In the name of vision casting, many coaching and self development programs ask you some variation of these questions:
“What will your life look like one year now? 5 years from now? 10 years from now? What would your perfect day be? Who do you want to become?”
I’m not knocking any them — in my own book, Stop Wasting Time and Burning Money, there’s literally a chapter devoted to considering your vision. It’s all about doing the work of future casting, practicing visualization, and all that good stuff.
Knowing where you’re headed is common sense, and I’m here for it!
But Is the Practice Still Powerful?
By asking these types of questions so often, however, there’s the reality that potency can be lost. Sometimes questions strike us powerfully because they are novel. Admittedly, there is something wonderful about an unexpected prompt that asks us to think in new and different ways.
But when every life coach, performance guru, and internet sales page is throwing the same tired questions in your face, the novelty disappears quickly. (Or is that just my opinion?)
If you’re like me, you find yourself asking:
- Are these overdone questions?
- Have we used and abused them for far too long?
- Is there still value in the unknowing and curious state that question puts you in?
I say yes…and no.
What Impacts Our Question Receptivity?
When I’ve been asked to answer the question about what my life will look like in a year, I’ve noticed the answer perceptibly shifts along with my mental state and circumstances.
The reality is, when you’re in a place of struggle, it’s hard to see past the struggle.
When you’re in the muck and the mire, it can be a challenge in and of itself to pull yourself up. We’ve all been there. Trying to “look into the future” and see something positive and good in those times can be a real shit show.
Like…yes Guru Gary, a few years from now I can see a magical world where I didn’t accidentally fuck myself over by not paying enough taxes.
Peering even further for Mentor Mallory, I can envision a world where my alarm clock causes me to spring out of bed so I can rush to my journal and start my gratitude meditations. Maybe, assuming I haven’t had a heart attack by then, I’ll be grateful that I’m not working 2.5 jobs PLUS a side hustle while I try to get this business off the ground!
And revealing it all for Coach Craig, I’ll share a vision of my glowing future, filled with many miles run, crunches crunched, and downward dogs. (Thankfully I’m responding to him via Zoom, so it’s not immediately apparent that I’m rolling my eyes and eating Oreos in the same sweatpants I’ve been wearing for three days.)
Our circumstances and mindset absolutely impact how we envision our futures.
Being in a Good Place Makes Us More Likely to See (And Believe) in Good Things
When we’re in a good place in life, it’s much easier to look forward and see MORE good coming. From personal experience, I know that when I’m already practicing feel-good habits (like gratitude, movement, and setting aside money for taxes) and feeling grounded and positive, I tend to vision cast in a way that is, shockingly, much more grounded and positive.
Rather than responding grudgingly, or with cynicism or defeatism, I’m able to vision cast with a great deal of intention and a belief that my outcomes will be amazing. In fact, I would take it one step further and say I’m also more likely to believe in the vision I’m casting. I think, say, and believe more good things are possible when I’m coming from a position of strength.
That being said, I’m not saying to not do vision casting, or implying things need to be perfect in your life before you start creating a future vision. However, I am noting that I’m all about doing it while in the right frame of mind.
A few small steps that can help you get there?
Practice positive habits. Drinking enough water, being in the habit of gentle movement, building a journaling or gratitude practice: these aren’t things you wait to do in some perfect future. No! These are things that you can start doing now, in order to cultivate the mindset and sense of wellbeing that will help lay a stronger foundation for your desired future.
Believe In the Vision You Cast
I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but….
none – not a single one – of my past life vision casting practices ever came to fruition. (Is it too late to ask Guru Gary for a refund?!)
Sometimes better came. Sometimes different showed up. Other times, I simply struggled to believe.
The future I cast for myself didn’t feel like something that could ever be a reality for me.
Even though I know how powerful the practice of vision casting is, I also think that we’ve probably all had the experience of not believing in the vision that we cast, of not believing in ourselves.
We do this future-focused practice because our coach encouraged us to do it, or someone from stage said it was a great idea, or some book or influencer said it was what changed their life.
But when it comes down to it, it feels a little bit like trying on Aunt Thelma’s hundred year old girdle set. There’s way too much going on, nothing fits like it should, and you’re left feeling like it was too much, or too hard, or too complicated, or too obscure to work for you.
The Fly in the Ointment
And that’s the fatal flaw (or the fly in the ointment, if you will).
We try to jump into vision casting without making any effort to prepare ourselves for it in the present. In many ways, we treat it like buying a lottery ticket. We throw in our lucky numbers, we imagine how fun it would be if we were to win it all….and then we buy some cheap wine and go back to whatever we normally do.
Along with that comes the sneaky little idea that we’ll start making changes if the vision begins to unfold.
This is a problem because it lets us have the fun of vision casting (even if we do it ironically or cynically or from a dark, Cheeto encrusted part of our souls), without calling us into any form of work connected to vision creation.
Doing the Work
Before you begin vision casting and planning for what your life will look like in a year, or five, or ten….
Work on your mindset.
Your inner self.
Your habits and ways of being.
Find the deep work that needs to be done and lean into doing it.
Because that, right there, is where the change happens. That is where the magic is – in the present life that you’re literally living right now.
When I consider all of the years of goal setting and vision casting that I have participated in throughout my journey, the most powerful and impactful practices have occurred within the last 5 years. Not coincidentally, that’s also when I had actively started doing the deep work.
When I decided to dig in and change my life, that is when my life changed.
I stopped waiting for the big future win that was going to make everything in my life so different, and I started cultivating the soil and planting the seeds that would enable me to actually be part of co-creating the life I desired.
Change is Calling
The reality is, you’ve got to be willing to change if you want something different.
We want different, we want better, we want that 7 figures, that fancy car, that travel lifestyle… yet we’re not willing to do the work to grow, learn, and improve who we are, how we live, the decisions we make and the words we speak in the present.
We’re not preparing ourselves for the future we’re casting, which means it’s going to come into being.
When I look back over the last 5-6 years of my life, I feel like I’m a different woman now. Don’t get me wrong….I was amazing then! But I’m definitely a better version of my amazing self today.
When I vision cast now, it’s with a completely different mindset.
It’s something I do with clear intentions, massive awareness, and the knowledge that, in a year from now, I’ll be better off than I am today. It’s also knowing that it won’t be all rainbows and unicorns.
However, I’m empowered to visualize with a massive belief in who I am, how I show up, and who I want to be.
Look Inward & Develop Your Own Self-Belief
The next time someone asks where you want to be a year from now, I challenge you to first do the inner work to lay a foundation for your future self.
If you can’t stand strong in believing in yourself, consider working with a coach or mentor to help you get there. For myself, working with a coach saved my life (and my business!).
No, I wasn’t technically dying (it was all on the inside). But, I felt hopeless to create change, and couldn’t seem to see the forest for the trees. I was buried in my own self doubt, and working with a coach helped me shift so many things in my life, my thinking, my language and so much more.
I realized that, with all my previous vision casting and attempts at creating change, I was doing a lot of pretending.
Pretending to be ok.
Pretending to be happy.
Pretenidng I wasn’t fucking miserable and doing my best to hide it from the world.
Because honestly, I was NOT okay.
I couldn’t see beyond my face and my current circumstances, much less try to visualize life a year in the future. Doing some actual work around that was what allowed me to finally begin the process.
It’s also what allowed me to finally develop the business I had been dreaming of for so long.
Being Present Today to Build Your Business’s Tomorrow
Now, I help businesses create workflows, systems & processes, and optimal tech stacks.
Some people may think that sounds….
Honestly, it’s anything but.
I think of it as teaching you how to do the tangible work of building a business that is prepared for the future you’re casting.
You want to make an impact?
Scale to the next level?
Build a legacy?
None of it is going to happen if you haven’t built a sustainable set of systems that will support that dream. In the same way that you get to dig deep and gain inner clarity for yourself around who you are and what vision you’re cultivating, you get to do the same for your business.
How powerful is that?
Take a Breath (Or Two)
If all this vision casting and inner work is resonating, take a breath.
Take another one.
If you look back and consider your previous attempts at goal setting, vision casting, or other visualization practices, can you recognize the limitations?
Can you see how preparing yourself for the vision is the work of right now, in both your personal life and your business?
You are amazing. You have a purpose. And you are absolutely here for a reason. Choose to believe that, then take that next step. Odds are, you already know exactly what to do.
As the “get shit done” person who holds the answers to what stands between you and the crap that slows you down and takes up all your time, I’ve created an incredible online community so you can quickly and easily bring your ideas to life, get your business on track, and increase your profits, all while doing what YOU do best.
This community will provide you with support and accountability as you put all the moving parts of your business together. Join us, and share the ideas, questions, and projects that truly light you up and push your vision forward — join us!