Future You knows …

Photo of a person standing on a sand dune within a crystal ballThe pandemic is a huge, scary unknown.

What’s going to happen? Will you lose your job? (Have you already?) Will you get sick? Will someone you love get sick?

The constant stream of news and social media anxiety is overwhelming. And it’s easy to get sucked into the worry / fear cycle, especially since there are some very good reasons to be worried and afraid.

Here’s something my clients and colleagues – and I myself – have found helpful.

Future You knows

There’s a You in the future that knows what happens.

There’s a Future You that knows what you did, how you reacted and responded.

Does Future You have longer hair? (Probably, since hair stylists are closing for the duration – but maybe you have a family member who knows how to cut hair.)

Did Future You learn something new?

Does Future You wash your hands differently?

Maybe Future You is more … frugal … with toilet paper. (Ha. I know I’m being a bit more, um, conservative with how much I use!)

Does Future You interact differently with your family?

Did Future You take some time to explore options and develop skills?

What will be different?

How will YOU be different?

How will your work be different?

What do you need to do now to prepare to be that Future You?

This isn’t fluff

Sometimes we need to allow ourselves to feel whatever we feel. Fear, dread, and helplessness are all things I’ve been cycling through, and my clients and colleagues report the same.

But sometimes we need to lift our gaze up out of the immediate muck and focus on some sort of horizon.

We don’t know what will happen. We’re not allowed to see the future.

But we can control what we do right now. We can remind ourselves that there is a Future Self that knows what happens. And we can remind ourselves that there are actions, however limited they may be, that we can take to come through this time as safely as possible, and as well-prepared for what comes afterwards as possible.

Because there will be an afterwards.