Imagine Your Best Life
Several years ago, while finishing my psychology studies and training, I attended a short weekend coaching course. Now you have to realise that I have always been the idealistic type; I loved to day- dream, write down my plans, and set daily and weekly goals for myself. It certainly felt like it was something innate within me. Taking a coaching course was the natural progression from my previous training and I felt it was a great way to focus on the positives in life too.
During the weekend taster, I prepared a vision for my future, writing down in detail everything I’d like to achieve within the next ten years. I was excited-and having something tangible on paper that represented what my mind could see-spurred me on to achieve more.
Coaching felt like a natural to me. I enjoyed the fact that I could focus on the future and human strengths, as opposed to the pathological side of mainstream psychology. I decided to complete my coaching qualifications so I could work with clients embracing strength and vision, instead of weakness and despair. Having completed the course, I was then asked to design a workshop for a mental health service. It was the beginning of so much more.
Developing a vision is paramount to success. We need to know where we are going and what we are aiming for. Without vision, people are aimless. Seeing the bigger picture is imperative to setting smaller goals. It also gives us the courage to keep going when the going gets tough.
That ten-year vision that I had written way back in 2013? Well it’s unfolding nicely. The journey hasn’t always been linear or smooth-sailing, but I’ve found those bumps in the road do a good job of propelling us further into our destiny. If you fall off track, be sure that you can pick yourself back up and dust yourself off again. It’s also important to listen to you; that authentic voice that tells you what you want. If you listen to the naysayers, you can potentially derail your own journey. There will always be people that tell you it can’t be done, you’ve just got to be strong enough to know that you can.
How Visualisation Can Help You Succeed
Visualisation is both an art and a science, which has been around for centuries due to its links to ancient philosophy and faith. Therapists and coaches utilise visualisation to support positive changes in their clients, primarily due to the brain’s malleability, which changes through relaxation and positive imagery.
Visualisation is key to achieving goals and creating success, and has been used by movie stars, athletes and leaders to boost performance. Success, because of visualisation, is predominantly linked to the mind’s inability to differentiate between imaginary and reality. Individuals that have used visualisation have seen marked changes due to, not only its relaxing properties, but also because of the boost in self-esteem and confidence. Practising visualisation is useful before job interviews or major performances and has an almost hypnotic effect on the brain.
If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do? If you could do anything, what would you aim to achieve? Asking these questions is key to allowing your mind to drift and develop bold dreams. Forget the obstacles or what’s happening in the present moment, but, rather, focus on what you’d like to happen in your future. Remember, with hard-work, you deserve the success. You have limitless potential and you can harness your strengths to achieve what you put your mind to.
A vision board is simply a canvas with words and images that represent your goals. I have two vision boards in my room: they’re daily reminders of what I want to achieve and how I’d like to live my life. They cover everything from the spiritual to the material and use magazine cut-outs and words to showcase what I’d like to happen in my life. I love the visual reminder of the path I’d like to walk.
So how can I develop a vision board?
The vision board is simple. You can start collecting magazines or images over several weeks, buy some nice sparkly pens, and some sheets of A3 paper. Begin to explore the magazines, cutting out images that you connect with and gluing them to the A3 paper canvas. It’s important that the vision is congruent with who you are or who you aim to be. You can write down words that represent what you want to achieve, the places you’d like to go, and the work you’d like to do. Jazz up your vision board and even frame it, placing it as a daily reminder of what you’d like to achieve.
My vision board is a reminder of both who I am and who I am developing into. It’s a reminder to be kinder to myself, to enjoy the world, to focus on what really matters, and to self-define success on my terms, not on anyone else’s. Happy vision boarding!