There is something I finally learned recently that is having some profound positive effects on my business and my life that I want to share with you.
I started to notice a phenomenon in myself (and in so many of my clients) that I am starting to call the False Future Projection.
Here’s how it works:
I am upset about something and during this upset it feels as if how I am feeling at that moment is going to last for the rest of my life. And it feels like what and how I am currently thinking is the ultimate truth. I am seeing everything from the lens of my upset or from the lens of my stuckness.
During those moments I can only see the future based on what is happening in this moment in time. What I am, in fact, doing is falsely projecting the future from my current all-consuming feeling or belief. And I’ve gotta tell you… feeling this way totally sucks! It is as if my funk is coloring the past and the future.
Here’s another example:
I was talking to a very successful entrepreneurial friend of mine (name omitted to protect the guilty) who shared with me a story about a time when his business was experiencing a really bad period – when money was tight and things were going badly with his biz.
During this period of time it felt like this was going to be his reality for the rest of time. But in fact, just a week later, one new high-end client changed everything.
Now not only was he no longer experiencing this feeling, but his entire outlook for the future changed. Now, his situation wasn’t radically different, but his perception of the future was.
The more I started to notice the False Future Project in myself and in people I know, the more I started to see how prevalent this phenomenon is.
The Good news is there is something you can do to not allow a slump, an upset or a current challenge to get in your way of clearly seeing and planning for the future.
#1 Notice that False Future Projection (FFS) is happening…
When things aren’t going well or we are in a slump of sorts… we project the current feeling and the current situation into the future.
The first step is to simply notice that it’s happening. This takes you giving yourself the time and space to notice it. For me, it became so much easier to realize that I am in the False Future Projection phase when I recommitted to my regular journaling practice, which allows me to scan my day, my feelings and my False Future Projections.
I also know that early detection of FFS is important for turning it around more effortlessly and with the least amount of emotional damage. Just knowing that I am projecting into the future helps to alleviate the situation.
#2 Let Go of the Story
Once I detect that I am in False Future Projection, I know that any story of the future I create is going to be false.
So, what I would do is simply notice anytime a thought comes up about what I think the future may hold and then I simply let it go. I do my best to not engage in those stories.
This does take some discipline. It is so much easier to allow those thoughts to run amok in my mind, but catching those thoughts and redirecting my thinking brings with it such a high payoff that it’s totally worth it.
So instead of activating our brain when we are experiencing those feelings, I find that it’s so much better to activate the feelings in my body instead. This brings us to the next step in the process.
#3 Feel the Feeling Fully
So as soon as I notice myself going into the story, I close my eyes, and I just feel what I am feeling.
I become aware of all of my bodily sensations and I just feel. And as stories and thoughts come my way, I let them go and go back to feeling. I am not trying to chase my feelings away…
I just let them be and simply feel them, knowing the feeling will not last forever.
#4 What’s the First Step I Can Take to Change the Situation?
I am now experiencing so much more freedom from my current situation because my false projection of the future is loosened. The next step I take is to bring myself back into the present with my actions.
So I don’t try to solve the entire situation, I just ask myself what first step I can take towards solving it. This makes the solution real in the now.
[IMPORTANT: Do not make any decisions when you are in the grips of False Future Projection. This is critical because you are going to WANT to make a decision, but that decision will inevitably be reactive and often off-base. So avoid making them until you have gone through the 4 steps I outlined here]
This practice has been miraculous for me. Not only is it making me happier. It is the solution to most problems, puzzles or disturbances I experience in my life and business.
I’d love for you to try it for yourself and let me know how it goes.
Your comments and a gift to surprise and delight! :
Leave a comment letting me know what you think of the concept of False Future Projection and how it has affected your life and business.
This is my recently discovered behavioral transformation. I will be developing a deeper body of work around it and would love to know what you think.
I am going to take the 3 most thoughtful and transformative comments on the blog and send you my current favorite business book. I won’t tell you what it is because I love to surprise and delight you, but I can tell you that the book has rocked my world.
Can’t wait to read your thoughts….