More Than Wishful Thinking
Chances are, you’ve heard someone casually talking about visualizing, or manifesting, something into their lives. It’s one of those concepts people like to throw around a lot, and depending on who you’re talking to, it can mean a variety of different things. I also know that people can write off visualization as a woo-woo practice that doesn’t really have much bearing on your life. I suppose some people consider manifesting something they don’t really understand or have access to. But for me? Manifesting has been literally life-changing, and deeply rooted in my life since I was a child. And it’s something that I want to help you bring into your own life. You deserve to live fully, and you deserve to have good things in your life, even if they might feel like big, audacious goals. I want you to feel empowered here and excited about naming those things you want in your life. I want to help you make tangible plans every day to manifest them. I’m going to help you create a tool to do just that, and I know it’s going to change your life like it’s changed mine.
Now don’t worry, we aren’t talking about spells and magic here. Absolutely not. When I talk about manifesting, about visualization,
I’m talking about clearly articulating what it is you want and placing that visual representation of it in a space (or a vision board) where you see it often and bring it outward from your subconscious.
If you don’t write visualization off as hocus-pocus, it can help you bring a pretty spectacular life to fruition. Visualization is a powerful practice that has recently become more rooted in the science of neuroplasticity—which is the ability the brain has to change. Dr. Tara Swart is a friend of mine who has also been a pioneer in applying visualization to what science understands of neuroplasticity. In the pages that follow, I’ll be using some of my tried-and-true techniques that have worked for me to help guide you along your journey to propel you into living fully.
I invite you to leave your skepticism at the door and try to be open to this. As with anything, your mind-set plays a huge part in how successful a new practice will be in your life. If you’re going to start visualizing the life you want and begin manifesting these things into your life, you can’t just simply say, “I want a new car.” Like I said, this isn’t magic, and visualization isn’t as easy as making a wish. You’ve got to be confident enough to truly envision yourself receiving those things you’re trying to manifest in your life.
You have to believe that you are worthy to receive and live the life you desire.
You have to believe to your core that you are worthy of the achievements and experiences you so desperately want in your life.
Shake off that impostor syndrome, shush that negative voice in your head telling you this nonsense, and tell yourself that your dreams, goals, and desires are valid and worth fighting for.
If you go into this as a skeptic trying to disprove everything, or if you approach visualizing with a lack of confidence, your success is going to be impacted. However, if you open your mind and your heart, decide to trust the process, and have the confidence that you can achieve the things you are visualizing for your life, you’re going to experience a lot more success as you walk this journey. In the pages that follow, you’ll set clear intentions and goals in your life, and you’ll create your own vision board to help you begin living fully every day. But this is all going to be a pointless exercise for you if you’re not all in. So, if you’re ready to take a step of faith with me, let’s get started.
Like any journey, you can’t set out successfully if you don’t know where you’re going, and it’s exactly the same with visualization. Visualization begins with deciding what you want in your life. This is the piece a lot of people don’t take the time to do. But it’s not an option—you have to do this step and do it well. Now, I know if we were sitting at a table together talking through this, your first instinct might be to give me a broad answer. I want to be happy. I want to own my own business. I want to have a stronger family. I want to be healthier. Don’t get me wrong, these are all great things to want, but you have to get a little more specific so you can actually have a VISION for living fully. Reaching these goals and desires is so broad, that getting to the point of happier, healthier, or business owner could look wildly different from day to day. So, when we’re working to visualize and manifest things into our lives, we’ve got to get specific.
Go back to page xvii and look at what you wrote down. I want you to use those answers to begin to really reflect upon what you want out of your life. Before you catch the vision, you have to cast the vision. It’s okay to start broad at first, but don’t stop there. Get even more specific and start to form sharper images of what you want. To help you do this, I want you to go ahead and focus on what you feel like you truly need in your life and start thinking about some clear goals you can set for yourself. This will get your mind in the right place.
Take some time to really think about how you want to feel about yourself and your life. What things make you feel alive and fill your heart with joy? Now think about goals you can set for yourself to help yourself feel like that every day.
We’re starting on a big project here, and it’s important to have all the tools we need before we begin! Living fully is something you’ll be working toward every day, so you’re not always going to feel like you’re unstoppable, on top of the world, or even doing a good job. So, being able to look at something that represents how you want your life to make you feel and remind yourself of why you’re doing this will help keep you moving forward.
It is also vital to feel good when you’re trying to bring good things into your life. And truly understanding the power visualization can hold is not only helpful when you’re working to attain goals, but it’s also a powerful tool when you find yourself sliding into a place of doubt or spiraling thoughts. And we don’t want to camp out there. So use visualization to get back on track.
Sometimes I’ll picture repetitive negative (or doubting) thoughts like leaves falling from the sky or floating on a river, or I’ll envision a big stop sign to stop my negative spiral and regain control. You could also create a motto that you can repeat in those moments to help you stop the spiral and get back to where you want to be. Life isn’t always going to be easy, and things aren’t always going to go as you expect, but if you have reminders that can ground you to your truth, your core values, and what you want out of your life, it can help you stay in control—before your life spins into something you no longer recognize.
What are some things you can visualize to help you stay in a positive frame of mind, even when things get chaotic?
Craft a quick life motto, a sort of mantra even, that you can repeat in those moments when you’re feeling stuck that can get you back on track.
I want you to circle back to creating the specific goals for yourself, then take it a step further by thinking of what a visual representation of that thing would be. I like to find a visual representation in a picture—rather than words or lists—to put on my vision board. For you it might be a picture from a magazine or a photograph or some type of word art.
Get as precise as possible and try to picture each thing you want fully realized in your life. This is extremely important because it’s a big part of what makes your vision board such a powerful tool. Think of it as a road map, and a road map isn’t helpful if there isn’t a clear destination. Think about it: If you had a dream of seeing the Hollywood sign, directions from your house to Los Angeles would get you close, but not to your actual goal. It’s the same idea with your vision board.
Once you articulate what you want in your life, you need to find a visual representation of that thing in its fruition.