Becoming Your Future Self
“The strongest factor for prosperity consciousness is self-esteem: Believing you can do it, believing you deserve it, believing you will get it.” —Jerry Gillies
How you imagine yourself and how you imagine the things you want are very important in your quest towards reaching your goals. You must be in pursuit of the image of your future self, and, just like every other muscle in your body, you must train your mind.
You should recognize the talents and abilities that have been lying deep within you as you “think” your game into existence. I do not mean playing back old memories of a good game you had. I mean, starting now, you must train your mind into being an extraordinary athlete.
Have you ever noticed that when you think fearful thoughts, your body tenses? It’s due to one little word: fear.
Fear is often associated with the negative because the things we fear are typically "bad," like making mistakes, losing the ball with an aggressive defender guarding you, or missing the shot at the buzzer, for example. Rarely do you hear the opposite -- fear of success -- but it’s just as valid. More people than you may imagine are afraid of accomplishing their goals and having their dreams come true. I was one of them. It sounds crazy but fear of success will keep you from succeeding just as much as the fear of failure.
When you stop focusing on changing your results and focus on changing yourself, the results will come. Imagining playing professionally, traveling the world, and being paid to play a game you have been working at your whole life could seem as farfetched as telling a fish what living on land is like -- but I hope that by the time you finish reading this, you understand just how powerful your mind is.
Your mind is usually moving in one of two directions -- toward the things that bring you happiness, or toward the things that cause you pain.
No one seeks pain, but when you force happiness, you will end up in pain. If you were ever like me, who wanted your team to win so badly and wanted to be relied on, wanted to help your team score, but didn’t allow the game to come to you and just play within your role, you probably ended up looking out of control at times, and, at times, even selfish. Although you had great intentions, you cannot force anything, you have to trust the process, no matter how stressful it may be.
Sometimes the most stressful part of your day is basketball practice and it ends up ruining your entire day. It is like waking up late and missing half your class and then becoming angry because now that that one mishap occurred. However, one substandard instance should not dictate the rest of your day or life. But, when you fear that your day won’t get any better, you are not allowing it to.
Being afraid of good things happening has everything to do with a lack of confidence, as you are, at the core, questioning your future: “What if I achieve my goals of playing in college?” “What if I’m not good enough?” “What if I don’t get any playing time?” “What if I’m relied on to do everything?” That mentality is the surest way to lead to you being unhappy.
Extraordinary players, however, hate losing more than they love winning. Most athletes find that they associate losing with failure and make excuses. When you are learning from every experience, doing ordinary things extraordinarily well, and controlling the things that can be controlled, you are prepared and mentally tough enough to reach your ultimate goals. You are prepping your future self to never stop and pushing yourself to always find a way to succeed. Whether that means staying present in each moment, loving the progression, striving for greatness, embracing competition, accepting the unknown, or welcoming fatigue and your future self, you can take steps every day.
I was in fourth grade when the WNBA began, and was confident that I wanted to do that when I was older. I remember talking to my step-dad about wanting to travel to different states and new countries to play basketball. At the time, I watched little college basketball or even professional ball, but I enjoyed playing.
I saw many states and cities at a young age, and played with the best competition everywhere. I played on different traveling teams, which allowed me to play teams in New York, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, North Carolina, Georgia, Connecticut, Oregon, Tennessee, and California before I even went to college. I loved seeing new places, and loved to play even more, and I was very grateful that my dreams manifested. I was able to see my future self because I believed in myself.
Once I received a scholarship to Oregon State University, I had even more opportunities to travel, and after college I traveled again, this time from Israel to Poland to Portugal. I started dreaming about that when I was very young, and it all happened the way I planned. So if something is your heart’s desire, everything proceeds in a procession. I had an image of what I wanted in life and it became reality.
Most misunderstand that, your impression of yourself is a direct reflection of how you are on the outside. You become your thoughts. Sacrifice your short-term desires for the long-term results, and your strengths will be the key to your success. You must believe in your strengths and use them to shape your vision. See growth. Visualize you are becoming the player you have wanted to be every day.
3 Things to Takeaway:
1. What are your three strengths?
2. What is one weakness you plan to improve on for the next week, and how do you plan to improve on it and stay committed?
3. If you are giving your best every day for your future self, find someone in need of finding theirs and help them.