“Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are…”
I swim in memories as I listen to this Meatloaf song. It seems like just yesterday I was directing HR traffic in corporate America. I was large and in charge. I had a great team. We led positive change. The senior staff respected me. Ah, those were the days.
Ever feel like that? I know plenty of job seekers and folks suffering in stuck careers who speak nostalgically about the way it used to be.
Looking backwards allows us to only see what we want to see. Those clear memories mask the pain, confusion and frustration right under the surface. Those bad feelings are not so close anymore. We forget.
It is so much easier to see the best parts of the past than to imagine the future. We have to create the future ourselves. It is right there, just out of reach.
Tomorrow can be kind of fuzzy. I had to create my own new reality when I started The Interview Doctor. Every day for the last fourteen years begins as a blank slate, a fresh start, an opportunity to reinforce my vision of the future. I have to find new clients. I imagine new marketing efforts. I build an impression of what success looks like in the new reality, what success feels like for me today.
My vision extends beyond business to include HOW I want to work. I set up my business life to support my personal vision of adventure, writing and travel. I did not have a roadmap. I had to create my own plan through trial and plenty of error.
Here are five tips to taking that first step to creating your own future vision:
- Put fear behind you, pretend if you have to. You can find plenty of TED talks around this concept. Start with Ann Cuddy’s wonderful talk, “Fake it till you make it.”
- Create a vision for the future built around situations that make you feel happy, confident and successful or problems you love to solve. Marinate yourself in that vision. Look at it from every possible angle. You have to be completely committed to find the courage to reach for the future.
- Talk to a lot of people, especially experts in what you want to do. Let information be your protection against making bad decisions or focusing too much on the mirror
- Take calculated risks. Put yourself in situations that make you a little uncomfortable. I find it secretly a little exciting when I am not exactly sure what is behind that new door. Take a different way home. Go to a meeting you would not normally attend. Volunteer for a committee if that is outside your comfort zone. Imagine you are standing on the desks like in that great movie, Dead Poets’ Society. The view is completely different up there!
- Take action. A vision without action, even slow, calculated action is just a dream. Turn your dreams into reality by taking action to make it real. Start with baby step if you want but don’t be afraid to step out into the ether with me!
What does your future look like? Do you have a vision for where you want to be? Are you ready to take that big step into the unknown, putting the objects in the mirror further into the past? I would love to hear how you define your future or how you have taken a step away from that rear view mirror!