Is Your Vision Board Setting You Up To Fail?

Creating the life you really want is a delicious process. It’s like baking a cake: we get to layer in all kinds of ingredients, and then use different techniques to help us get to our goals faster. One of my favourite ways to manifest is by making a vision board. Surrounding yourself with visual representations of the things you’re striving for helps you spring into action every day, and it keeps you motivated when you’re gasping for air.

We’ve all heard about vision boards before. You’ve seen what they look like. You might have even made one. But there’s a trick to doing it properly, because it’s easy to get carried away and actually dilute your power.

When you’re making a vision board, it’s tempting to fill it up with images of far-flung destinations, luxury cars, and closets full of shoes organised by colour. The process of seeking out and collecting these pictures can be exciting, like visiting a candy shop in your mind. But sometimes those images hold us back from being our sexiest, most powerful, dynamic selves.

Let me show you what I mean.

I grew up around cars, and I really like them. In fact, there are two specific cars that give me heart palpitations. They’re gorgeous — art in my eyes. So, as I was creating my latest vision board, I was tempted to search for images of them and add them to the mix.

But then I stopped myself. Why?

Because I suddenly realised that I have never made any movements towards owning a car like this. Dude, I don’t even have my driver’s license! So, what does that tell me? It tells me that, in my mind, owning a car is not that important! Do I appreciate the sleekness of a Porsche Speedster? Sure. But if owning one was really significant to me, I would have done something — anything! — about it.

The things I really want in my life — abundant love, a flourishing writing career, to speak all over the world, a fun social life, travel, a beautiful apartment, and a kickass wardrobe — are things I have already put energy towards. They are things I think about all the time. I can’t help myself from thinking about these areas! So now, it’s all about refinement, improvement, focussing on the details. How can I pour more magic into my love life? How can I become an even better writer? How can I make my speaking more dynamic and reach more people?

When I focus on the things I mentioned above, my life will have more meaning, more joy, and be more fun. And that’s what I want. Let me be clear: I don’t have time for anything else! 

Adding something that I only kind of care about to my vision board isn’t going to help me create the kind of life I really want. It’s actually a distraction.

In fact, the less images on your vision board, the better.

You see, we’ve all been sold ideas of what we think we should want — diamonds and angel investors, children and a corner office, being Instagram famous and first class plane tickets — but we have to be ruthless in asking ourselves whether we really want those things. And if we do want them, why do we want them?

If you don’t ever want to buy a house, don’t! If you don’t ever want to have children, don’t! If you never want to turn your hobby into a business, don’t! Know what you want and pursue it mercilessly. You cannot be everything to everyone. Scattering your energy only leads to mediocrity. Stop trying to cover all your bases and give yourself permission to get high on the things you love! You are so much more powerful when you turn up the volume on the things you are already into. Your life will be so much juicier when you concentrate your passion!

So when you’re creating a vision board, think about the areas where you have already put in effort, because this shows you what you truly value! If you’re cutting out photos of beautiful homes but you’ve never even hung a piece of art in the place you live now, maybe the way your home looks doesn’t actually matter to you that much. You might be getting stuck on what you think you should want.

You need to know what actually matters to you. When you do, you can amplify the things you love and the joy radiates! On the flipside, when you’re confused about what’s really valuable to you, you end up chasing a life that other people convinced you you should want. (Enter stage left: your existential crisis.)

Don’t get suckered into filling your vision board with things that look nice but don’t actually matter to you. Get clear on your passions, narrow your focus, and watch your dreams blossom.

Smooches and starry eyes,

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@galadarling on Instagram

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