The most powerful tool for creating the life and career you want? Solonia Teodros of The Change School says it’s all about the vision board…
“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe,” Oprah Winfrey once said – and if you’re looking to make a positive change and shake off self doubt or greatest fears holding you back from smashing your personal goals this year, these are wise words to live by. If 2018 is about making a bold move in your career, then read on about the life-changing magic of using a vision board to gain clarity on where you want to be. Psst: you might also want to join The Change School’s free five day challenge coming up on January 25 on how to Clearly Vision Your Bold Career Move. You don’t have to be here in Singapore to take part. But let’s start with that vision of yours…
I’m a visual person so I absolutely love vision boards. Mine sits on display in my home office so I can see it every day, because I’m a huge believer in the power of visualisation. If you’ve never seen or heard of a vision board, it’s a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and focus on a specific personal goal. A physical and visual representation of your deepest desires and what you want to have or do in your life.
When things can’t go on like this
At the end of 2016, as I was strolling down Emerald Hill, I had a sudden and complete breakdown. I literally froze in my tracks and burst into tears. The events of the year had built up emotions that I had bottled up and compartmentalised just to get through, but in that moment, my subconscious had decided it was time to release it all.
It’d been a year of trials and tribulations both personally and professionally. I’d spent the majority of that year working 12-hour days – chasing deadlines; feeling like I was on a hamster wheel running on empty – at a the expense of my health, my relationships, and my emotional stability. I’d lost sight of the ‘big’ picture, my sense of purpose, and my vision for the future. I’m usually a pretty positive person, so the fact that I was having a meltdown in the middle of Orchard Road – for no apparent reason – only exacerbated the feeling that I was losing connection to myself, my sense of purpose, and my reasons for pushing on.
In that moment, I realised the only way to get out of my ‘funk’ was to reconnect with my deeper self – my intuition, intentions and desires – in order to bring into focus the things that were lacking in my life and the things that I wanted – and needed – to change. I needed to envision my ideal life and to see it right in front of me. So I picked myself up, wiped my tears, turned up the music playing on my phone, and ran home as fast as my legs would carry me.
When I arrived, I frantically dragged out my dusty box of old magazines, a pair of scissors, a glue stick, and a large paper board I had from a workshop I’d recently run. I pulled out all the magazines I had, sprawled them out on the floor of my bedroom, plonked myself at the centre of the beautiful mess I’d created, and took three long, deep breaths.
As I focused on my breath, I reflected on why I was here, now, breathing my way to a positive headspace in order to create a Vision Board for myself. I realised that 2016 had been an extremely difficult year that challenged me in ways that were uncomfortable and confronting, but perhaps necessary for me to arrive at this very moment. My battle scars were there to remind me why I was pushing on, how I was able to endure, and what really mattered to me.
With this clarity, I knew my heart would guide me through the process of visioning the year ahead in order to manifest my true desires. So I began to flip the pages of my magazines.
The process of translating your goals and dreams into something visible and physical is nothing short of magical. If you’re an over-thinker like me, the cathartic process of feeling your desires, following your intuition and flowing in creativity that is awe-inspiring and self-empowering.
After about an hour, I had mapped out my vision for 2017 and it was staring right back at me.
Here’s how I interpreted exactly what I wanted to manifest in the year ahead:
- My inner balance: through breath work, meditation, hydration, restoration and managing my anxiety
- My authentic self: free-spirited, creative, musical, and a mosaic of cultures (and ‘colours’)
- My sources of fulfilment: love, nature, travel, mental calm, and escaping the ordinary
- My forward journey: bold, rising strong, purpose-driven, with new grit
- My goals: to become fearless on ‘stage’ (public speaking) and save up enough money to buy myself a bike!
- My theme for the year ahead: establish my “compelling adaptation of Betty Friedan’s the Feminine Mystique (which is in short, the false notion that a woman’s role in society is to be a wife, mother and housewife, and nothing else.”
Fast-forward to the end of 2017.
With my vision board in front me, I reflected on what I’d achieved that year and wrote it down in my journal.
- An invitation to take the TEDxAuckland stage with my co founder of The Change School, Grace, had marked the end of my fear of public speaking.
- One week after making my 2017 Vision Board, I found a great deal on a teal-coloured European city cruiser (almost identical to the image on my vision board) that I rode everyday, which not only saved me a huge amount of transportation expenses but indulged my love of feeling ‘free’, being outdoors, and surrounded by nature.
- My new morning routine that involved breath work, meditating, and a huge glass of warm lemon water, which helped me start each day hydrated, calm, and centred.
- My new evening routine that involved a daily ‘download’ with my husband, cooking dinner together, and an hour of ‘me time’, which did wonders for our relationship.
- We saved up a travel fund for short getaways to Sri Lanka, India, and Taiwan, and a year-end trip to the US and Canada for three weeks to see family and friends we hadn’t seen in years.
- I took my first solo trip to Indonesia and spent three days reading, colouring, and creating Spotify playlists to recharge my body, mind and spirit.
In other words, I’d smashed my vision and goals for 2017 – re-affirming my belief in the power of visualisation and intention-setting.
It goes without saying that we’re big believers of visioning at The Change School which is why we’ve always included this in our workshops and retreats aimed at helping people discover their true desires and manifest them into reality. As we’ve recently shifted into the online world with a focus on self-empowering people who want to make BOLD career changes, we know that the biggest and most important step to making it happen is to start with a vision.
That’s why we’re launching a FREE 5-Day Challenge this January 25th – LIVE on Facebook – to Clearly Vision Your Bold Career Move.
This challenge is perfect for anyone who is ready to begin the journey of change to a fulfilling and passionate career (and life)! Over the 5 days, Grace and I will guide you through a simple, easy to follow process for visioning your future PLUS I’ll be sharing my new 2018 vision board!
Here’s a sneak peek:
If you’re ready to create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life and work, then sign up to our FREE 5-Day Challenge at bit.ly/bcmchallenge . We can’t wait to see you there!
Like this story? Here’s more to check out:
How to listen to your inner compass
Are you getting in your own way? Get rid of self-limiting beliefs
Face your fears: What’s the worst that could happen?
Here’s how to finally switch off: the island retreat with no wifi
Living life more consciously: we talk to Stephanie Dickson of Green is the New Black