As we progress into the next version of ourselves, it can be really helpful to see examples of what is possible for us. So this week, I’m sharing some of the exciting things coming up for me in my life and business, how I’m transforming into the next phase of my life, and encouraging you to find the courage to do the same and show up in the way you have been dreaming about.
Join me this week as I share what really creates joy and fulfillment in our lives, and two profound questions to ask yourself to help you move towards the next version of you. Discover how to be open to those nudges you feel in your heart and use them to move further along the path that is uniquely yours, and how to prioritize what you want and what lights you up, and let go of the things that are no longer serving you.
You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 210.
Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy, here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.
Hello there my friends. We are blowing through 2022, I mean wow, how is it even happening? So, I hope you’ve been enjoying my shows this year. And from the looks of the numbers, you definitely are. More of you are listening than ever before. So once again I want to say thank you. Thank you so much for listening.
And if you would be so kind as to leave me a rating and a review on Apple Podcasts about what you like the most, what’s exciting you, what’s blowing your mind I would really appreciate that so much. It really helps others know if the podcast is right for them to listen to when they can read what you think about the show.
Okay, so what in the world do I have for you today? Well, I’m going to start a new series really soon about creative entrepreneurs. But today I’m bringing you a show full of, I guess, kind of like updates about me and my team, team Tobi. But I have an ulterior motive. Because the show is called The Next Version of You. Now, I’m going to tell you about the next version of me in some ways and some things we’re doing. But I promise it’s relevant to you and not just 100% indulgent on my part.
But I think it’s really helpful sometimes to see examples of things in life that help us know what’s possible for us. So, I would say this is sort of a follow-up to my 50th birthday episode which was episode 200 where I really gave you a lot of insight on the most true and most real version of me these days. And that’s the interesting thing about me. I do a lot and I mean a lot of personal development work on myself all the time. And I’m constantly growing and changing. It’s really a state I would say I’ve cultivated in my life over the years.
Where a lot of people fear change I really sort of thrive on it, at least on that internal growth part of it. But for this season in my life, I would say it’s really filled with far more unlearning than learning but there’s always a lot of learning too, just more unlearning. And there was something for me about turning 50 that was like this magical flipping of a switch that helped me complete some huge transitions I’ve been processing for a few years.
So today I want to tell you more about those things in hopes that if you’re going through something similar, some transitions, or growth, or you want to but you’ve been afraid to, maybe this will give you the courage to show up in the exact way you’ve been dreaming about. To become the next version of you.
So, I want to start this discussion with a bit of information about human design. And in particular I’ll talk about my human design but first let me say I’m like an infant when it comes to learning about human design, like a teeny tiny baby infant. I just started learning about it over the last year or so. And there’s a lot to learn there. So, I’ll probably get some of this wrong I’m sure. Some of you who are all into human design are going to be like, “That’s not how that works, Tobi.”
But I had a reading or two, actually two last year with Lauren Armstrong who you’ve heard maybe. She was on the podcast last summer. And there’s some things that she revealed to me about my human design that really resonated with me. Well, a lot of stuff did. But maybe none other than one particular concept. So, it’s about the six lines of the human design. And I have both the 2nd line and the 6th line in my profile.
And apparently, and this is what I might get wrong but hopefully because I’m leaning on some other people here that have written about it instead of me, hopefully I’ll get it right. But the thing about the 6th line that is so intriguing to me is that people with the 6th line in their profile are said to live their lives in three distinct parts. The third part, which by the way, happens to start at year 50 and continues through the rest of your life. So let me tell you what all that means.
I’m going to read for you a section, a quote, or it’s way more than a quote, it’s a few paragraphs from a blog of a photographer named Jaclynn Wilkinson. And I just found this while searching around on the web about this concept of the 6th line. And I think she explains it so well that I’m just going to share what she wrote. You can go search for her if you want to, find her blog. But she was writing I think also about herself. But this made so much sense to me. Okay, so here’s is what she said.
The 6th line brings a “sage on the mountaintop” vibe to the profile gates that it touches. The role model, which is what they call this person with the 6th line, the role model’s energy is all about reflecting back on past experiences and taking in life from a bird’s eye view, really seeing the bigger picture. There’s a deep compassion and humanitarian bent to the 6th line. The role model sees how things can be and should be, as well as how they are, and wants everyone to benefit from their advantageous perspective.
I’m going to keep going. There’s some more I want you to hear but wow, all of that resonates with me so very much. Okay, so she goes on to say, the role model doesn’t emerge overnight. Not at all. They typically live their life in three distinct parts.
The first 30 ish years is all about experience. Depending on which other line the 6th line is paired with in the profile, this experience could be a process of trial and error, of bonds made and broken, or of a tension between hermit time and exploration time. Now, I feel like I’ve done some of all of this. But definitely the hermit time versus exploration time resonates with me.
Okay, she goes on to say, the second 20 ish years is all about reflection. This is when the role model begins the climb up to the mountaintop, to heal their own wounds from all the trial and error of the first 30 years. This is also the time where others begin to look to the role model for guidance, recognizing their deep experience with the hard-earned wisdom.
Okay, so this part is also super resonant with me because it was in my years between 30 and 50 that many of you started looking to me for coaching and the how, how I got published, how I got product lines and all that. So I really resonate with this 30 to 50 section also.
And then she wraps it up by saying, the final phase, from 50+ on, is all about balancing wisdom with experience. This stage usually coincides with the Chiron Return. Which I didn’t know what the heck the Chiron is so I had to look it up. And it is something that represents our deepest wounds or our ability to turn pain into healing. So, she said it usually coincides with the Chiron Return, healed and rested and full of insight, the role model is able to climb down from the rooftop and reengage with life with far more optimism and far more authentically.
Okay, wow. So why am I telling you all this? Well, again I was so struck last summer when I heard from Lauren Armstrong who I was doing my human design readings with and I really, really like. And I heard from her about the 6th line and this three distinct phases especially since at that time I was just about six months from turning 50. So, I was like, whoa, this is me she says. And I’m almost to the third phase. So, I started really thinking about it. And I was really thinking about how it’s the point at which the person is said to become the sage and become really kind of in a sense that wise elder person.
Now, I’m not trying to be braggadocios or anything here. I’m not pumping myself up. This is just what she was telling me but it felt true for me, that I had been gathering all this wisdom. It resonated that we turn our deepest pains into healing for this next phase of our life. And as Lauren described it to me, it’s at this point at turning 50 my job is essentially to show up in my wisdom and share it with other people.
So, it sort of felt like I was assuming the role of that older stateswoman which feels both amazing and kind of odd because 50 to me isn’t really that old. I think of that being like an 80 year old. And maybe the reason that it starts at 50, you start seeing your wisdom and sharing it. But this phase goes through the rest of your life. So, I’m sure the sage in me will really show up down the road at a later date. But I’m starting to feel this kind of role, this purpose in my life.
So anyway, I hope I’m saying all this right. I think I am. But that’s how I understand it and how it resonates with me. So, the moment I heard all of this I knew there was some truth there especially true in that it was ‘my time’ to return healed and rested and full of insight, reengaging with life far more authentically. That sentence from the blog post I read you is just so true for me. Healed and rested and full of insight, reengaging with life far more authentically.
I feel the last two years has been spent with me laboring and birthing the most authentic version of me and as my good friend Karan said to me recently, she was like, “Damn girl, that was a huge baby you birthed.” Which we know I didn’t have another baby. My child is almost 17. But this birthing of myself, this new version of myself definitely felt hard but so much wisdom came out of it. So, the shift is really showing up in big ways for me in my career, in my goals, in my dreams, in my hobbies, in my creativity and in general in my identity.
So that’s what I wanted to talk to you about today and share with you where I am, how I’m thinking about my own life. Because I think hopefully this can give you some insight if you’re feeling a little wobbly, or this nudge, or calling that there’s another version of you that’s sort of being birthed, or coming to the surface. Maybe this will help you a bit.
Okay, so let’s first start by talking about my career. So, I’ve been wavering for probably five or six years about doing design work for other people. Now, I absolutely still love design. And what I love the most about it is the idea and the environment of the home, of being home. My home is such a key part of my joy and it helps me, as I would say, come home to myself, my authentic self. My home cares for and shelters the things I love most which is my family, myself, my pets, my plants. Literally my home is everything to me.
And I’ve always been a homebody, I’ve always loved to nest and coming out of this two years of the pandemic I feel like it’s really been a safe haven for me, that I’ve been so lucky to have but so connected with. And when I think about my career as a designer because I have several parts to my career right now. I haven’t really been feeling the desire to do projects for other people for a while now. Now, maybe it was the pandemic that made that hard. Maybe it’s the agony of the supply chain and all the headaches that go with that. Who knows?
Maybe I’m just bored with a lot of projects. But I’ve wavered about this for the past few years and I’ve thought, do I want to bring on a partner in my business or maybe if I did something like that I would get excited again. I even have considered closing the whole design part of my business altogether which didn’t feel quite right either.
But the more I thought about getting a call for a new job and getting to know a new client other than my favorite handful of clients. I mean I have a little that can fit on one hand, my favorites who always have fun projects with great budgets and I always enjoy working with them. Other than that little, short list my heart just hasn’t been feeling excited about design now for a little while.
But when I think about doing projects for myself, when I think about remodeling things in my home, or adding on to my home, or considering new homes, or new projects for myself and my family, my heart screams, yes, yes, yes. Something about asking better questions about what role design should play in my life feels so different. And I find the things that feel right and that sound exciting. So, asking better questions started opening up a lot for me really creatively.
Now, my mom is also in the process of considering a remodeling project. Abd so when I think about her project my mind also goes crazy with ideas. And so, we’re going to have a meeting this week to see about getting the ball rolling and see what’s right for her. But just thinking about that project feels exciting. So, between her project and mine, I recently sketched probably 20 pages in my journal about remodeling and additions that I’d like to do for either of our houses.
And dreaming about what’s possible especially dreaming about future iterations of my own home and how it would enhance my life and my family’s life, and what would be so fun for us. And what would create, I don’t know, more zest for us in life if our home supported us in different ways. And doing that was one of the most creative exercises I’ve done in a long time.
The other thing that came out of this process of asking better questions is I started discussing and planning a potential new segment of business that my dad and I have been wanting to do for years. But in the past when I had so many projects, and so many deadlines, and all the things that go along with having a full slate of client projects I just didn’t really have the bandwidth to do something on my own. So, this new venture really combines my design work and my design talents with real estate investing.
So, we’re considering forming a new business together. And in that business we would either do short term rental properties like Airbnb’s, we might do some commercial real estate. But we’re really looking into what we might want to buy and renovate. And this is a fun new venture to consider. It’s giving me so much opportunity to learn, which I love to learn. And so, this potential venture is also reenergizing me. I feel different. I feel fresh. I feel new.
And for those of you who listened to me and learned from me even in Success Week recently, you’ve heard some things around what I’m talking about that probably remind you of my trainings in Success Week. When we start to create again a lot of times our brain and our body light up because they get back into the hype. When we’re bored and we’re not able to create because we’re too busy or it’s just there’s no time, there’s no bandwidth, a lot of times we feel more drained than energized.
So, I have given myself a renewed space to consider me as a creative and what that means for me. And my mind is just going wild with ideas for interiors of these spaces that I’m talking about, potential rental spaces, potential things in my own home, for other people in my life, my family. And it’s bringing up a connection to a previous version of me because I did my internship right out of college out of design school. I had gone back to school so I wasn’t 25. I was 27 or something.
But I did an internship in hospitality design with a casino design from out in Los Vegas back in the late 90s. And I’ve always loved hospitality work. So even considering this sort of Airbnb conversation takes me back to those roots, those hospitality roots which is so very fun. And I’m imagining everything from the properties that these places could be on, and their landscaping, and their gardens, and all the details. And it’s been lighting me up. So, who knows of these projects what will actually come to pass, what we’ll decide to do?
It always depends on, when you’re thinking about creativity and business it depends on the numbers, and all the things, and the timing. But it’s just amazing to me how letting myself think differently and asking better questions has really sort of sparked new life in a part of me that I thought maybe was finished. And maybe that other part of me is finished. Maybe this is a whole another iteration of the creative me. It’s really funny how the hustle of doing a lot of work on a deadline for other people can feel so draining.
There’s so many of you who were like, “This used to be fun when it was my hobby but the minute it became my job it wasn’t fun anymore.” And what I’ve noticed is really thinking differently and making everything a possibility including taking all design work off the table. Somehow opened up a new avenue for me to dream and for me to consider. And also thinking about Success Week that I just recently taught, some of you on day four of Success Week learned an exercise I call super thinking where I taught you how to question everything. And I told you I practice this in my life.
And this is exactly what I was doing when I was like, “Let’s do some super thinking about my career, about the design piece of my career.” And sort of suspend all the biases about what’s possible and consider things you’ve never considered before. And when I did that suddenly everything changed. It’s a simple shift but with really big results.
Plus, one of the things I like most about considering a new business venture, if I do that with my dad, is that I also get to design the business, the business plan, the branding, the website, the social media ideas, the details for that new venture. And designing businesses is one of my very favorite things. It’s probably, I don’t know, it might even be more exciting to me in a lot of ways than designing spaces. So, can you tell that this new phase of me, this 50 version something of me is different?
It’s a new phase of me, of my life, and it’s really considering a new phase of my work and what’s lighting me up there. I haven’t felt this excited in a while. And I can even use things that I’ve done over the last few years, I don’t know if you remember, I’ve probably mentioned it on a podcast but during the pandemic the first year, I got certified as a Well AP, a Well professional. So, I passed that test during the time I was home for COVID. And it is a certification essentially that you are committed to and working in wellness in the built environment.
So, it’s really exciting to me to think about how I can start to bring that in especially if we do these sort of Airbnb or Vrbo type properties. And how we might want to think about creating an anti-hustle wellness culture in those properties, so fun, so much to think about. So, so much came up when I started following my heart this, as I said, flipping of the switch for my 50s into this new iteration of me. And so not only did I think about my career and my design career, I also started reimagining the services for our consulting firm.
So, we have our coaching programs which we love and I’m not getting rid of those. They’re amazing. They’re lifechanging and we will keep iterating them. And I have some very exciting things coming for those programs. But we’re also going to launch a new service that really came as a part of our new website that’s going to launch soon. And I know a lot of you have been watching because we took pictures a long time ago, probably nine months ago. But we’ve been working on getting it just right and it should come out in the next month or two hopefully.
But when that site launches we have a new service that’s kind of really what we’re thinking of as a visionary for hire. So, it’s this service that helps you imagine what’s possible in your life, or your home, or your business, or any special project. And it’s not me being in the weeds as I would be for example with a design full service project where I’m literally picking up every item. It’s not that at all but rather it’s the vision work for what even is possible.
And what it would look like to help you envision how you want to live into your dream life, all the stuff that’s possible. Just like I just did with super thinking for myself. I think that is where my brain is absolutely at its best. In fact, in our new website when it launches, there’s a part in the about page that’s talking about me.
And it says my edge is solving seemingly impossible problems and helping you see and believe what’s possible for you. And I would say that is so true, that that is really a gift of mine and a talent of mine. And something I’ve honed for myself and others. So, this new service is really about dreaming and helping people truly dream. There are so many people that I talk to all the time that have lost the art of dreaming.
In fact, if you look at even a lot of the conversation about adult play and how adult play is so important for us. There’s a lot of evidence that shows that we only play, and dream, and imagine for typically the first 10 or so, 10 to 12 years of our life. And then we start falling in line with what we’re supposed to be doing, being mature, being grown-ups, working our way towards adulthood. And we basically engineer a lot of the dreaming right out of our life.
And so, I work with people all the time that when I ask them what they want, what they want in their life, what they want in their business, so many people say, “I don’t know.” And I always say how interesting it is especially when I’m working with so many creatives that we can be so creative in our work for other people yet not creative at all when it comes to thinking about own lives. So, this service that we’re going to offer is about learning to think bigger than you ever have about what’s possible, in a space, in a business, in your life.
It’s about tapping into your desires that are hidden maybe just under the surface. And for some of you we’re going to have to dig pretty deep to reveal what you really want. Because you’re going to have to be willing to admit it to yourself. So, we are going to be launching this service, it’s called the Dream Lab, Dream Lab sessions, bespoke ideas for forward thinking CEOs, brands and clients.
And we say in the service if the phrase we’ve always done it this way makes your blood boil then we’re going to be best friends. Because it’s this whole idea of getting my business brain and my expert eye on your brand, your business or your space because I’ve had 20 years, or more than, 23 years of interior design. I’ve had so many years of brand strategy and marketing under my belt for big brands, for small brands, for clients.
And I really bring that left and right brain visionary that I have, vision to the table to help you see some amazing ideas that maybe you hadn’t thought of for yourself. So, I really thrive on challenges. And that’s what you’re noticing when I talk about what I don’t want to do anymore in design, or what I don’t really want to do anymore in business. So, in these services I say bring me the biggest, the baddest, the one that keeps you up all night. And we’ll white box it, examine it from every possible and impossible angle. And I’ll ask my favorite question in the land which is what if.
You all, this is going to be so fun. I cannot wait to do Dream Lab sessions with people because so many of you don’t even remember or maybe you never cultivated the knowhow for how to dream. I would say this is true for many people even that are close to me in my family, in my life. And I couldn’t be more excited than to help you tap into the source of your wants, and your desires, and your wishes, and your dreams that is inside of you that you’re just sort of afraid to look at.
That’s why I share things like I’m sharing today. And I’m even sharing early in the process and sometimes mid process with you of things I’m considering. And I’m totally open to the fact that some of the things I’m considering may never come to pass, a lot of them will. And some of them will morph into something different or bigger. But it’s this willingness to iterate, it’s this willingness to dream, it’s this willingness to be creative and be open that I think is what really creates joy and fulfilment in life. And that’s exactly what I’m committed to doing.
And so maybe this is my first piece of wisdom for you. I’ve probably shared a lot of wisdom already this year actually because I’ve been writing a lot of thought leader type content for the podcast, a lot of new, and fresh, and things that I’m really questioning for you. But maybe this one lights you up that you’re like, “Yeah, I don’t really know how to dream. I haven’t thought about that next version of me. I haven’t thought about something like my human design, or maybe what is possible in my life.”
But if you’ve been listening to my last few podcasts and then combined them with this you see where I think differently. I don’t even like to say think out of the box because I think that in and of itself means there is a box. And so, I lean into exactly what my heart wants. And if there’s a project that comes across in front of me even from the people I love, even if my mom’s project wasn’t exciting I’d be like, “No, thanks.” Because I’m going to plan my life where if it doesn’t really light me up, design or otherwise I’m just a no.
And as I said in my recent series on the Value of Design I am a visionary. I am the ideas person. And using all my skills including my design and visionary skills to do projects for me and potentially this new real estate venture and in our Dream Lab. That stuff is exhilarating for me. I will be my own client and I will work with people who truly want visionary ideas. And that to me sounds glorious.
I remember a few years ago when someone sent me a podcast episode where Emily Henderson was talking about how she stopped working with outside clients. And so, I think she was just working with her brother maybe on investment properties, and flipping projects, and maybe with her husband. And in this podcast episode, and I can’t remember whose podcast it was on. But I remember listening to it. She spoke about how working with clients was really draining for her. And how her joy came from writing her blog and working on her own projects.
And I knew exactly what she meant and it sounded so exciting. And in some ways I envied her decision to already be ready to move away from client work and it made so much sense to me. But at that time, it was pre pandemic and I wasn’t quite where I am today with knowing what I want and what I want various parts of my business to look like including the interior design piece of my business. But you know what? The heart wants what the heart wants. And something about hitting this milestone age in my life of 50, gave me the push I needed to be honest about what sorts of projects and work I want to do and what no longer lights me up.
And there’s some other stuff in there, you all, I’m going to tell you what it is. Because there’s another big tug that working on a lot of design projects has prevented me from leaning into. And I’ve known for a long time it was part of my future. But there’s only so much time in the day, as if you haven’t noticed. And so, as we say in my company, balance is not a myth, it’s a law. And when you pick up something you have to let something else go. In other words, you can’t do it all at the same time.
So, letting go of projects for outside clients unless you’re on my ‘friends and family’ list. And I’m telling you, that list is super short. It’s my parents, my brother and four or five families that I’ve worked for, for years. And they know who they are if they’re listening to this, they’re like, “Yeah, I’m on that list.” But besides that, letting go of almost everything else unless something comes along that truly knocks my socks off, opens up the space for a new identity that I’ve known for a long time was part of a future version of me. And that is author, not author in creating a design book.
I’ve thought about that, I had a potential deal, it just didn’t feel right. I knew it wasn’t right. The kind of author I’ve known that I was for a long time is the kind that writes a lot of books, not pretty picture books but books in the business, or coaching, or self-help realm. And now is the time for me to pick up that identity and move forward. Maybe this is also part of that wisdom piece. So, this is the year that I’m starting to work on my first book, I’m in the very early phases, the idea phase. So, I’m not sure what the book is yet, or when book number one will even come out.
But I am naming and claiming the identity of author right now. You heard it, I said it out loud, hallelujah, it’s happening. And finally, I’m spending this next phase of my life not just as a person who only takes design projects that knock my socks off or who only spends time doing things that I know are supposed to be my sort of birthright like writing books. But also, I’m spending this next phase of my life cultivating my creativity.
I touched on the why of this in our Value of Design series. And I talked about how hustle culture, just working, and productivity, and being on that treadmill, and having that long to-do list prevents us from doing what is truly creative in our lives. Because creativity doesn’t happen on a deadline. And when everything else in our life is on a deadline then creativity really just gets squeezed out.
So, the beauty of getting off the hustle bus and deciding exactly what projects I do and don’t want anymore removes most of the deadlines that I have been living under for the past almost 25 years in business. And so, I’m now free to create and to cultivate that creativity and see what comes from it.
I sort of imagine myself, what I would call a true artist in the middle age years and beyond. Where you can see those artists wearing quirky clothes, having lots of space for painting, and writing, and creating their masterpieces in a way that our culture doesn’t even allow because we’re too busy buying into the lies for the productivity mindset. And so, people who sort of go off the grid as far as productivity is concerned and just spend their time in creativity are going to look really, really different than what most people’s lives look like.
So now I’m moving into a phase where I’m trying all sorts of art again, that I haven’t done in years. I’m trying some now and I have a whole list of what I’m going to try next. And it includes things like painting, acrylics, watercolor, sculpture, pottery, pastels, drawing, creative writing, poetry, mixed media. I mean I cannot wait to do all of these things in the very near future, some of which I’m working on now. And I feel like a kid in a candy shop. My heart is singing like it hasn’t in years. I feel like this is my renaissance, you all.
I’m on my own timeline, I’m working in my sweet spot of coaching, and consulting which I truly love. And to be honest I really think those are the areas where I make the greatest impact on the world. Although I do know I have a gift in creativity. But coaching and consulting really allows me the time and the space to create, and to dream, and to practice that creativity, not on a deadline, not on a timeline.
So, I don’t know if you’ve thought much about how life looks like for you. And I don’t know if you’ve ever realized that our lifetime is really kind of the stringing together of a bunch of different versions of ourselves. Many of us think we are just oneself the whole time, one of us our whole life. But I don’t believe that to be true. And in fact, the book, Personality Isn’t Permanent talks about how our personality changes every seven or so years, five to seven years.
So, it’s not a myth but rather a scientifically proven fact that our bodies and minds change, our cells turn over every seven years or so. All of us are changing at every moment, our cells are replacing themselves, each other. They’re constantly changing.
It was interesting, just recently I saw Rob Bell who I really like, he’s a spiritual teacher, on tour in Dallas. And he was talking about this very thing which of course did not seem like an accident to me because I was on this wavelength and then it’s exactly what he was talking about. But he told the audience, well, he pulled a member of the audience up on stage and he was doing kind of a Q&A or kind of a – I don’t know, a presentation with this person.
And he was talking about how although we retain our sense of ourself through all the different versions of us, that sense of us as a person, the unchangeable we that he said to this lady that he had on stage. He goes, “If I was to meet you again seven years from now our bodies wouldn’t even be the same bodies. They would be a completely different group of cells than they are right now.” So, he was like, “Even though I would know myself to be me and you would know yourself to be you, we would be completely different people than we are today even though we would retain our identity of ourself.” It’s so interesting.
So, I think a lot about the different versions of me and I kind of always have but putting all of this in perspective of hitting a milestone birthday, of learning about human design, of thinking about where I want to go next. And about Rob talking about these different versions of us. It really had me noticing all the me’s that have existed over the years. And if you want to think about this for yourself too I would highly recommend it. You can draw a timeline, a line on a piece of paper and just mark off every seven or 10 years or so from birth until now.
And think about how you were different and how you were the same across all those versions of you. It’s fascinating. So often we think negatively about our past selves, when we’re where are now, we’re looking back thinking, that other version of me, something was wrong with them. They weren’t as good as I am now. They were immature, or not smart, or not wise, or did so much stupid crap. And we have sort of a sense of shame about those versions of ourself in some ways.
But the interesting thing is we are attached to the optics, the way we looked in those previous versions of us. So many times, we are enamored with that youthful appearance of us, or the weight we were back then, or something else that has since faded or changed. That’s that cultural glorification of youth and beauty that has us wanting to go back to the way we looked but not the way we acted or how we thought.
So, the problem is we can’t retain our youth from back then and still have our wisdom from now. And if we could, it would be amazing, it’s like that old have your cake and eat it too, but we can’t. Now, what I prefer to do is to look at that timeline and think lovingly of all the past versions of myself and to be grateful for all of them, for all of her, not just in my mind but I write it down in my journal.
And I feel all the love in the world for those versions of me because when I think about it, those versions of me who took chances, and burned the midnight oil, and pitched herself to clients and magazines. And became a wife, and birthed my incredible daughter, and renovated houses, and got degrees, and studied, and learned, and struggled in marriage but figured it out. And became a life coach, and learned to love herself, and learned to love her body, and hustled, and proved her worth. And then stopped hustling, and stopped proving.
And then she grew, and she changed, and she got honest with herself, and she followed her heart, and she worked hard. And then she learned to work less. And she was a struggling boss. And then she became a better boss. And then she built a collaborative and inclusive company culture where she gets to work alongside incredible women. And she worked really, really hard to see what mattered. And then was brave enough to change everything to align with her values and what really mattered.
And, God, am I grateful for all of those versions of me. it gives me full body chills to think of my gratitude for every one of those versions. Because each and every piece of me that made up all those versions led to this version of me today. They played a role in my latest identity of coach, and author, and creative, and maybe real estate investor newbie. And who knows what I’ll be in seven years from now? But what I do know is I won’t be the me I am today and that’s so exciting. And I’m here for it.
And I have created space for the next me to emerge in her most authentic way. But you have to create space if you want that authentic and joyful you to come to the surface. So, my whole reason for today’s episode is this. I hope bringing you along on my path of growth, and change, and dreaming, and ideas, and thinking like there’s no box at all, gives you permission or at least the idea. Because let’s be honest, you don’t need my permission, you just need your own. But I hope it gives you the idea, the concept, the thought to be open to what’s possible for you in the next iteration of you.
And I hope it gives you the courage to be open to those nudes or tugs in your heart. Those are called your intuition, your deep inner knowing. And we’ve been taught by the world not to trust or listen to those nudges. But you should know that they are your real truth. They are every past and future version of you trying to guide you on the path that is uniquely yours. So, are you listening or are you ignoring those nudges?
A lot of you are ignoring the nudges. You’re like, “I can’t stop. I can’t change. That’s not an option.” And I promise you that everything is always an option if you believe it to be. So, are you making room for your next self to emerge without trying to control or orchestrate her but rather listening to what she wants and allowing it to become real? Most of us aren’t. And it’s the very reason I’m creating those Dream Lab sessions. Most of us spend all our time in our heads and almost none in our hearts or our guts listening to our inner self.
And it takes practice to learn how to listen and to honor those nudges and instincts. But the magical life that is meant for you is on the other side of listening and following them. It requires you to get off the hustle bus and to forego external validation, and to learn to validate yourself. But the rewards are incredible. My days are now 100% on my terms and full of creativity, and writing, and coaching, and dreaming. No one else is dictating my schedule or creating urgency or stress for me.
There are no longer any places in my life that I feel obligated to do something without my consent. This is what redefining success looks like, you all, this is what designing my days and my life looks like. Would you even know what success would look like for you without other people telling you what it should look like? Can you be honest with yourself and confident enough to admit what you really like, and what you really want, and what really matters to you and why, even if all the people around you think it’s crazy, or dumb, or wrong?
Here are two profound questions that I ask myself. And I invite you to ask yourself these questions too. One, if this were my last day on Earth would I spend it this way? And two, if I had a billion dollars already would I be doing any of this? Okay friends, I invite you to introduce yourself to the next version of you. Who are they? What do they want? What do you have to give up to become them? What do you have to think and believe to be them? And most importantly, what are you waiting for?
Okay friends, I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.
Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So, join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.