Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

This is how to become who you want to be

Last week, we asked ourselves a big question: who do I want to be this time next year?

It’s not what we’re used to, after years of asking what we want to or should do. But the answers come from deep within – they’re often more true, more beautiful, and even more interesting than any simple accomplishment. Those answers bear the fingerprints of our souls.

The answers, if we listen, draw us deeper into who we are meant to be. Whatever it is, there’s something inside that’s begging to come out as this person you want to be.

But how do you we actually walk this out in real life? Here are some of the steps I’ve taken (and still take!) to grow into who I want to be.

Internalize your future self’s values.

The best way to become who you want to be is to truly value and internalize the traits you aspire to. Spend time intentionally thinking about what it will be like to become the person you want to be. What does that person do? What are their traits? How will it feel to live like this? Will it be worth it when it’s tough? What does it look like in practice? How will I know I’m becoming that person?

I want to be someone who cares for myself well – it impacts how I serve and love others, and it’s an area of wholeness I want to pursue.

I see that future self her as accepting and kind to herself. I think she speaks kindly about her body, intentionally gets good sleep, and spends time doing fun, refreshing physical activity.

Perhaps I’ll know I’m becoming this person by experiencing a sense of peace, not guilt, about my body. Maybe another landmark is feeling free from anxiety about a pants size or number on the scale.

Keep it in front of you.

When we’re tired, stressed, or discouraged, it’s easy to forget who we’re choosing to become. Let’s set ourselves up for success by keeping reminders close by. These can be visuals, notes, printable quotes, framed art, calendar reminders, messages on a mirror, or anything else you can think of.

When I was learning to find joy in the everyday, I made a point to drink out of a bright, yellow mug that says joy in big letters. I literally saw what I was seeking every single day.

When I’m finding too much of my identity in what I do for God instead of my relationship with Him, I set calendar reminders that say JBAD. That’s my code for just be a daughter: stop trying to earn the love that’s already yours.

Use anything meaningful to you; just make sure you see it every day.

Pay attention.

Look for opportunities to actively demonstrate these values in your everyday life. When does it seem tough to be that person you want to be? When does it seem easy?

Notice others who seem like the person you want to become. What do they do? If the opportunity arises, encourage that person. If you want to be kind, praise and recognize kindness in others.

Pretend (or behave until you become)

We won’t fake this new self until we make it. We will, however, behave until we become it.

Now that you have an idea about your future self’s actions, traits, and behaviors, act like that person. It sounds silly, but can be strangely powerful.

If you want to be brave, for example, the easiest way to become it is to start acting like it. After all, courage requires us to feel fear and act anyway.

It won’t feel natural at first, but it will become smoother.

Make it a practice & create habits

We are complex and intricate. We are also a conglomeration of idiosyncrasies, habits, and automatic responses. Much of who we are is found in how we do a million tiny things.

As we behave until we become, we will start to do things a new way. The habits will become the framework for long-term growth. They could be daily quiet times or daily walks, meaningful conversations around the dinner table, cooking at home, a gratitude practice, or a thousand other things.

Over time, these actions won’t seem like they belong to someone else anymore. That’s part of how you know you’re becoming who you want to be.

Spend time with people who represent who or what you want to become

We’ve heard this so many times, but it bears repeating: spend time with people you want to be more like because you will become more like them. Who do you know that looks like your future self? Do what you can to spend more time with them.

Resource yourself.

Growth usually requires external wisdom. Thankfully, it’s never been easier (or more affordable!) to access it.

Books and audiobooks are an easy source. I use the Overdrive and Hoopla apps to check audio and ebooks out from the library. I listen/read for free and I don’t even have to go to the library (you do need a library card, though).

There are countless free and paid online courses and classes on almost any subject imaginable, plus countless YouTube videos that can point us in the right direction.

Sometimes, the best thing we can do is reach out to a professional for support. It might be a nutritionist, a coach, a tutor, or personal trainer. As I chase wholeness in my own life, I work closely with a therapist to make sure I get the support I need. It’s the single greatest investment I’ve ever made.

Celebrate ALL forward progress, if only privately.

This growth business is painfully slow, isn’t it? I look ahead and want to skip all the mundane middle of the process, straight to the end. But growth really happens best in the middle. We need the slow journey to make the growth sustainable.

So stop and celebrate. Recognize when it becomes a little easier. Smile when you notice habits carry you through times you feel too tired to try. Be proud of yourself at each stage of this lovely, difficult, reshaping process.

We aren’t just chasing goals.

We are doing deeper, richer work. It’s slow, and tough, and wonderful. We are becoming who we want to be. We are being made new.

We’re spending this month talking about how to become the person we want to be in 2018. Keep watching this space for the next few weeks, and subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss a thing! 

In the meantime, I’d really, really love to hear about who you want to be and how you’re becoming that person! Please tell me in the comments or at sarah@beautifulbetween.com. As always, I’ll read and treasure every note <3

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About Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah. I love coffee, pancakes and street tacos. I'm a learner, a traveler and a creative mess. I've got a thing for redemption and seeing broken people living beautiful lives. That's the story I've lived, and the one I want for you. Let's be friends!

5 Replies

  1. Sarah, I love JBAD! Thank you for that. We were just learning about this concept at church this morning, but your acrostic makes it so simple to remember.

    1. I love that it’s a support to what you’re already learning, Aimee! Thanks so much!

  2. Janet Robinson

    JBAD Rocks! First time I have heard it put just that way. I intend to put it into practice in my own life. Thank you! For guys, it would be JBAS.

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