USE THE POWER OF VISUALIZATION TO HELP JUMPSTART YOUR FORWARD PROGRESS STARTING NOW.
Do you wish you could put yourself out there more in life? If you could, in which area of your life would you most like to make this happen? What would that look like for you?
If you would like to learn how to put yourself out there boldly, freely, and without fear and self-doubt, then stay tuned . . . because today we’ll be discussing simple tips for eliminating inhibition and creating more freedom in your life.
While this is a huge topic that affects almost everyone, the way it manifests itself has a much different impact on every person.
So, when you think about putting yourself out there more assertively, what does that mean for you? Do you need to be less inhibited at work? In your social life? In the dating scene? What images does putting yourself out there conjure for you?
Before we can break through this problem, we must first understand what our specific problem is.
To help various clients through this imagery, one successful tactic has been to create a fearless alter ego who can serve as an example for your behavior. For one particular client who had a persistent tendency to hesitate and hold himself back, this alter ego’s name was Badass Jack. Whenever he felt the urge to keep himself safe, I’d ask him to consider what Badass Jack would do.
In the same way, you can use this trick to help imagine your own forward progress: what would Badass You do?
Picture the area in your life that needs adjusting, and ask yourself that question. Then allow your mind to live through the results of Badass You’s actions, and imagine a positive outcome resulting from them.
Does Badass You speak out confidently in a group setting and notice looks of respect and engagement? Does Badass You ask an attractive person out on a date and get a positive response?
Why do we need to take the time to visualize positive responses? Because your default programming is already set to assume the exact opposite.
For your comfort and safety from judgement, your mind creates a collection of voices and images that make up what I like to call your “safety police.” These safety police want to keep you jailed within your comfort zone, and the way they accomplish this task is to show you how dangerous and detrimental any new action can be.
When you see the visualizations that these safety police create, you are likely to surrender to them because you believe that terrible things will happen if you don’t. By changing the visualizations, you begin the important process of reprogramming your brain and quieting those safety police for good!
This, however, is just step one.
Visualization alone is not going to transform your experience and change your life—only action can accomplish that.
In order to make your leap forward into a greater ability to put yourself out there, you have to test this new vision and take action!
Now, right off the bat, you’re probably thinking there’s no way you could do anything as bold as Badass You would do—it’s just too far outside of your comfort zone for now . . . and that’s ok! The idea of testing your new reality is meant to ease you into this bold new state of existence.
Let’s say you’re a man who sees a very attractive woman who you’d love to ask out on a date, and she’s talking with her friends. Would Badass You walk up to the entire group with absolute confidence and start chatting them up? Would he eventually ask the woman for her phone number in front of all her friends? Would he be unafraid to take these actions because he knows that even a rejection will be a learning experience in the end?
Badass You would do all those things and probably more! But that is likely a giant leap from where you are right now.
If you’re able to commit to such bold action in one fearless move, then that’s great. If you’re like most people, though, you’ll need a bit more time . . . and that time should be spent working yourself up to the Badass level one step at a time.
In that same situation in which you see a beautiful woman surrounded by other beautiful women, what is one way you could scale back Badass You’s actions to reach an action that is doable, but still outside your comfort zone? Could you simply walk by them and greet them all with a “Hello” as you pass? Of course you could—so start there!
The ultimate goal here is to build up to taking bold actions without fear, and that will only happen if you commit to taking risks and seeing what happens.
The other part of testing the waters of bold action is to own each step in the process fully and unapologetically. When you put yourself out there and allow yourself to become the center of attention, it does you no good to do it timidly.
If you decide to do a cannonball into a pool, you don’t step up to the edge and gently fall in: you take a running start and jump as high as you can so that you can make the biggest splash possible!
It’s exactly the same with taking risks and testing your comfort zone.
You’ve got to own these actions fully. If that seems intimidating to you, then one simple trick to help you through it is what I call “flipping the frame.”
So often, what holds us back is the belief that others are thinking negatively about our actions.
In the case of approaching an attractive person, perhaps you imagine that he or she will think you’re weird or brash or overconfident for taking that action—but what if you were to flip your perspective? What if, instead of allowing your impression to be marred by an assumed opinion, you chose to view unnecessary judgements on your actions as ridiculous?
Think about it this way: if it’s ok for others to think you’re weird for approaching them, why isn’t it ok for you to think they’re weird for viewing your actions as wrong?
For example: one client of mine prefers for people to take of their shoes in his home (a perfectly reasonable desire), but he feels bad asking people to do so because he assumes they’ll be put out. Doesn’t it put him out, however, to have to sweep and mop his floors every other day just because people are tracking dirt and mud into his house?
In reality, his perspective is completely legitimate, and he should respect and honor that truth.
This is what flipping the frame is all about: allowing your own perspective to hold as much value as anyone else’s.
As you continue to put yourself out there, you will continue building confidence in your own viewpoints—and that is where repetition comes into play.
This is not the kind of thing where doing it once and expecting an instant miracle is going to work. You have to decide that you want to change the way you present yourself to the world and commit to that change long-term.
The only way to make that work is to “fake it ‘til you make it” and do it over and over again until it starts to feel natural.
Do you want to become the kind of person who speaks up in a group setting? Then you need to start speaking up in group settings! Do you want to become the kind of person who offers opinions at work? Then you need to start offering opinions at work!
You need to repeat the actions that frighten you until that behavior becomes who you are from the inside out. Simply visualize your Badass self, scale back his or her actions where necessary, and keep repeating them until you build up to the ultimate bold action that you pictured!
Every aspect of your life benefits when you put yourself out there more, and that’s because the world benefits from you and your presence.
This work is life-changing, and you can make it happen if you will only commit yourself to the forward progress. As you continue your work, you will be amazed at the changes you see, and that is what I hope for you starting today!
So, get out there and do it! Then, I hope that you will come back here and let me know how it goes in the comments below. Share your experiences with the entire community so that we can continue to learn and grow together.
Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.