Judith Gordon coach blog Your Future?

What’s in Your Future?

A bit more than a year ago, we were shutting down. Now we are sloooowly opening up.

If like so many of us, you had to press pause this past year, is pause still pressed, or have you begun to envision what the future holds?

One of our greatest gifts as humans is to be able to anticipate the unfolding of predictable events and imagine possibilities.

Like most responsible business owners and entrepreneurs in pre-pandemic days, I regularly visualized the future, looking ahead at the coming months, year or five years, to consider how I wanted it to unfold, and what steps were needed to get there.

The March 2020 shutdown brought that to a halt for me and many others. “Pivot” became one of the most oft-used phrases of 2020, along with “resilience” and “sweatpants.”

My year was more “ping-pong” than “pivot,” yet the clouds are parting, and clarity is seeping in.

The question is, how do we visualize the future now? Do we go back imagining the future as before? Or is there another way forward?

Here’s what psychologist, Dr. Nicole LePera, says about visualization:

“Visualization is the practice of mentally rehearsing new experiences and emotional states. The mind does not know the difference between what is imagined and what is real. As we commit to practicing visualization, the subconscious mind begins to filter new experiences into our awareness that match what we’ve been mentally rehearsing. The key in visualization is to hold pictures in your mind while also experiencing an elevated emotional state.”

That approach appeals to my creative sensibilities, yet after a year like the one we’ve had, it can be uncomfortable, even scary, to visualize the future.

So before visualizing what’s next, it may be worthwhile to consider what 2020 produced. How has your professional and personal landscape changed? Which aspects will you let go of and which will you retain?

While some changes may be concrete (like the ones I list below), my sense is that much of the change isn’t obvious yet, and will reveal itself as we emerge and re-connect.

Here are a few things that exist professionally for me now, that didn’t exist one year ago.

  • One year ago today, this weekly musing, Thursday Thrive Bite, was born and landed in your inbox. Thank you for welcoming me, reading, and sticking with me this past year! Writing weekly about thriving amidst adversity has helped me navigate the pain, surprises (mostly unwelcome) and uncertainty of the past year, and I truly hope that reading these weekly thoughts, has supported you, as well. Happy first birthday, TTB!

  • I recorded my third online course, The Science of Befriending Stress, rounding out The Emotionally Intelligent Lawyer series. [My gift to you: to celebrate TTB’s one-year birthday, I’ve discounted the series. Click here for details.]

  • Lawyer Life Reimagined, a transformative six-week intensive for lawyers wanting to level-up, was imagined and launched.

  • Most importantly, I’ve adapted. I now teach and train online, and while different, it’s still fun, engaging and meaningful. That was not an easy transition, and one I wanted to avoid, yet here it is, and likely to stay. I’m embracing the change and welcoming the benefits.

On a personal level, thankfully, family members who had Covid have survived, though full recovery is still on the horizon. I know that many of you relate.

With vaccinations steadily rising, possibility is rising again, too.

This blog was born out of adversity. The struggle is real, as are the gains. The tools and strategies I’ve shared here have lifted me up and out of the mud. They’ve served me well, and I hope they continue to serve you, too.

And if you’re still reading, let me know: where to from here, for you?

Despite the past, or perhaps in response to it, I’m off to visualize an extraordinary future.

What does your vision hold?