In last week’s interview, Luiza Ferrao shared her experience with Life Designing. In case you missed it, you should definitely check it out here.
During our conversation, Luiza mentioned one of the exercises which impacted her most: the dream-writing exercise! An exercise, which not only had an instant feel-good effect on her mood, but also gave her some valuable insights for her future.
For me personally, there’s quite a sentimental attachment to this exercise, as it had been my break-through-exercise in gaining clarity about my next career steps and my future, at a point where I was going through a major life transition. The reason it had be so powerful, was because I managed to overcome my own limiting beliefs and my biased mind for the first time while doing this free writing exercise.
And this was exactly what I had needed, to make the shift from where I had been in the past (professionally and personally) to where I wanted to go in the future.
This exercise felt like finally jumping a wall. A huge, scary wall, which had blocked my view onto the future I truly wanted for myself.
So let me ask you this, when you think about your future, your next professional steps or how your personal life could look like, how does it feel?
Clear, optimistic and focused?
Or rather cloudy, clueless, and confusing?
Don’t worry if it’s the latter. We all have our times, where clarity is not our strength. Where it’s actually crucial to be in that kind of void because we need to make a significant shift. We need those moment of “disorientation and confusion” that always happen, when we let go of the old and outdated in our life, and prepare for letting the new show up.
It’s pretty uncomfortable, this state of being and we need to hang in for a while.
But there’re also some tips and tools, how we can support and facilitate this process of allowing the future to show up, and speed up the process.
First of all, those moments of transitions are the best moment to work on our limiting beliefs. Or let me put it this way. During moments of transition, it’s indispensable to work on our limiting beliefs, our internal wall. Because in 99% of the cases what’s preventing us from making impactful life changes is not the lack of good opportunities, it’s our well ingrained beliefs of judgement and fear.
Secondly, we need to hold space for insights to come. And a wonderful way to do so, is this dream-writing exercise.
Before starting this exercise, make sure you won’t be disturbed during the next hour. And that you’re under no time pressure. Make yourself your priority. I would suggest to use a pen and a notebook for this exercise, and if possible take your writing material to a place somewhere outside your usual environment. Some place you feel good. Maybe take a blanket and chose a beautiful spot at a park nearby. Or the beach. Or a really nice cafe. I always find it super helpful for those kind of exercises to physically step out of my usual (often emotionally loaded) environment.
Once you settled in and made yourself comfortable, take a few deep breath and set the intention, the following hour is going to be your “me-time”. A time you’re going to spend with yourself, free from any kind of concrete expectations or the need to be result-driven. Don’t push yourself for a certain outcome, allow things come!
Then write down this one question in your journal : “What would I do with my life in the next months/ next year, if time, money and judgement (self-judgement, judgement of others) are not an issue?” And just start writing! Start dreaming! Don’t overthink, don’t push for a direction, just allow thoughts to come and put them onto paper. Allow your thoughts to go into all directions. Your professional ventures, your personal life, your love life, hobbies or travelling. No judgement!
And just write, write, write. Try not to stop the writing flow to rationalize about it. Just dream-write. Once you completed this dream-writing exercise, put your pen down and get up. Stretch, move, breathe, and take a little break.
Then come back to your writing and read through your journalling while paying attention to some “key word”. Those words you feel a strong connection, and circle or underline them. Maybe those are words that keep coming up, or words that cause a special emotional reaction.
Don’t force yourself to make sense out of those hints right away. Just allow them to simmer in your consciousness for a while and keep asking yourself, why it shouldn’t be possible to include those things, step by step, into your Life Design? What is a real obstacle, and what is just a limiting belief?
For me, those words had been “people”, “working with people”, “conversations”, “independence”, “experiencing change”, and “living near a beach”.
Just to be clear, I didn’t get up from this exercise with a clear business plan for “Workinbalance” in mind, but I got up from this exercise with some really good clues about things that I should pay more attention to.
I allowed myself the same questions afterwards, why it shouldn’t be possible to include those things into my future life? And much to my surprise, all those huge obstacles or objections were mostly in my own mind, and not real-life obstacles. And yes, 4 years later, I’m doing exactly what I had written down. I work very independently, with people, I experience their transformation and change, and I live close to the beach, at least most of the time! Yes, those were the things, that were waiting for me, once I allowed myself to jump over my wall of judgement.
Aren’t you curious to see, what is waiting for you?
Do you feel, working on your limiting beliefs is still a big challenge? Are you looking for some more tools, to get a clearer picture of your future?
Then check out my Online Course and immerse yourself into the knowledge and tools of Life Designing.