I’ve discussed the fantasy self before. It tends to be the idealized version of yourself that has cool hobbies, interests, or activities that you yourself never engage in. A good friend of mine used to get sushi with me regularly until she realized she didn’t like sushi. She was only going out for sushi because it seemed like the sort of thing she should like.
Understanding your fantasy self means removing “this is the sort of thing I should like” and replacing it with foods, activities, careers, and hobbies that you truly love to partake in. We’ve discussed this from a clutter perspective–simply eliminating the items associated with your fantasy self can free up space for things that bring you more energy and happiness.
We’ve also discussed the ways people let their fantasy lives hold them back from living their true biggest life. I talked about the liberation I felt by eliminating the shame and guilt that came with not fully learning a skill most people consider basic.
However, maybe you truly think your fantasy self is who you are meant to be. How can you determine if your fantasy self is a person detracting from your happiness or if not being your fantasy self is keeping you from maximizing your happiness?
First, ask yourself if fear is holding you back. I know it sounds counter-intuitive that we fear the thing we want. The unknown is big and overwhelming. Any change–even one you desire–can be scary. There are so many possibilities in a new environment. What if we fail? What if we aren’t as good as we think we are? What if we don’t like the change as much as we think we will and can’t go back?
“What if” is one of the most dangerous phrases to your success. Instead of seizing opportunities, you let the fear of the unknown–the what if–hold you back. Moreover, “what ifs” can often be impractical, unlikely concerns involving things you have no way of controlling.
Maybe your photography business will never take off, and it’s safer to stick to your corporate 8-5 job. But you could also be laid off your corporate job tomorrow. When you have a choice between two options, you have no way of knowing the actual outcomes, only the possible ones. You can only make the best decision with the knowledge you have. Sometimes that knowledge is only of the potential greatness of an opportunity. A career or lifestyle change might be difficult, but if the potential for improving your overall life is greater than the status quo you’re in, you owe it to yourself to seize that opportunity.
If you’ve followed along with this discussion of the fantasy self and you truly aren’t ready to give up your fantasy, ask yourself what’s holding you back. Don’t let fear be the thing that keeps you from being your best self.
Have you faced fear to live your fantasy life? Tell me about it below.