I didn’t get into vision boards until my mid twenties, and I have to admit I didn’t see any real value in them at first. A friend tried to convince me of the power of creative visualization that claims to affect real changes to your circumstances through imagery. The cynic in me thought it was a complete hot steaming pile of hippy bullshit, but the curiosity in me still entertained the idea anyway. So there I was, feverishly and passionately clipping, cutting, gluing, and pasting like I was trying to get an A on an art project. After I was done I felt like I had created a masterpiece definitely worth a solid A- (AT LEAST), but I still felt like I was just putting a bunch of pictures on a board. I wasn’t sold on the life changing aspect of it. Nothing happened afterwards that was mind-blowing. Womp womp womp.
But now that I have about five vision boards in my portfolio over the course of 4 years, here’s my verdict on them: They absolutely work but there is a right and wrong way to do them. If you’ve given them a try and have lost hope (like I did), here are four things I did that worked for me:
- Be Patient- And I mean VERY patient. If you created a board, expected the clouds to part, and all of your wishes come true within a week (like I did), you’ve got a lot to learn. Nothing great comes fast or on your time. There were things on my vision board that didn’t come to fruition until two years after I made it.
- Keep Your Board In Plain Sight– Repetition is key and creative visualization is, well, visual. If you created a vision board, looked at it one time, and then chucked it behind your bed or in your garage (like I did), you are not going to get the full effect of it working your subconscious. This. Is. Crucial. Having thoughts you are not consciously aware of are more powerful than thoughts you are consciously aware of. Hang it up on your wall, or put it somewhere that you will see multiple times a day.
- Don’t Overthink It– Don’t have a staring contest with your vision board as if somehow you thought you were going to win. Anxiety and frustration will be the only byproducts of your laser-lock-X-man-like vision on your board.
- Take Action– This is the most important step and also the hardest to do. Your vision board serves as a reminder for you to do all of the things that you put on it. Think of it as a prettier, artsier version of a “To-do” list. Nobody expects a list to “work” with out actually checking things off of it. The board works the same way.
Don’t feel discouraged if you feel like you just made a collage. Believe me, you didn’t. Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to living the life you’ve always dreamed of. Keep fighting the good fight.