You can. It’s a tool I’ve been practicing a lot lately in my own life.
You can show up exactly how you want to, simply by thinking intentionally and deliberately about things.
When it comes to a big day in the future, it might feel overwhelming to consider that you may not be in control of what will happen. But what you can control is you, and by having the tools to decide how you want to think and feel ahead of time, you can decide on purpose and be in full control.
In this episode, I’m showing you how to create a habit of feeling and thinking in a certain way, and how to bring more intentionality to your thoughts. I’m sharing the benefits of thinking and feeling on purpose, and how thinking deliberately will change the way you experience life.
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life Podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Hey there my friend. Welcome to the podcast. I have some really fun news for you. I launched a brand new course called How to Coach Yourself. This course is every single step that you need to take to rewire your thinking, to change your mindset, to really deepen your coaching skills, i.e. how to do thought work the right way. I put this course in Grow You. It is full of videos, audios, worksheets, every feature you could want. It’s really worth the entire year’s membership.
So if you join Grow You and you just do this course, I’m telling you. You’re going to transform your life with whatever area you want because it’s the skillset for transformation. So whether it’s in your relationships with your family or your marriage or your kids. Whether it’s at home with your environment and your home décor, which is something that I recently did. So it’s on my mind. Kind of up leveling my surroundings.
It could be with your goals, right. Like setting your extraordinary goals and using thought work to lead the way so that you actually get the results that you want and you’re not hating yourself as you do it. It could be for finding more purpose and more fulfillment in your life. Whatever it is, this is the work that we do in Grow You. More specifically, in this course how to coach yourself. I truly believe that you will learn everything you need to create a daily self-coaching practice for the rest of your life.
I think of it like that gym membership. It’s me teaching you the fundamentals of the push-ups and the sit-ups and the burpees and the pull-ups and all of the tools that you need to build your muscles. This is that for your mindset. It’s so good. So head on over to nataliebacon.com/coaching to get it. I know the current members have been raving about it and loving it. So I just want to make sure you have an opportunity to join and really know that it’s in there.
Okay. Now let’s dive into what we are talking about today, which is planning your feelings ahead of time. Did you know that you can plan your feelings ahead of time? You can. You can do this. I want to talk with you about how I’m doing this in my life right now. So I’m using the tool of planning my feelings ahead of time with my wedding. So my wedding is just over a month away. I am deciding on purpose right now, and I have been doing this work, of how I want to think and feel on my wedding day.
So it’s not just vaguely like oh yeah, I want to feel love and have the best day ever. It’s really specific. So I think about the day, and I think about all of the elements of the day. So I visualize it, and I write about it. I’m using all these coaching tools to get into the state and plan my feelings ahead of time. I decide how I want to think and feel on that day so that I control what I can control. I don’t do it from a fake false fantasy perspective.
So I don’t expect people to be different than they are. I don’t expect everything to be perfect. Instead I expect people to be predictably the same as they always are. I expect there to be hiccups and mistakes and things to go wrong. Then from there, from a really grounded place, really lower expectations of what likely is to be the circumstance. Then I decide how do I want to think and feel on my wedding day knowing all of this.
Instead of kind of being in this fantasy of oh everything is going to be perfect, I’m going to think okay. Knowing that people are going to do what they do, say what they say, be who they are. Knowing that the weather is going to be what it is whether it rains or shines and whether there are other little things that are going to come up that aren’t how I wanted them to be. Knowing all of that, how do I want to think and feel? All the way from the time that I arrive at the hotel and the days leading up to the wedding through the day of.
So I think about in the morning when I wake up, what kind of experience do I want to have? How do I want to be thinking and feeling? What about when I’m getting ready? Or the photography and the first look and the ceremony. What do I want to be thinking and feeling during cocktail hour and during the dinner reception? So I imagine all of it, and I really go through it all. Imperfections and all, weather and all. I get into my desired state ahead of time.
So I plan how I want to think and feel ahead of time and I get into state, which is kind of Tony Robbins lingo. He calls it state, but basically, it’s who you are being. I can practice this. I do practice this. I write about it, and I get as detailed as possible. I also imagine it with my eyes closed. So the reason that I do this and the reason that this works and that I’m sharing it with you here is that the only thing that I can control on my wedding day is me.
So I want to practice ahead of time being a pro at showing up for my wedding day how I want to show up. Right. Not surprisingly I want to feel a lot of love on my wedding day. I want to be really in flow and easy going and loving and have a ton of appreciation and love for everyone who is there. So that I don’t want to leave to chance for whatever my brain decides to think on the day of. Particularly when anything goes “wrong”.
I remember in The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer; he talks about this. He says the roommate in your head can ruin your wedding day. What he meant by this is that if you don’t direct that mental chatter of yours. I did a whole episode on mental chatter. So if you haven’t listened, go back and listen. Basically it’s that voice in your head. If you don’t direct that, then you could ruin your wedding day based on whatever your thoughts are.
Think about any wedding that you’ve been to, right. Think about if you’ve ever seen a bride who seems just a little bit off or she has a moment where she kind of gets mad about something or is a little bit frantic. She maybe isn’t having the worst time, of course, but you can kind of tell. You can see her nervous system that it’s a little bit off. I’ve seen this, right. I think it’s totally normal. But I think that if you have the tools to decide how you want to think and feel ahead of time, it’s also avoidable.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you might want to be upset on your wedding day, right. I don’t say plan your positive feelings ahead of time. That’s not the name of this. But you can decide on purpose, “Okay when things go wrong or when mistakes happen or when it rains, how do I want to be thinking and feeling?” So that you’re doing it not necessarily in this fairytale place where you want to think positively about everything, but it’s about thinking deliberately and intentionally about everything.
The reason that this works is because your thoughts cause your feelings. So if you decide ahead of time how you want to think about your wedding day or whatever it is then you can practice creating that habit of thinking and feeling a certain way. So that when the day comes, you are so practiced in that state that it’s just the natural default for you.
So you won’t be able to control the circumstances. And you may have not visualized every single possible mistake or problem or change that happens or whether it rains or whatever the case may be. But you will have brought so much more intentionality to your thinking and feeling that you don’t leave it as much to chance. So you basically find a way to control you by deciding ahead of time who you want to be on whatever day it is. So you can think and feel on purpose.
Instead of waking up that day and kind of thinking, “Oh how do I feel today? Oh, I hope everything’s perfect. Oh I hope nothing gets messed up.” You’re not bringing with you all of the tools that you’ve learned to manage your mind.
So I’m using my wedding here as an example, but obviously this is not the only time that you can use this work. You can plan your feelings ahead of time for anything that you want. So typically I like to use this tool when it’s something that you’re going to consider as a big day in the future. So something like giving a speech. Or you have an upcoming job interview. Or there’s a presentation that you’re giving. Or you’re going to work on a project with your coworkers.
Okay, those are all kind of work and career related, but you can also do this for home life as well. If you have kids, you can think about your daughter’s upcoming first day of school. How do you want to think and feel? What kind of mom do you want to be on that day? How do you want to show up? You can do this for something that you’re hosting whether it’s housewarming party or your best friend’s baby shower. You can decide intentionally how you want to feel on that day. You can practice going through the day and the thoughts and feelings that you want to have so that you can be whatever version of yourself you want to be.
I know personally that if I don’t do this work, it will end up being a little bit of like an anxious spaz. Okay. So there is this YouTube video. I have no idea who it’s by, but it’s like a spoof. It’s called Company is Coming. The big joke in our home is on the day that company is coming, I’m like tidying up like a frantic maniac basically.
So you don’t have to be that person. If I did this work when I had company coming over, I wouldn’t be. My default brain goes into really wanting to control the environment so everything is perfect. I think we all as high achievers have a tendency to do this. So you really want to manage your mind, especially for the big days like your wedding day or your daughter’s first day of school. Or it could be a project that you have that you’re working on. It could be for anything that you consider kind of a big day that’s coming up in the future.
You can do this ahead of time. You can do this months ahead of time. It doesn’t have to be months ahead of time, but it can be. It can be weeks. It can be days. It can be months. You really just bring some intentionality behind it. Abraham Hicks called this getting out ahead of it. So you get out ahead of it. Meaning you decide deliberately on purpose before the thing, before the event. You think and feel with intention.
So here’s kind of how I recommend that you do this, right. First, you want to make sure that you’re doing this for a specific event or something in mind. I don’t personally use this tool for every single day. I think it’s valuable to coach yourself, but you don’t want to do this in a way where you’re trying to control your emotions so that you don’t ever experience negative emotions. Again, that’s not the goal here. It’s more about bringing intention behind how you want to show up for these big events.
So decide what the event’s going to be for. Whether you’re going to do it for your wedding day, for that first day of school, for a project, whatever it is. Then ask yourself really good questions of who you want to be on that day. I’m saying day, but really it could be you’re going on vacation with your family, right. Who do you want to show up as for the seven days that you’re on vacation?
So some of the questions that you can ask yourself and write down the answers to are how do you want to feel on this day? What do you want to be thinking? How do you want to relate to the people around you on this day? What kind of experience do you want to create for yourself? What does your highest self-think, feel, and do in this circumstance?
These are just some general questions. But based on what it is you’re doing this for whether it’s something for work, something for home, something for someone else, a vacation, you can kind of tweak the questions. And also come up with some of your own questions and write down the answers to those. Then what you want to do is you want to practice getting into the state of thinking the thoughts that create the feelings you want to plan out ahead of time.
So some of the tools that I teach in Grow You and that I really recommend. I’ve even taught you some of them on the podcast, right. Journaling, self-coaching, visualizing. Really doing the work yourself, and then coming to get coached or coming to ask a coach. We have that form in Grow You. Basically you just want to get clear on the thoughts and feelings that you want to be practicing, and then you want to actually practice them. So that when the day comes, the event comes, the trip comes, it’s like you’ve already experienced it.
So if you don’t do this, you’re going to leave your experience up to chance based on whatever mental chatter you have that day. You may feel great, you may not. It won’t be because of what’s outside of you. It will be because of your mind.
So if you don’t think about how you want to feel on your wedding day. And you don’t think about how you want to feel when things go “wrong” like it rains or someone forgets to bring something or there are mistakes, right. If you don’t think about that ahead of time and you expect it to all be this fantasy of perfection, and if it’s not you kind of hang your emotions on it. Then there’s a very high likelihood that you’re going to be a little bit on edge all day and be having your expectations so high and hanging your emotions on it. So basically you will find a way to ruin your own wedding day and kind of think that it’s your circumstances.
I’m just using wedding day, but of course it could be giving a speech. It could be whatever else it is for you. So you want to really use your mind to create the feelings and get into the state that you want knowing that the circumstances are going to be what they’re going to be. What it does is it empowers you so much so that you create your experience regardless of what’s happening outside of you. I’m telling you. The more that you do this, the more that you will change your life and take kind of control of how you experience life. Especially for these big days.
What’s really cool about this is you realize how much more control you have over your life than you ever thought. So if you have an uncle who makes off the cuff comments, you would decide to expect him to say something kind of rude to you on your wedding day. You would decide ahead of time how you want to think and feel when he says that. It’s totally fine for him to have that opinion. I love my dress. Thank you. Opinion is noted. Now, I’m going to go about the rest of the wedding day. Right. I’m just kind of making that up.
You basically really separate yourself from being so attached to your circumstances being perfect and creating your feelings, and you just allow the world to be how it’s going to be. You create your experience ahead of time. So it’s not that the bad things won’t happen. It’s just that you’ll show up as your best self even when they do. This is a tool that I use again for those bigger days. The bigger presentations. The bigger trips.
It could be that you’re going to meet your in-laws, and the last time you saw them things didn’t go well. Whatever it is, right. Anytime that you think it’s an upcoming event that’s “big” for you. It doesn’t have to be big to anyone else. It’s just big for you. Just do the work of planning your feelings ahead of time, and you’ll really be amazed at how much more control over your experience you have than you ever thought possible. All right my friends. That’s what I have for you today. I will talk with you next week.
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