Many of you read my January blog in which I talked about the 12 Week Year. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you might want to go back to it as this month’s blog will focus on the first step of the 12 Week Year-envisioning. I am focusing on envisioning because what I have discovered in working with others with the 12 Week Year process is that envisioning is sometimes a difficult first step.
Tony Robbins in “Awaken the Giant Within” starts his book by talking about dreams and our destiny. He states “we all have dreams” and that we all believe that we can use our special gifts to make a difference in our world. But then…something happens. What happened to our dreams and in our ability to believe we can manifest our dreams? Robbins suggests that we become frustrated and caught up in the grind of daily life so much so that we give up on what is possible and become complacent, allowing that complacency to direct our lives.
When we loose our connection to believing that we control our destiny, we lose our north star. A famous Napoleon Hill quote is “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. Expectancy theory play a big role in our ability to believe and conceive. Shawn Achor’s in “Happiness Advantage” shares that our expectations actually create brain patterns that can be just as real as those created by events in the real world. If you believe that you can achieve, you will set in motion those actions that result in your achievement. Think about the beliefs that we have held previously as a culture that were changed by one person believing differently. The belief that no one could break the four minute mile; the belief a train going faster than 30 miles per hour would destroy a body….both are beliefs that were shattered by people who believed differently. These individuals refused to accept complacency and created a new vision for themselves.
However, if you do not believe that something can happen, your actions will reinforce that belief. Henry Ford said “whether you think you can or think you can’t-you are right.” Your underlying beliefs about your own abilities will make the determination of the path of can or can’t. Canfield in “The Principles of Success” shares this certainty. He suggests that if you cannot find it in yourself to believe in your self, find someone who does believe in you and can support you. This person could be a relative, close friend or even a personal coach. In coaching we often say that a coach holds the vision for the client to walk into.
If you have examined your beliefs and find that you are able to let go of limitations, let’s return to the visioning process. Canfield shares that “visualization may be the most underutilized success tool you possess.” He believes that visioning can accelerate the achievement of success in three powerful ways:
Activation of the creative powers of your subconscious mind;
Focusing your brain by programming your reticular activating system
(RAS) to notice available resources that were already there but had gone
Magnetizing and attracting people, resources, and opportunities to
achieve your goal.
Canfield ends the discussion on visualization with the suggestion that one hour of visualization could be equal to seven hours of physical effort. While it might be a stretch and yet to be scientifically proven, it certainly might be worth the try!
For many of us, life moves so fast that we don’t take the time to visualize what our future and success in that future looks like. We tend to “think” about what we want, maybe even affirm what we want yet we miss a vital scientifically proven step-visualization. To help get started with visualizing, many of my clients create vision boards to accelerate the process.
For those not familiar with vision boarding, it is a tool that focuses our attention on where we would like to go. It requires the use of images-typically taken from magazines-to help us visualize into our futures. The purpose of the vision board is to help us zero in on what matters most to us while at the same time suppressing daily distractions that constantly invade our thoughts and routines. People have used vision boards to: provide clarity on goals-both short-term and long-term; reinforce what they want to achieve; maintain focus on what matters most, and; create and reinforce daily affirmations.
Visioning is an important process for us in setting and reaching goals. As you think about how to move forward with envisioning, make sure that your beliefs are not limiting you. Once you have removed those limiting beliefs from your psyche, think about how you might use the tools available for deepening your process for visualizing success.