Maybe you’ve been watching too many infomercials or makeover shows, or you hear Oprah’s voice in your ear, but for many people, the ghost of their “ideal self” is always following them, just out of reach.
Your ideal self is you, just much, much better. It’s you without excess flab or that zit on your chin, after a pay raise and with all your little life niggles solved once and for all. Your ideal self is that shimmering vision who lives at your goal weight, happy, fit and successful.
And it’s also a complete load of bullshit.
Wait, what’s wrong with having an ideal self?
It doesn’t seem like having dreams about how much better you could be would do any harm, but the curse of the ideal self is one sure-fire way to make sure you fail often and never reach those goals. Why?
Look closely and there’s always the opposite side of the ideal self. Lets call it the real self. You know, that crappy person you are right now. That person who’s OK, you guess, but nothing special. Would be much better 10lbs lighter. Who hasn’t gotten over his issues with his ex yet and needs a new phone. Who hasn’t followed his diet for the last 3 days and is bored at work. You know, that guy. Ugh.
The only way to stop being that guy is to slowly and realistically work at it. Keep training, get back on the wagon and work that shit out with a counselor. And the moment to do that is right now. Not on Monday, not once the vacation is over and not when you have more money. Now.
The trouble with an ideal self is that it separates you from the real self that you are right now. You can easily put things off because, in an unconscious way, you’ll get there eventually, right? One day. And when you look at your life right now, you just write it all off.
This isn’t the real you, after all, this is just an intermediary stage you’re going through until you start being awesome. Any day now. Yes, yes you know you promised yourself you wouldn’t eat crap anymore, but this burger belongs to the old you and doesn’t count.
The trouble is the ideal self isn’t real. That person who’s flawed and incomplete and a bit of a pain in the ass …that’s who you really are.
And if you want that person to be better, the work doesn’t happen at some fabled place in the distant future – it happens right now. While you are still imperfect. Visualizing a flawless version of yourself is a nice fantasy but it’ll only make it clear how different that vision is from your reality.
Instead, forget about the grand plans and the magical transformations. All you have to do in this moment is make a good choice. As you are.
Are you holding onto an idea of your perfect self?
What to do now?
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