell me what I need to know right now.” And all she said was, “Oh, honey, you’re human. Congratulations. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Love up on yourself. Forgive yourself and let’s keep going because this won’t be the last time that you experience shame and I’m always here to guide you through it.”
With that one conversation, I just felt so much love, so much compassion, so much humanity. And that all came from within, by having a conversation with my future self.
You know, sometimes I think we think our future selves is perfect. Like it’s the version of us that never makes mistakes, never gets it wrong, who has everything she wants and never has a struggle, that never has challenges.
I never imagine my future self in that way because I know that that’s not possible. I know that that’s not life.
When I imagine my future self, I imagine the strongest, most confident, most audacious, most abundant, most loving, most outrageous self. She is the future me who handles things differently that present day me.
And the more I talk with my future self, the more I imagine her, the more I get to know her, the more I fall madly in love with her. The result of that is I want to take care of her. I want to do things today that make her proud. I want to do things today that help her live the life that she imagines in the future.
And that’s why I love having future self conversations more than anything, is that I get to know this version of myself, and instead of it feeling like some stranger that we often will ignore, I we don’t have a lot of empathy for – even science has shown this.
When you get to know your future self, she becomes this real thing in your head, this real person, and you develop this relationship with her, and you’re inspired to take care of her, because we want to take care of the people that we love. I want us to love up on our future selves, so that we’ll be inspired to do things today that cares for the versions of ourselves in the future.
Now, sometimes, it’s helpful just to go to the you of tomorrow and ask yourself, “What can I do today to make you proud?” And just see what she tells you.
When you’re having a difficult time, imagine the version of you that’s over that hump, who’s on the other side of it, and how she’s feeling, and what she’s thinking about this. And consult with her because she’s probably going to tell you, “Oh, honey, it’s not a big deal. You’ve got this. Here’s what I think you should do. Here’s how you should think about this.”
Another thing that I have noticed in getting to know my future self is that I’m inspired to take care of her financially. And so, I think about how I’m spending my money today and how that is going to impact that future me.
So, when I’m making purchases, I’ll consult with my future self. And sometimes she tells me, “Oh honey, go for it. Buy that ticket. Get the dress. Buy the shoes. Invest in the coach. Take part in the program.” But sometimes she tells me, “No, you don’t need another dress. Enjoy the ones that you have. Let’s invest that money elsewhere.”
But she’s a loving, guiding voice, always. And she knows. And your future self knows. But to grasp her knowings, you have to get to know her. You have to have these little conversations with her instead of going and asking your best friend, “What should I do?” asking your mentor, “What should I do?” looking around and asking everybody else who has so many different beliefs and ways of seeing the world and trusting them over yourself.
What if you got to know your future self and you learned to trust her instead? Because she knows what is best for you.
In one of my popular programs within the School of Self-Image membership called the Dream Atelier, one of the things that I have all of my members do when they’re going through this process of bringing their dreams to life 30 days at a time is, every morning, they have a future self pep talk.
And this is something that I want you to practice. So, basically, it’s you going deep within yourself and accessing that future version of you and imagining her. She’s where you want to be. She has achieved the goals. She’s overcome the obstacles. She’s dealt with the pushback. She’s dealt with people judging her. And she is sitting on her throne or in her rocking chair or on her yacht, wherever she is, and ask her the questions that you have right now.
How do I address this? How do I overcome this obstacle? How do I need to think about this? What are my next steps? How do I need to show up right now? How do I deal with this difficult conversation? How do I deal with this seeming setback? And listen for what she says. And here’s how you will know it’s the truth of who you really are. This is how you will know you’re speaking with your future self.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that my future self, when she speaks to me, it’s often inspiring. So, an example is, I was sitting down a couple of days ago to work on the schedule for SOSI Desert Live. This is an event that we are hosting in Scottsdale first weekend of November. It’s going to be epic.
For any of you who attended SOSI Beach Live in Miami, you know I can throw a great event, me, and my team. I don’t do it by myself.
But I was struggling with the flow of the content. And I just talked to that version of me who’s on the other side of the event, imagining all of the happy faces there, everybody talking about how amazing it is, and just feeling like I’ve delivered so much value.
And that version of me said, “Tonya, go sit on the sofa and look through your coffee table books.” Now, one thing I have noticed about my future self is she has some crazy ideas, sometimes doesn’t make sense, but she’s always right.
So, I went and did what she said. I went and sat on my sofa, and I picked up this gorgeous book that my best friend just sent me on fashion. And I just flipped the pages and as I flipped, I just felt this surge of excitement, I felt this surge of energy. I felt this surge of just knowing.
All along, I’ve known what I want this event to be. I’ve known what I want women to walk away with. But I was getting bogged down in the specifics, the details. That often happens in the creative process.
But after doing that, I just came back to my office, and I finalized the outline for SOSI Desert Live. It’s going to be so good, thanks to my future self. She’s very wise.
But you will notice that your future self, she inspires you. She’ll tell you to do things that you maybe wouldn’t normally think of. But listen to her. Trust her. Just see where it takes you.
The other way you will know that you are speaking with your future self is that she’ll sometimes make you laugh. My future self is very funny. And I was having a little meltdown recently and my future self, I was like, “What do I need to know right now.” And she said, “Stop being a drama queen.” And I was like, you know what? She’s right. I was being a total drama queen in that moment.
You will also notice that your future self will bring you relief. You all within the membership often hear me say, “There is no hurry.” And that is a quote from my future self. I remember thinking about my 90-year-old self who’s totally chilled out, sitting on the front porch, hanging out with her family. She’s totally relaxed.
And she often told me, way back in the day when I was always in such a hurry, hurry to lose weight, hurry to grow my business, hurry to do this and do that, she would often tell me, “Oh, honey, there is no hurry. Enjoy this moment Take it in Relax. Slow down,” bringing me so much relief. And that’s how you will know that you are speaking with your future self.
But then, sometimes, she will tell you to take action. Not hurried action, but she will tell you, get off the sofa, put down the remote, and let’s take some action. Let’s go.
Sometimes your future self will say things that will give you a jolt of energy. I was working on something yesterday and I was feeling really tired, and I said, “Hey, future self, what do I need to know right now?” And she said to me, she was like, “This is your one life. Stop overthinking and just do it and have fun in the process.”
And just those words gave me energy because, a lot of times, our fatigue is because we’re wearing ourselves down mentally. We’re putting so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, to get it right.
My future self is always telling me, “Hey, listen, you can’t get it wrong. You can only learn, or you can win. But you’re never getting it wrong.” And so, she just takes the pressure off and encourages me to have fun along the way.
But the ultimate test of whether you’re talking to your future self or not is that whatever your future self says to you will always, always, always, 100% of the time, be loving. If it doesn’t feel like love, it is not your future self talking. That is the ultimate test of your future self conversations.
Now, listen, there is this thing called tough love. It comes from the place of wanting the best for you. It comes from this place of knowing what you’re capable of. It comes from this place of her not wanting you to be a victim in your life.
So, sometimes, she may say things to you like, “Okay, pity party’s over. Let’s get to work.” Sometimes she may say to you, “Put down the chips. You are not hungry right now. Let’s figure out what’s really going on.”
Sometimes she may say to you, “Do it scared.” Because she knows that, to become her, you’re going to have to be willing to feel the discomfort that comes from change. But it will always feel like love. You will know it because of that feeling of her wanting the best for you. She will never beat you up. She will never say bad things about you or your body. She will never make you feel like you aren’t enough because she knows the truth of who you are, that you are enough, you always have been, you always will be, and there is nothing to prove.
She just wants you to get out in the world and express who you are unapologetically. So, if it doesn’t feel like love, you’re not talking to your future self. You’re probably just talking to the past self who has a habitual way of thinking about things that keeps you stuck in a certain cycle.
Your future self will get you out of cycles. She’ll get you out of toxic patterns that don’t serve you. So, have conversations with your future self. If it feels a little awkward at first, that’s okay. She’s right there to guide you through the awkwardness. But there is a smart, gorgeous, capable, confident, abundant, intelligent, brilliant version of you that lives within you.
Get to know her. Talk with her. Listen to her. Trust her because she will never, ever lead you astray, and she knows what you’re capable of because she’s already there. She’s living it. So, all you have to do is imagine that version of you and begin to feel like her, think like her, be her.
And she is there to guide you every step of the way. So, have fun having conversations with your future self. Have a beautiful week everyone and I will see you in next week’s episode. Cheers.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.