Your Best Life, in Images
Vision boards are often a first step in manifesting abundance, or reaching a goal. They’re visual representations, of what we believe our best life should look and feel like. I remember amassing a bedroom of magazines, with pictures I clipped for random inspiration. It was a fun activity, but thinking back on it, the problems with creating a vision board become clear. My vision boards were nothing more than random clippings of glamorous, and pretty images, that caught my eye. The images spoke to my eyes, and to my idea of what I wanted others to see me as. However, the most important thing missing from my vision board, was my self-awareness, (which is crucial in understanding what looks good, vs. what feels good to you). In this post, I’ll share 3 reasons why I feel that vision boards are a time waster, so that you can decide for yourself.
1) You’re Already a Pro at Envisioning
We’ve all been in one, if not all of the following scenarios. A boring class, daydreaming romantic scenarios with your latest crush. A mandatory staff meeting, your mind drifting into the details of how fulfilling it would be to become your own boss, affording you more time and financial freedom. My personal favorite was laying in bed with my headphones on, each song drifting me into different aspects of what my best self looked, felt and behaved like.
I use all of these scenarios to point out this 1 absolute truth. We’re already pros at picturing/envisioning, (which in my humble opinion runs deeper than looking at a static collection of images). We’ve been imagining since childhood! While we’re busy completing our mundane adult tasks, it’s these very daydreams, that tug at us, warning us how out of alignment we are from our dreams.
When we envision or daydream, we often conjure up vivid details, at our own will. Searching for images only allows us to connect with a pre-existing image. It also becomes tricky when you’re visually bombarded with “pretty”, eye-catching images, that may not necessarily resonate on a deeper level. Your organic envisioning is more powerful, and accurate in this way.
Another benefit that stands out about daydreaming, (compared to vision boards), comes from the Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue. Authors Benjamin Mooneyham, and Jonathan Schooler, summarize 5 potential functions that daydreaming serves. One of these functions is future thinking, (AKA autobiographical thinking). It serves as a way to speculate and anticipate future events, (which sounds pretty useful, when we’re in the process of mapping our path, to living aligned with our best self).
2) Vision Boards Focus on the “Who,” Not the “Why”
As someone who has risen from the ashes of abusive relationships, crippling fear of failure and zero self-awareness, I’m the first to admit, that while material goals are great, they only make sense after the deeper, internal pieces come together. Vision boards offer a visual of what you’d like your life to look like, but neglect the deeper insights that are necessary to aligning with your best self.
A vision board is much like the concept of Build-a-Bear. It places overemphasis on the details of dressing up your life, (to look picture perfect), without much thought into what’s on the inside. You get an idea of your “who”, but are still in the dark about your “why’s”. Why do you want to be an Entrepreneur? Is it because a part of you has something to prove to your parents? Do you think entrepreneurship will compensate for feelings of failure in other areas? Maybe you’ve been seduced by social media gurus, showing off their mansions and yachts. It’s incredibly easy to fail at obtaining things that you “want”, when you want them for the wrong reasons.
If a vision board is simply allowing you to look at what you think you want, without doing a deeper audit on the “why’s,” then it’s silently egging on a lack of self-awareness, pushing you in the opposite direction of what your higher self truly aligns with.
3) Vision Boards Aren’t Where the Magic Happens
When someone goes into business for themselves, they usually become entangled in “busy work”. Tasks that take up time, but aren’t really getting their business any closer to generating a profit. There is indeed a tremendous difference between being busy, and being productive. Vision boards are essentially the busy work, in the self-improvement, and manifesting abundance worlds. Adding a new goal to you vision board, is the same as being excited that you got a like, on a post from your business account, (but not an actual sale). Vanity metrics type of fluff.
The vision board isn’t where the magic happens. The magic actually happens in the chunks, and more often small bits, that we put toward achieving self-awareness, so that we’re clearly defining and working toward goals that are our own. We can only be all-in, on goals, and “why’s”, that touch our soul. These “why’s”, create deep roots, making abandonment of our goals and success unthinkable. Anything less than that, can’t stand up to the constant tests that life throws at us.
What I’ve often noticed is that many of us get super excited as we create our vision board, (It’s a fun escape), similar to imagining how we’ll spend the millions from our winning lotto ticket. Unfortunately for many of us, the creation of this vision board, is where our journey begins and ends. Life comes fast. Our day job is demanding, and our families, can be even more so. We have a slight opening to finally catch up with a good friend, we go on vacation, we’re forced into more responsibility at our job, the kids need help with homework… and there sits our vision board. A pretty reminder that one day, we decided we were gonna go for it.
To get yourself off on a more productive note, so that you can first get self-aware about your goals and your “why’s”, read my core post on how self-awareness helps you create fulfillment, in every aspect of life.
What’s your experience with vision boards? Did this post offer you a new perception? Let’s talk about it, and don’t forget to share, to get the conversation going.