Vision Boards and The Brain!

Coming back to work (my own business) after my father died suddenly has been really hard. I have travelled home to London from New Zealand and after six weeks away, feel dislocated from my normal life on London. As a coach and mentor I am supposed to motivate others and help them achieve goals but now the last thing I feel like doing is that, or even doing it to myself.

Then it clicked……what tool in my large tool box can I use to boost my flagging spirits and help me recapture energy and motivation to what I know I really want to be doing?

It was, of course, my vision board. That personal and inspirational collection of images, words and colours, that when I created it 6 months ago defined where I wanted to go. Before all of this, every time I looked at it, I felt uplifted, on purpose and ready to get going on the next task at hand!

Even thinking about my vision board as I write starts to lift my spirits. But why?

From a neuroscience perspective, vision boards work as follows:

  • When you are creating it and choose images that ‘feel’ right, you are accessing your subconscious. As you may know, it is the subconscious that drives our thinking much of the time
  • Chances are your vision board makes you feel different. You probably feel happier, motivated, inspired or something similar. When you feel these emotions you are releasing a burst of oxytocin and dopamine into your brain – ‘feel good’ neuropeptides. These will help to energise you and get you into action
  • Looking at the vision board focuses your thinking. What you think you become…or in a more expanded way – what you think impacts your feelings. What you feel impacts what you do and what you do impacts your results. So by thinking about your board and lifting your feelings this will help you take those actions you know you need to if you are to achieve the aspects of your vision board
  • Each time you look at the board you are creating new neural pathways – this means you are creating a different way of thinking about your future and desires. This new way of thinking helps you to learn and to take new actions
  • By imprinting the vision board on your brain (by looking at it frequently) you will start to unconsciously become more aware of opportunities, connections and conversations that will help you achieve your vision board. This is called Reticular Activation – you have probably experienced this already – ever made a decision to buy a specific model car and then you suddenly start seeing it everywhere? This isn’t because they suddenly started making more of them but rather you have subconsciously started to become more aware of them because you made the decision to buy one. Imagine if you had this subconscious help to achieve your vision!

Vision boards are great – they are inspiring and motivating and most of all they are great fun to make!

Your say: I would love to see your vision boards and your experiences of using them! Write below and let me know!

  • Heather Kirkup

    Wendy

    I totally agree with you on Visonborads :) ! They are amazingly useful for kickstarting your imagination to create the life you really wnat to lead.
    I did one last April at a retreat, where we were asked to have one side depicting our life as we currently saw it and then the other side showing where we wanted to go, ie the things we wanted o show up in our lives going forward. It was a very powerful exercise and confirmed the value of visonboards for anyone, but particularly if you are stuck, or having difficutly realising an aim or ambition. Somehow it makes it real, but maintains the creativity we need to realise that in our daily lives !
    A fabulous coaching tool :)

    Heather

    • wendykerr

      Thanks Heather – I love your example of the use of them for showing up the contrast in your life. I also think they are great tools to let our imagination run free and be unconstrained by our own rational thoughts.
      Warmly,
      Wendy

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