As a coach, I often use Dr. Richard Boyatzis’s Intended Change Theory with clients. It begins by identifying our ideal self and then comparing that self to our real self. Our ideal self contains our dreams, aspirations, and direction for these inspirations. When we let ourselves go in the direction of our dreams, amazing things can show up in our lives. Carl Rogers believes that we are motivated towards self-actualizing; to grow, develop, and becoming autonomous to make our dreams real. But then…something happens. Challenges frustrate us, we let others define who and what we can become and before long we stop believing in our dreams and in our power to manifest our dreams? We no longer believe in our ability to do the small steps that will take us into fulfilling our dreams.
Beliefs are important to achieving our dreams. When we lose 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”. 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.
Conversely, 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 yet suggests that sometimes we need a little help along the way. He offers 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.
Canfield also offers a pathway to making our dreams a reality through a visualizing process. To visualize success, start by examining your beliefs and determine if any limitations are holding you back. Next, identify where and when you began to accept these limitations. Did you try to do something and fail or did someone else tell you that you couldn’t succeed? Now ask yourself if you are ready to let go of the limitation and if so what resources will you need to as you build your plan for success. Finally, think about how you might include a visualization process in guiding that success.
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.
Numerous research studies have supported the impact that visualization can have on success. In fact, mental rehearsal, which is a form of visualization has been practiced for decades by athletes demonstrating similar results to actual physical activity. 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.
Visioning is an important process for us in setting and reaching goals and achieving dreams. 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.