When you let go of who you think you are supposed to be, you can become who you want to be. Shannon Kaiser
Excerpt from Day 2 of Stepmom Bootcamp: A 21-Day Challenge
As stepmoms, it can be easy for us to get embroiled in what is currently happening in our stepfamily, whether it is a custody battle or disciplinary issues with our stepchildren. We forget to think about what we want for the future. The custody battle will end, and your stepchildren will grow up, but what kinds of dreams do you and your partner have for the future after your stepchildren have left home? Do you dream about retiring in Mexico, where you and your spouse will live in a seaside cottage? Or do you picture yourself as an active grandma, taking care of grandchildren and hosting Sunday dinners for the family every week?
Visualize Your Future Self
One powerful way to figure out where you’re going and which steps you need to take in the future is through visualization and then goal-setting based on that visualization. We’re going to start by adapting a technique called “Future Self” from the Coaches Training Institute.
First, find a comfortable spot to sit. Be sure to have a notebook and pen nearby so you can take notes. Close your eyes and relax. Take a few deep breaths and focus on your breath. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Next, imagine that you are going to travel 20 years into the future to visit yourself.
Once you arrive, picture yourself walking up to the house. What do you see? What kind of place do you live in? Notice the details of the house and the neighborhood.
You knock on the door, and your future self opens the door. What does she look like? How does she act? As she greets you and invites you inside, notice what the inside of her house looks like. What kind of feeling do you have as you walk inside?
As you look around the house, take in the details of her home. What kind of furniture does she have? What is sitting on her coffee table or on her mantle in the living room? Who is in the house? What is she interested in?
Chat with Your Future Self
Imagine she invites you to sit down in her favorite spot and have a chat. You ask her what has mattered to her most over the past 20 years. You listen intently as she shares. Ask her, “What do I need to do to get from where I am to where you are?” Listen carefully and ask questions as she responds.
Ask her, “How has your role as a stepmom evolved?” Be open to listening to her answers, and let her answers surprise you.
Ask her, “What advice would you give to me?” Listen carefully to what she has to say. Be open to her responses.
At the end of your visit, thank her for her support and guidance. You are grateful for her wisdom, and you know that you can return at any time to visit her.
Your Turn: Write it Down
Now open your eyes, and write in detail about what you experienced in your visualization. Make sure to write down feelings, images, and descriptions of your time with your future self. Try to capture what you saw and how you felt.
This woman, your future self, will become your inner mentor and will help guide you in your everyday decisions. Your goal will be to work towards that visualization, and you will ask questions of your inner mentor, who is actually an older, wiser version of you. Use the vision of your life that you experienced to set goals and work towards becoming that woman or stepmom that you want to be. Step by step, start making decisions that allow you to grow into that vision of your future self.