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Building Boulder Dreams: A Blueprint For Exploring Your Potential Futures

In Boulder, we’re known for our forward-thinking community and the inspiring natural beauty that surrounds us. It’s the perfect setting for envisioning a brighter future and taking the steps to make it a reality. Whether you’re aiming for personal growth, professional achievements, or a more fulfilling lifestyle, the journey begins with a clear vision of your future self.

This column will guide you through a simple yet powerful exercise adapted from ancient Hawaiian Healing techniques to help you bridge the gap between your current self and the person you aspire to be. Ready to start? Let’s embark on this transformative journey together.

photo of man about to jump from cliff

Building the Bridge by Holding Space

One way to bridge the gap between your present self and your fullest future potential is to hold space for your future self. This means creating a mental image of your ideal self, your potential, and your goals, without judging, comparing, or limiting yourself. It means acknowledging and appreciating the possibility of becoming who-, what-, where-, or how you want to be or feel you were created to be.

The steps outlined below can help you hold space for the version of your future self that you desire to manifest. All you need is a few minutes of your time and an open mind.

man sits on the hanging bridge between mountains

Step 1: Connect with your goals.

Think about who you want to be, what you want to do, or where you want to go in life. Be as specific and detailed as possible. It may help to write your goal(s) and vision(s) down on a piece of paper or digital document.

woman writing while sitting on hill near mountain
person in black adidas cap sitting on bench writing on notebook

Step 2: Visualize your potential self.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself as if you have already achieved your goals. How do you look, feel, think, and act? Hold this image in your mind’s eye, without contrasting it with your current reality. Just focus on the ideal, the potential, the possibility and really try that experience on for size.

woman, beach, jump
travel, lake, feet
Here are a few questions you can consider to depend your connection to the experience of your future potential self:
  • How would you feel waking up tomorrow in this new experience of yourself?
  • What are the first things you would think, see, smell, hear, and feel upon waking?
  • What new behaviors would you engage in?
  • What would your internal narrative be like?
  • How would you begin your day?
  • How would you handle challenging or unexpected situations?
  • What parts of your way of being might be different?
  • What might your new self smell like?
  • What might you have for breakfast?
  • What routines might you engage in?
  • What old patterns would you be grateful to have outgrown?
  • How might you put yourself to sleep each night?
man wearing white shirt siting on bridge overlooking at mountain
man and woman sitting on hanging bridge at daytime

Step 3: Practice non-judgement and non-forcefulness.

Hold the image of your future possible ideal self as something that is possible for you, as a possible version of yourself that exists that you can grow into.

Hold the image without comparing or contrasting it to your experience of your current self.

Hold the image without any feelings of forcing your current self into this future potential.

Hold the image without criticizing your experience of your present self and without blinding yourself to who, where, what, or how you presently are.

Without judgement, comparison, or force, simply hold the space for the potential, the possibility in time, for your present self to grow into this future version of you.

woman doing yoga meditation on brown parquet flooring
woman in white vest and black bikini with hand on chest

Step 4: Express gratitude.

While holding the image of your future self in your mind’s eye, feel a sense of appreciation and thankfulness for this ideal version of you as being possible. Thank yourself for having the courage, creativity, and curiosity to envision your goals. Thank yourself for holding this space for your future self.

closeup photo of sunflower
man in pink dress shirt standing on gray concrete pavement near body of water during daytime

You mind find it helpful to use affirmations to reinforce your gratitude and your positive mindset. For example, you can say:

    • I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and evolve.
    • I am thankful for the potential that lies within me.
    • I am proud of myself for pursuing my dreams.
    • I am excited for the future that awaits me.
clear glass ball on water during daytime
silhouette of person standing on rock surrounded by body of water

Step 5: Fortify with affirmations.

The more you dwell in the space you hold for your future potential, the more ease-ily you will be able to grow into it if you choose to.

You may find it helpful to use affirmations to strengthen your ability to hold space for that potential and to hold your focus on what is possible for you. The affirmations won’t manifest this possible future; they simply help you hold your focus on the future potential, which is what enables it to be possible if the possibility exists.

white flower under blue sky during daytime
a stuffed animal sitting on top of a window sill

Step 6: Take action.

After you have completed the visualization and gratitude exercise, open your eyes and return to the present moment. Notice how you feel, physically and emotionally. Use this energy and momentum to take action towards your goals. You can start with small, simple, and manageable steps.

The more you take action, the more you will reinforce your visualization and gratitude. The more you reinforce your visualization and gratitude, the more you will hold space for your future self. The more you hold space for your future self, the more you will become your future self.

man diving in water
man jumping off mid air

Step 7: Cultivate a morning routine of curious gratefulness.

Science shows that most of how we feel about our day at the end of the day is based upon how we feel in the first five minutes of our day upon waking. Therefore, we can intentionally influence our entire day by having intention in the first five minutes upon rising. To accelerate your growth into your future possible self, practice this exercise first thing each morning upon waking. Throughout the day, look for curiosity with ways you can grow toward this possible version of you. At the end of the day, take a look back and note with gratitude the growth you’ve made and express a sense of curious thankfulness for the growth you can make again tomorrow.

woman sitting on white bed while stretching
purple petaled flowers near mountain

Step 8: Share your vision.

I hope this blog post has inspired you to hold space for your future self. If you’d like to share your vision or your progress with me, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to post your vision or reflections in the comments or book a complementary consult to discuss a structured plan to achieve your ideal you.

Happy visualizing!

'Sharing smile!'
~ shared journey ~

Dr. Brenna Bray, a local health and wellness coach, stress researcher, associate professor, and avid ultra-marathon mountain runner, holds PhDs in Biomedical Science, Neuroscience, and Complementary and Integrative Health. Her journey through an eating disorder fuels her dedication to coaching, merging personal experiences with scientific expertise. Through her practice, Bray empowers clients to access and harness their innate healing abilities and achieve remarkable health and wellness transformations. Committed to community engagement and holistic well-being, Dr. Bray shapes a brighter, healthier future for all. Learn more about Dr. Bray at www.brennabray.com.

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