Throw away your dream board
and visualize the right thing
A lot of personal coaches will tell you that to boost your chances of success on your biggest life goals, you need to imagine yourself having achieved that goal.
Many will also suggest that you create a dream board (aka Vision Board) with colourful pictures of everything you want, or believe you will become, to help you with that.
The question is – do these boards really work?
The truth is clear and is hard to hear
…and yes, I am sorry if someone’s led you to believe that a dream board will help you – but it won’t.
Indeed, for a great many people, aiming at all sorts of personal goals, the dream/vision board exercise has been proven to be counterproductive.
Various studies have shown that fantasizing about a dream future reduces your chances of success – because it reduces the likelihood that you’ll put in the work necessary to make it a reality.
So, this is just one of many silly, voodoo ideas with no basis in fact – as Dr Richard Wiseman summarises nicely here:
Of course, I do realise that this truth might not be nice to hear – if it disagrees with your current beliefs… and again I’m sorry about that.
All I’d ask is that you don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just trying to help.
You need to look carefully at the evidence on ideas that promise to help you to boost your performance.
You’ll also need to watch out for ‘confirmation bias’ as you consider any change in your thinking.
Confirmation bias is an extremely powerful force which drives us to ignore evidence when we want something to be true – often because we’ve previously believed in that idea.
… but what if you’re sure that visualisation is helpful?
OK. So, let’s be clear.
Visualisation can be helpful… but only if, as Dr Wiseman said, you focus on the right thing – on the next step you need to take and how you’ll take it.
That’s very different to dreaming about your destination.
Now, if you prefer to hear ideas like this from a sporting icon – rather than me or a Psychologist or Psychotherapist, this is what Bill Shankly had to say on the issue.
Bill Shankly was one of the greatest football (Soccer) managers of all time.
It’s also fair to say that many other brilliant minds worked this out – a long time ago too.
So, what is your best next step?
Well, that will depend on what you’re trying to achieve but one thing we know for sure is that we can all benefit from guidance – provided that we take it from someone who’s done what we’re trying to do… or from someone who really knows how to coach and doesn’t use ‘woo woo’ ideas 😉
According to Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft:
Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether we’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.
We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.
Whilst Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google said:
Every famous performer has a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say, ‘is that what you really meant?’
A coach gives you perspective – and that’s the one thing none of us are good at – seeing ourselves as others see us. So a coach really helps.
Best next steps now
If you’d like to avoid, or give up on, Voodoo ideas about personal performance – and get solid, evidence-based, ideas for achieving more of your goals:
Second, when you have time, try reading this 10-minute Insight on the three words that could change your life.
That, like everything you’ll find here, is based on solid science.
And thanks for dropping in
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