What if you could have a conversation with your younger self? What experiences would you share? What advice would you give? Drop in on the unfiltered conversation between Annie Younger, aged 25, and Annie Older, 35 years her senior. As references are made to prior episodes, the conversation is best understood if followed sequentially from the beginning. Click here to read the first installment.
Annie Older: You said you want to become the person you are in your fantasies, eh Annie Younger? Remind me of what I was fantasizing about when I was your age.
Annie Younger: Well, let me think. There are different scenarios. I’m sure you remember the romantic fantasies I shouldn’t have been having since I got married, and…
Annie O: Let me stop you right there, Annie Y. No more self-judgement okay? No more “should have or shouldn’t have.” It was what it was. What good does it do now to put yourself down for something you did in the past?
Annie Y: Good point. It’s a waste of emotional energy isn’t it, getting upset or angry with ourselves for something we did or didn’t do in the unchangeable past? If I want to move forward and be the best person I can be, why erode my developing self-confidence by shaming myself over past actions?
Annie O: Exactly. We learn from our past actions and use that learning to enhance our present decision-making. Putting ourselves down for it, beating ourselves us about it, is just throwing good present energy at past actions. And if you still think of something from the past as a mistake that you need to punish yourself for, it’s only because you haven’t yet converted it into a life lesson that you can do good with. But we digress. Carry on with describing your fantasy-self.
Annie Y: Okay. Well, in the romantic fantasy I’m an attractive woman, who’s clearly comfortable in her own skin. I’m even in romantic relationships with famous actors! And, I fantasize about being a great public speaker. You know what, I was just going to say: How pathetic is that? Normal people wouldn’t fantasize about giving speeches. But, I’m not going to self-judge. In those fantasies, I’m super comfortable and confident on stage, my speeches are flawless and so wonderfully received. It feels great. And what else? Let’s see. Sometimes I would fantasize about doing something really notable at work that makes me stand out from the other people I work with in real life who think they’re so much better than I am.
Annie O: Maybe a little projecting going on there Annie? You’re taking what you think of yourself relative to others in the office, and you’re projecting your thoughts about your perceived inferiority onto them. If you were in a comic strip, it would be like you taking your thought bubble about your inferior self from above your head and fixing it above the heads of the people you work with.
Annie Y: Jeez. There’s so much I don’t know that I’m doing to myself! Over the past few minutes you’ve pointed out to me that I’m self-judging. I’m wasting good emotional energy when I beat myself up about past events. I’m projecting. What the heck else might I be doing that’s affecting the way I think about myself?
Annie O: What a powerful question to ask yourself Annie Y! A perfect segue to talk about self-awareness. But just before we do that, I have an important question for you. You’ve been describing the you that shows up in your fantasies. You’ve said that you want to become that person. Do you believe you can become that fantasized person – your fantastic self, so to speak?
Annie Y: Hmmmm. Do I believe I can? Not sure. I don’t think so. You’ve told me how important it is to accept myself the way I am right now even if I don’t want to stay that way, and I’m starting to be able to do that, but it’s a pretty big leap from accepting my present warty self to believing I can become my fantastic self, as you say. Does this mean I’m stuck again and can’t move ahead?