Stepping into Your Higher Self

Methods of “stepping into your higher self” are advertised by life coaches, influencers, therapists, etc. What does it actually mean? Are we otherwise living “low” lives? I’ll first explain the appeal, then I will outline some suggestions that have worked/are working for me, and lastly why these suggestions can actually be effective. 

The idea of stepping into your higher self is somewhat related to “living your best life.” However, stepping in means it’s a conscious, intentional direction. Usually this is acknowledged as less of a final goal and more of a continuous growth process. 

Lots of us have goals and aspirations, and we want the most out of life. The concept of the higher self is essentially our greatest version of ourselves. To achieve this higher self, how can we live in a way that is not constantly centered on the future? What can we do today that both feeds contentment in the present and honors our future? How can we manage the delicate balance of self-acceptance and appreciation and of striving to fulfill potential?

Reaching potential is a phrase frequently used, and to me it has some irony in it. When someone is motivated to reach their potential they recognize the limits imposed upon them and strive to see what they are capable of beyond those limits. But to reach your potential seems counterintuitive because it implies an end, a cap, an ultimate limit. Once you get there, you’ve done all you could. Maybe it’s the language that’s wrong to me. I think we need something more open-ended.  

It is important that we don’t think of our higher selves as the solution to happiness(LINK). I’ve mentioned before that having the mindset of if I just do or have this, then I’ll be happy, or when this happens, I’ll finally be happy only tells us that there is never enough. We might think there’s one particular thing and that’s it, but then we’re always holding full satisfaction just out of reach. So again, a higher self isn’t a solution but an ongoing growth process. 

When you envision your higher self who and what do you see? Many modern shamanic practitioners discuss being a visionary, or creating the beauty and harmony you want to see in the world through your imagination. You can take this same visionary concept used for the world and use it for yourself. Closely related to ways of self-healing and reflecting on a ‘New You’, creating your higher self involves giving yourself time and space. 

I encourage you to be creative with this. Many people like making vision boards or journal. Bullet journals are popular for their structure and goal-orientation. Understand what helps you to live most authentically and expressive. Know that when becoming your higher self there’s no going up or down, forward or backward. It’s cyclic and all a part of the growth process. Also, despite what it may imply, it’s not about striving for perfection nor completely getting it together. To be your higher self may involve making a big change or learning to simplify and grow appreciation. It could be both at one point or another. 

This is how you do it. Sit comfortably in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for consecutive minutes. Maybe you play soothing music or music that really pumps you up. There are guided meditations and journeys that can also take you to this reflective place. Before closing your eyes, have it in your head that you’re about to see a version of yourself who is at their overall healthiest. 

When you’re ready, close your eyes and experience whatever comes. Notice sensations in your body, and try not to be discouraged if it “didn’t work” and you see nothing but the insides of your eyelids. Accept whatever comes even if it seems unrelated. Now, if you’re not there already, imagine you sitting in front you. It doesn’t have to be philosophical, just see yourself as if there were a mirror.

Maybe you’re surprised to notice your hairstyle is different or maybe it’s really just the energy this version is giving off that is so strikingly different. There’s no need to imagine any of your perceived flaws as drastically changed like a smaller nose because this isn’t a time to pick yourself apart. Instead you notice that this version of you is positioned confidently and the natural flaws you typically focus on are held in such a way that they diminish to points of beauty. This version of you is absolutely glowing, why?

Think spiritually first. Does this version of you feel interconnected in the world? Do they feel a sense of purpose or flow? How have they healed all of their relationships? Ask them what has helped them to be spiritually aligned.

Next go to the level of mentally and emotionally. What is your picture of mental and emotional health? What does your physical health look like? Ask them what they have let go of and what they have invited in.

Breathing evenly, when you’re ready merge to become one. Now this part is crucial. What does it feel like to be this version of you? What are you wearing? How can you show up as this person in each moment of each day? This version of you might not be very different from the version of you at this moment. 

Take an extra minute or so to sit with this before opening your eyes and making notes. Whatever anxious or resistant feelings that may surface are totally fine. Once you have some notes, there could be a clear message. Pick one thing from your notes to start. How do you see yourself taking steps towards it? For example, if it’s “communication,” maybe you envision yourself articulating your feelings to a loved one and receiving positive feedback. 

Going further, this increasing comfort with clear communication has you seeing yourself earning a promotion at work. Maybe your communicative, higher self is attracting more great people in your life. As another example, my first time doing this my message was to meditate more. I envisioned myself the following morning sitting in the exact spot where I would meditate. See yourself in action! 

It doesn’t all have to come at once. Notice how this plays out in your dreams, through synchroncity, in numbers, and in bodily sensations and thoughts days or weeks from that point. 

Pay attention! I saw a version of my higher self on the side of a house in Iceland

Another method I learned and that has been effective for me is “mapping backwards.” This takes the classic where do you see yourself in 5 years and refreshes it to something friendlier and workable. The 5 years question is a mindset that is future-focused which keeps us from enjoying the process and the present. With this map, it’s best to only go up to 3 years. So if I were to do this to plan for the following year it would look like this:

1 year from today [insert date] the following is what is happening in my life…

In 6 months…

3 months…

1 month…

2 weeks…

1 week…

In 3 days…

Tomorrow I will be…

Today I am…

When I’ve done this I include “making this map” as part of the step I’m taking for today. Check in with yourself to see how you are following the map and adjust it according to updated insights and external factors. This is meant to direct intention and maintain flexibility. At the very least, this is effective in redirecting the quality of your thoughts. This helps you to be realistic, accountable, and even more empowered to become

Another way of saying stepping into your higher self is stepping into your becoming. Really hold what that version of yourself feels like, the energy in and around you. Connecting with your higher self takes time and compassion. Decipher the difference between the version of you that others around you want to see and project onto you and the version is that is all you, for you, by you.

Who will you become? Step in and stride! If you like this page, please share it.

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