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What is the future you want for yourself and your business? When you think ahead three, five, or ten years, where do you want to be and who is the person you want to be? How will you get there?
In today’s episode, Gail and Erin talk with organizational psychologist Dr. Benjamin Hardy, creator of the Future Self Program, author of Personality Is Not Permanent and Willpower Doesn’t Work, and a regular contributor to Inc. and Psychology Today. Dr. Hardy’s blogs have been read by over 100 million people and are featured on Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Cheddar, and many others.
Contrary to what many people believe, says Dr. Hardy, we are not born with a certain personality nor do we develop a personality and then stick with it for the rest of our lives. We are always changing, and who we will be three or five years from now will be different from who we are today, because that person will have new knowledge, new experiences and new perspectives.
Therefore, Dr. Hardy explains, we need not limit or define ourselves by our past. Look at your former self as a different person and the past as something you can use to help you grow and move forward. He quotes his colleague, strategic coach Dan Sullivan, “The starting point to making your future bigger is by making your past better.”
Dr. Hardy refers of the work of psychology researcher Dr. Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, who proposes people have one of two basic established sets of attitudes, either a “fixed” mindset (you believe you are who you are and that will never change) or a “growth” mindset (you see yourself as a work in progress). Fixed mindset people go through life trying to avoid challenge and failure. Growth mindset people are always on the lookout for new opportunities and ways to grow. However, people can choose to change their mindset. You can imagine a different future self and grow into that self, says Dr. Hardy.
Gail and Dr. Hardy go on to discuss how people can cultivate the motivation and drive to change, how they can overcome trauma and turn the past into something positive, the most effective and proven ways to effect radical change, and much more. Listen to the entire podcast to learn how to begin creating your future self.
Gail wraps up by asking Dr. Hardy to share three takeaways that listeners can apply to effect change in their lives. He says:
- Look at something in your past that is limiting you and a find a way to flip it to something positive and useful.
- Take time to imagine and clarify your future self, using a three-year outlook as a timeframe.
- Give yourself an environment to access subconscious thoughts, ideas and images that speak to your future self, such as journaling every morning while it’s quiet and your mind is fresh.
Mentioned in This Podcast
You can find more information about Dr. Benjamin Hardy, his Future Self Program, and his books, and read a selection of his articles on his website at Benjamin Hardy.
Dan Sullivan is co-founder of Strategic Coach — business coaching for growth-minded entrepreneurs. For more information, go to www.strategiccoach.com.
Dr. Hardy mentioned a TED Talk by Harvard psychologist Dr. David Gilbert. You can view it on the TED website at Dan Gilbert: The Psychology of Your Future Self.
Dr. Carol Dweck’s best-selling book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, is now available in an updated edition. You’ll find more information at Mindset by Carol S Dweck.
Dr. Hardy quoted from The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman and Kaley Warner Klemp of the Conscious Leadership Group: “Commitment is a statement of what is.”
The actual quote from Thomas Edison, paraphrased by Dr. Hardy, is “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” For the neuroscience behind the quote, check out this article from Stanford professor and neurobiologist Stuart Thompson: Priming Your Subconscious For Creativity.