Get out of that Corner!

Sarah Coolidge
Sarah Coolidge is an author, trainer and message mentor.
Personal Development

Oct 01,2017

I have a friend who is wrestling with some real tough life issues. Although she has been living rather comfortably for a while, she is still feeling restless, wondering how to find more joy in her life, more spark, more love. Unfortunately, she is pretty sure that she is trapped in her current life and cannot make any changes to improve things.

She is convinced that any move she makes is going to cause so much disruption in her life, and the lives of her family and friends, that she is paralyzed. Stuck. Backed into a corner.

Have you ever felt that way?

It’s pretty uncomfortable in that corner, feeling like you have no good options, that reaching for your own relief is going to cause unhappiness in others. What can you do?

You can begin to imagine that there is no corner, no wall to be backed up against. When you can let that wall in your mind melt away, suddenly there are myriad possibilities and hope.

If you feel stuck like this, here is an exercise to help you knock down that wall and open up potential futures:

  1. Block out a minimum of a half hour of time where you can be undisturbed. Gather some writing materials and get ready to write. Write the date three years in the future on the top of your page. In other words, put today’s date and add three to the year.  Your assignment is to imagine yourself living your ideal life three years in the future and write about what that life is like.You may choose to make this an imaginary letter to a friend or simply write to yourself. Either way, write about all aspects of your life and all of the things you would like to have as if they are already accomplished. This includes your family, health, relationships, work, finances, work and spirit. Write about all of the things you would like now as if they are done and do not allow yourself to get caught up in HOW these things will happen.
  2. After you have finished writing your “Letter from the Future”, take a breather. Put your work aside for a day or so and just observe any thoughts and feelings this part of the exercise brought up for you. People often feel a renewed creativity, a sense of hope and a surge of energy.
  3. When at least 24 hours have gone by, pick up your writing and read through it. Polish, add and adjust anything that needs it. Then pick out one of the achievements or events that excites you the most and focus on it. How does it feel for you to read about it as if were already accomplished and part of your life? Happy, relieved, free, prosperous, safe, and appreciative are some of the possible feelings you might pick. Make a list of those emotions and feelings.
  4. Your last step is to look around your present life and see what you can find in it that gives you those feelings NOW. For instance, if the future “you” has paid off all of your debt and thinking about that makes you feel prosperous, find something that makes you feel prosperous right now. You can do that if you see an abundance of beauty and sunshine around you. Or even an abundance of choices at the grocery store. Grow those feelings, and the feelings for all of the things you wrote about in your future life, whenever you get an opportunity.

As you continue to practice this, you will notice that you don’t feel so trapped anymore. New ideas are coming to you about actions you can take easily and smoothly that will continue to expand your ideas of possibility. You are no longer backed into a corner and the walls have melted away.

This exercise is also beneficial when you find yourself at a crossroads in your life or are faced with a new decision or opportunity. It is especially fun to save these “Letters from the Future” and look back at them from time to time. Then you can celebrate the progress you have made and the actual arrival of the things you once thought were only dreams.

And you will also be able to celebrate the freedom you feel from melting the walls and barriers that made you feel stuck!



“Letter from the Future” Exercise: While I have heard several versions of this exercise, I would like to thank my friend and mentor Dave Austin for bringing it to mind recently. I have adapted and expanded his version for this article.

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