Last year on New Years I sat down with a few friends, a stack of magazines, glue sticks and a big piece of cardboard and created a vision of what I wanted in my life for 2010. The interesting thing about vision boards is that they provide access to beliefs, ideas, or desires that you may not otherwise be aware of. Last year at this time, I was completely focused on my coaching practice in the U.S. It had not occurred to me to me that I might soon be living abroad. Yet this was the vision board I created:
The picture here is small, so you may not be able to see it very well, but it has lots of fantastical images, dancers in wild costumes, machu picchu, a tree made of people, elephants, etc. I remember looking at the completed vision board and thinking, “Oh dear, if this is what inspires me, I don’t think I am on the right path. How in the world am I going to create this kind of life?” But I loved the images, so I put it up on my wall and decided not to worry about it. Then, in April, I decided on a whim to move to Istanbul. In retrospect, I can see that the visioning process helped me realize what I wanted, and posting it helped keep that insight present for myself. Images are extremely powerful, and they can influence our attitudes and behaviors without us even being aware of it. My experience of living abroad really has been magical. All sorts of wild, interesting things have been happening, and I have found coaching clients with remarkable ease. The overall feel of the vision board, the magic and adventure, really does reflect my current experience of life.
Some people use vision boards to help them stay focused on and inspired by a specific goal. For example Michael Phelps had a vision board of himself winning gold metals. Others use it as a tool related to the law of attraction (as popularized by The Secret). One of my clients used a vision board to help clarify her own beliefs about wealth, business and gender. She discovered that subconsciously she thought only white men could become wealthy business owners. Once this belief was identified, we were able to address the issues, and ultimately her company went from a local D.C. business to a national franchise. Regardless of whether you use a vision board to gain insight or to achieve goals (or both), this activity is both fun and useful. If you make one, send me a picture. I’d love see it.
May you have continued success and joy in the new year!