You might get what you don’t want.
There was a time when I thought I couldn’t achieve anything unless I had a vision board with a fully mapped out life. Things have changed, I no longer use vision boards in this way and I think you shouldn’t either, at least in the way they have been promoted in some of the self-help guru scene. Here’s why:
Why do you want that stuff on the board?
It took a long, long time but eventually I realised I wanted the things I put on the vision board because I thought by the having of these things I’d feel better. In the having of the nice big house I’d feel more secure and grounded, not to mention accomplished.
The problem is, it doesn’t work that way. Millions of people will tell you, getting that big house does not make you feel more secure and grounded or accomplished. Oh yes, of course there is the shortlived wonderfully elated feeling of having reached the mountain top. But not before long and the search begins again, the house didn’t fill the void inside.
It’s not that vision boards don’t work. They do, exceptionally well. But the problem is how you put it together. You’ve got to put extra care in how you compose it and dig deep about what you really want.
We all really just want to feel better
Feeling fulfilled comes from another place, it is because you already feel fulfilled that you get the house – and keep it. The house then becomes a logical extension of the being you are. There can be no other place for you to live than in a beautiful home. “If only I had _____ I’d feel better” it’s a trap millions of people fall into.
Check yourself, did you (or rather that voice in your head) just say: “oh never mind, just give me the house, no worry about feelings”? If you did, it’s the trap. Recognise it for what it is. The house will not make you happy. That’s a fact me and millions of others have already experienced.
Personally when it comes to housing (to stay with this example) I’ve had a bit of a yo-yo type of housing situation in my life. From small flats to big double story houses with pool and fairy garden, I had it all. They come and they go, and when I scrutinise it, always in line with how I feel. Of course in the moment I didn’t see that or didn’t even want to see it.
It’s always been at random it would seem. Only recently have I come to understand what’s going on. My outer world is a reflection of my inner world. And while I can’t directly influence my outer world per se, I most certainly can take charge of how I feel in the moment. And every time I get a grip on what’s going on inside, the outside starts to change almost by magic.
And that’s why I say vision boards can be dangerous. It’s not the houses and the cars and the holidays we need to strive for, it’s the question about how we want to feel that we need to answer. How do I want to feel when I do my work? How do I want to feel when I go on holiday with my family? That needs to go on the vision board.
The “standard’ vision board gets you to focus on that which you don’t have, the lack of it, and that will bring more of that to you – lack of it. At some point I realised every time I look up at this pretty picture of the big house I’d feel a pang inside wondering why I don’t have it, if I ever can have it and an unfairness that I didn’t have it. You get my drift. It conjured the total opposite feelings that I actually wanted to have by using the vision board.
Maybe instead of vision boards we should actually build Gratitude boards.
In which case we’d put everything we’re grateful for on it. Which is the single most important act you can do every day to enhance the quality of your life, to be grateful for what you already have.
Nowadays I’m learning to think of everything in terms of how I feel or how I want to feel. It started off with the area of work. I’ve said a big fat “no” to a great opportunity this year because it didn’t feel right. I knew I wouldn’t feel the way I wanted to if I said yes. Turns out, when you are aligned and you go with your own flow things have an interesting way of changing around. This opportunity morphed into one that did give me all that I wanted from a work perspective and more, on my “terms” of how I wanted to feel.
That’s another blog post for another day, the learning to say no to opportunities. It’s a big one!
When I listened to Danielle LaPorte yesterday on the story of how her Desire Map came about I suddenly had goose bumps all over. Here’s a woman who explains what I have discovered for myself in terms of how important it is to wish for feelings rather than things. And she’s creating a fabulous product around it for all of us to tap into and get going with. (Here’s the audio)
It’ll go a long way to help put this new way of achieving our goals and dreams into reality. I can tell you now already, I’ll be one big ambassador of the Desire Map because I already know this is how it works.
Have you got any questions or comments on this subject? How have vision boards worked out for you so far? How does creating your feelings resonate with you? Let me know in the comments!
Photos in Vision board image all curtesy Free Digital Photos