Once upon a time, I dreamed of recreating a vision board with all of my heart’s desires beautifully depicted. There would be languages I wanted to learn, children playing in the dirt, and luscious gardens with food waiting to be picked to feed my family.
Then reality hit…
Do vision boards actually work?
I did what any modern-day person with a smartphone would do – I Googled. Of course, there was no shortage of articles touting the powerful abilities of a vision board, but I stumbled across one, that quite honestly, was pure gold.
(It’s linked here for those who want it straight from the horse’s mouth.)
The article mentions a study where a group of students is asked to visualize themselves acing a test while another group is asked to picture themselves studying for it. Guess who got higher scores on the test? If you guessed the group seeing themselves put in the work, you are correct!
It all began to click. Possibly the most important part of achieving our goals is being able to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Well, that explains a lot.
I’ve always been the type to think if I want to accomplish something bad enough, I’ll put up with all of the hiccups and hard work to get there. As it turns out, I did a better job of convincing myself it wasn’t that important to me so I could search for something easier and less complicated to do. Better yet, I’d tell myself I simply wasn’t cutout for it, so don’t bother trying.
Here’s the thing, if I want to learn Spanish, I have to be willing to potentially embarrass myself by mispronouncing words because Rs are hard enough for me in English. If I want to learn American Sign Language, it would help to enroll in classes, but I also need to put in the work in practicing to speed up my hands and also not have to stare at someone’s hand to have any clue what they were saying. (It’s not proper). If I want to be healthy, I might have to say no to a few pieces of cake, choose to eat more vegetables, and break a sweat more frequently. If I want to write a children’s book, I have to actually write and understand that I’ll probably face a good amount of rejection during the process. If I want to share recipes on here, I have to get in the kitchen, make a mess, and possibly screw some grub up. If I want to have a garden that’s capable of feeding my family, I have to do more than put some seeds in the ground, add some water, and hope for the best.
As it turns out, gardening became the first thing I really applied this mentality to. While my garden has been a place for me to connect to my inner child by playing in the dirt, discover more about the natural world, somewhat peacefully coexist with pincher bugs and respect their place in the world, and honor my grandpa’s farm roots, what I really want is to nourish my family with its produce. I want to see their faces when they taste the impeccable flavor of something grown with our own soil and know I’m providing them with a meal that’s fresh and energy-giving. If I really want that, and trust me, I do, that means learning more, putting more effort in, and spending more time on it. I ordered a garden book and some seed starting trays, bought better soil, and got going. My seeds are sprouting up, my garden beds are ready to go with their beautiful dirt, and I’m getting comfortable with the amount of work it will require to make this vision into a reality.
Thanks to that article, I now see the power of visualizing yourself in those difficult or unpleasant situations and working through them to overcome them. Obviously, don’t get so obsessive where you’re picturing everything terrible that could possible go wrong, but a fair amount of imagined obstacles would be beneficial. Garden examples would be grasshoppers eating my plant babies, the cat using the garden beds as a playground (or litter box), or the sun being relentless. Perhaps the more we see ourselves being resilient, however, the more it just becomes what we do, part of who we are.
So get out there and get your hands dirty! I know I will be.