The Bigger Picture

Why you need a vision board, even if you don’t believe in the woo woo stuff

If you work with any sort of business mentor or coach, at some point someone is going to ask you to design a vision board. A picture of what you want your life to look like in the future, bright colourful images to represent your hopes and dreams.

The first one I ever did was at a group coaching event in 2014 and I was in a room full of other women, and to be honest I was a bit sceptical. The coach I was working with was lovely, and opened my eyes to how working with a coach could help me move my business forward – but some of the other participants were a bit ‘woo woo’ for me… more than a few tree huggers and people who truly believed that you can meditate your way to becoming a millionaire.

I cut out pictures and words that represented me and my future and got enthusiastically sticking to my piece of flipchart paper. Pleased with my overall attempt, given that I really have no artistic eye and hadn’t made a collage since primary school I took it home and stuffed it in the cupboard in our spare room / office and closed the door.

I do realise that the point of this exercise was to stick it on the wall, somewhere prominent where I would see it every day and it would spur on my subconscious to attract these things to me – but to be honest, if I’d done that, my husband would have thought that I’d lost the plot.

Fast forward to September 2015 when we were packing to move to our new office having outgrown working from the spare room. As I loaded the contents of the cupboard into the box, out tumbled the vision board and I unfolded the (now a bit crumpled) piece of paper. I was astounded to see that I’d actually achieved more than half of the things that were on the board in just over a year. Including having pink hair.

Now, I am at heart a scientist and like logical explanations where possible.

You know how when you buy a new car, every road you drive on has the same model of car on it. How when you’re pregnant everywhere you look there are other pregnant ladies?

That’s your Reticular Activating System (RAS) the part of your brain that looks out for things to support your belief – to validate that you’ve made the right choice. There is so much information bombarding us on a daily basis that our brains filter out the things that it thinks are more useful to us.

Sometimes this is called confirmation bias – if you’ve had a good experience with something, you’ll subconsciously look for ways to validate your experience. If you believe that rich people are arrogant, your subconscious will look for arrogant rich people to show you – and let the generous, philanthropic rich people slide past un-noticed.

This is scientifically how a vision board works.

By getting clear on what you really want to achieve in your life, which includes things, people and feelings, you will find that you are naturally drawn to people and experiences that support your vision and push you towards your end goal.

These days many people create their vision board online, using Pinterest or a special programme like Dream It Alive -but the effect is the same. By taking the time to get a clear picture in your head of what you want to achieve you’re more focussed on spotting the opportunities that will bring you nearer to it.

Don’t get me wrong – you can’t just do a vision board and wait for it to all drop into your lap – you’re going to need to put a plan in place for each of your objectives and take a little step each day towards at least one of them. Putting it down on paper is really powerful.

Clients sometimes tell me that this can seem massively overwhelming at first and they don’t know how to start – which should they start with and why? You know that expression you can’t see the wood for the trees?

The danger is that left unsupported they may end up doing nothing. They are so close to having an amazing change occur in their life but just need to get started

I help them work out which one is really the most important picture to them (and the real reason why) and then we get started on that one. As we celebrate the tiny milestones along the way this gives them confidence to start on others. Some we just park for now, and when we check-in together further through the course – they see that some of them they have moved towards as if by magic. There is no magic. They’ve just become so clear on what they want to achieve and why, that their subconscious works with them to help them get there.

Your subconscious is so important – and it’s why it’s so important that you’ve let go of any limiting beliefs on success, becoming wealthy or having things go right in your life. I can help you to work on your mindset if this is the thing holding you back – not weird affirmations or meditations – just a chance to unpack the stuff in your head and get clear on what is really true for you and what is not.

When we moved to our new office I created my second vision board and put it up where I could see it everyday from my desk, (not having to worry about what my husband might think) and this has now evolved into version 3 which acts as my screensaver on my laptop / tablet and is stuck on the wall in the study at home. Along with a plan. Written down with dates on. Milestones I can tick off.

So what’s on my current board?

A truly balanced picture of how I want my life to look. Coffee with friends, recognition and success in my business, alpacas and me fit, healthy and full of energy. Time for me – outside and calm in nature, holidays, entertaining, time as a couple. Time together as a family.

Is it happening?

Yes, bit by bit – I’m building my dream. Not waiting for it to happen. Not wishing the universe to drop it in my lap. And you can do the same too.

But you will need a plan. And I can help with that. Pop over to the FREE Facebook group to start to get ideas for your strategy – it might not include alpacas for you, but I bet you have something in your head you dream of. How will it make you feel when you’ve done THAT thing? Time to take the first step?

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