Updated: Apr 20
Last week I wrote about the End of Year Review as a tool for preparing ourselves mentally for the year ahead; because we can only know where we are going when we know where we have been.
A tool that works beautifully alongside the End of Year Review is the Vision Board - a visual representation of all the things/ experiences/ feelings we want to bring into our lives as we move into the new year. But what is a Vision Board and how does it work?
Vision Boards appear to be all the rage with 'woke' millennials and New Age spiritual students, who use them on the premise that they can 'manifest' whatever their heart desires using what is commonly referred to as the Law of Attraction, a concept made popular by the Rhonda Byrne book The Secret. Vision Boards also happen to be a helpful tool in Transformational Life Coaching and is an exercise I often prescribe to my clients to help them make progress with their goals and dreams because imagination is the language of the subconscious...and 95% of everything we think, feel and do is dictated by the subconscious mind.
The Theory… According to the Law of Attraction we attract/mirror into our external lives a reflection of what is happening in our internal world through our 'energetic vibration'. If we want to attract something into our lives, we need to be in alignment with what we want. That means we must BELIEVE that we are worthy and capable of attaining what we want, and that life is able to bring it into our reality. If we want a new car, a holiday, a new job or relationship for example, we would have to TRUST and KNOW that we are able to attain these things and even FEEL as if we already have what we want. Ultimately making our goals and dreams a reality is about faith!
But for the non-believers, focusing our attention on the object of our hearts desire consistently, we align our thoughts, feelings and actions with what we want. Over time the distance between where we are and where we want to get to becomes shorter, and as long as we focus out time, energy and attention consistently on what we want, we will eventually attract it into our lives and make it our reality.
So I know what you’re thinking…how the hell do I feel or believe I have something right now that I physically don’t? This is where the Vision Board comes in... A Vision Board is traditionally a collage of photos, pictures, words, quotes etc which represent the things, feelings and experiences that we want to bring into our lives. We can put it together electronically or cut out pictures and attach them to a board, making it as detailed as possible, and displaying it somewhere where we can see it daily. It’s similar to creating a gift wish list just being more specific about the different things we want in our lives….it’s a fun process and it creates excitement for what is to come.
Vision Boards help create a clear vision and focus for what we want. By looking at it daily, it helps programme the subconscious mind to align our thoughts, feelings and actions with what we see and want. If you wanted to go to Bali for example, but you tell yourself: it’s too expensive, you can’t get the time off work or find someone to look after the kids, or it’s too fancy and your family will judge you; you will not take a single step towards getting there! But if you were reminded day after day of how beautiful Bali is, why you want to go there, the experiences you would have there and how amazing it will feel when you are there, then you will start taking steps towards making it a reality. You will begin researching, enquiring, having conversations, saving money, working extra hours, looking into childcare etc. Because the more we want something, the higher the level of pleasure associated with it and the lower any risk or pain elements will be perceived. As a result we can start thinking more rationally about ways to overcome any obstacles which may be standing in our way, therefore moving us closer to our ultimate goal.
Essentially a Vision Board can help us create the neural pathways in the brain and the electromagnetic impulses in the body, needed to move us towards what we want. And once we learn how to attract what we want into our lives, the world becomes our canvas which we can paint however we choose.
What’s the Catch?
Obstacle 1. Doubts and limiting beliefs prevent us materialising what we want to bring into our lives. You can’t be successful if you don’t think you are capable or worthy of success, or you have a scarcity mindset. You can’t attract a healthy relationship if negative self-talk plagues your daily thoughts or if you have subconscious fears about relationships due to past experiences. And you can’t shift the unwanted pounds if you believe that being overweight is in your DNA or part of your identity. A Life Coach can help you become aware of your limiting beliefs and show you how to change them, so that they align with what you want; but it means letting go of the old stories you have been repeating to yourself and holding you back.
Obstacle 2. Manifesting what we want is also not a passive process. We cannot sit back and expect The Universe or a divine entity to magic everything up for us, or call the process garbage when we do nothing or continue doing what doesn't work and nothing changes. We need to take INSPIRED ACTION to make things happen and to manifest what we want. And we need to work through the challenges which are there to teach us and help us grow. So staying motivated and keeping our eye on the prize is key and having a Life Coach to mentor, guide and support during the process of change can make the difference between creating the life we want or just dreaming about it.
Obstacle 3. There is of course a time delay between deciding that we want something and making it our reality. Because as humans we change our minds by the day if not by the hour/minute and if we could manifest things instantly there would probably be a high number of fatalities and the species would go extinct! So knowing what we want and committing to it over time is essential to manifesting our dreams. A Life Coach can help ensure that you are clear on your needs and wants, and that they align with your values and what truly matters to you. They can can help motivate and inspire you along your journey and remind you of your why's when you start having doubts. To keep going, especially during times of doubt, is what will make the difference between failure and success.
Obstacle 4. And there are certain emotional obstacles that can make it difficult, almost impossible, for people to move forward and create the life they want, like unwanted chronic habits and addictions and being attached to negative experiences and emotions from the past that require healing. Again these are issues a Life Coach is able to support with and provide you with the tools to understand, heal, let go and transcend, giving you the freedom to move forward and shape your life the way YOU desire.
Tips for Creating & Using a Vision Board:
Tip 1. Complete your Review of the Year or a Life Coaching Evaluation tool first – be clear on, where you are now, what you want and why.
Tip 2. Put aside an hour to collate pictures, photos, quotes etc of the things/feelings/experiences you want to bring into your life. Google Images and Pinterest are great for inspirational photos and quotes but you can use magazines, or posts from social media.
Tip 3. You can attach the photos etc on a board with blue tac or pins, because you’re allowed to change your mind and tweak your board as things progress; or you can save them electronically on your phone/computer as a collage. Don’t forget to attach a happy photo of yourself in the middle of the board (yeeess I know it’s cheesy, but your brain needs to connect you with the things you want).
Tip 4. Take a photo of your finished masterpiece and save it as your phone and computer screensaver so that you see it daily (whether consciously or subconsciously).
Tip 5. Display it in your bedroom, on your dresser, or if you have a space for meditating in your home. Spend a few minutes first thing when you wake up and just before falling asleep (when the subconscious mind is most receptive) to focus on your Vision Board – try and imagine how it will feel to have what you want, what would it mean to you, how it would change your life and/or the lives of the people you care about in the most positive ways. You know you're doing it right when you have a big smile on your face during your visualisation; if you shed a tear of joy or two then you've cracked it!
Tip 6. If you want to ramp up your manifesting ability, hold the items on your Vision Board in your mind’s eye whilst meditating, or use it as a prop to focus your attention on whilst meditating - when your mind is in a theta state it's as good as self-hypnosis .
Tip 7. And don’t forget to feel gratitude for what you already have. Wanting something new often goes hand in hand with not wanting what we have, which creates over-attachment to the desired outcome, pressure and consequently resistance. When we are grateful for what we have, life will always give us more to be grateful for due to life's mirroring effect. Gratitude is a powerful tool and should be practiced with emotion. Placing your hand on your heart and saying out loud what you are thankful for can help amplify the feeling; imagining not having something in your life can also increase your feelings of gratitude that you do have. What are you thankful for today?
Have fun with your Vision Boards, and remember…if you do feel stuck in life, or that you don’t know what you want, or that there are too many obstacles getting in the way (including yourself) and you would like to explore whether Transformational Life Coaching is right for you, check out the services available on my website at www.themindfullifecoachuk.com or contact me for a chat about how I can help. Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram @mindfullifecoachuk.