Introduction to Vision Boards

by Kevin on May 27, 2015

Visualizing what you really want in life can be one of the most powerful ways to manifest your dreams. A vision board can be a simple and yet truly powerful tool in visualization.

Vision boards are also known as goal maps, goal boards and treasure maps, and the concepts behind them have been used for generations. Still, they’re gathering renewed interest as people realize how powerful they can be in bringing dreams to life.

Use these basic guidelines to create this tool for yourself:

1. A vision board begins with a foundation. This may be a poster board, foam board, tri-fold board, or cork board. Use what works best for you. Choose a foundation that speaks to you, one that you feel you can easily and effectively build upon.

2. A vision board includes imagery. You can clip pictures out of books, magazines, or the newspaper. If you prefer, you can draw the images yourself. What matters here is that images are present, because your vision board needs to be visual in nature. Seeing pictures of your priorities, dreams, and goals will help you focus on them.

• Allow yourself to experiment with different mediums while creating the images for your vision board. Find photographs, sketches, clip art and other images; then draw any subjects for which you couldn’t find an appropriate piece of art.

3. A vision board includes writing. Writing isn’t mandatory, but it can play a role in identifying the key pieces of information. You want to make sure that you can look at your vision board at any point in the future and know exactly what you intended by each picture, word or thought included on it.

Your goal map is limited only by the extent of your personal creativity. It may be simple and strategic or it may be a highly detailed work of art. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what best suits your needs.

The general elements in an effective and motivating vision board are:

1. Visual. Your subconscious tends to work in terms of images and pictures, and so your vision board should be as visual as you can possibly make it. Supplement the images with phrases and words as needed.

2. Emotional. Every image on your goal map should evoke some type of positive emotional response out of you. Seeing it should fuel your motivation to achieve your dreams.

3. Strategic. This tool should be placed strategically in a location where you receive maximum exposure to it. Seeing your vision board as often as possible will help you stay focused on your goals and dreams.

4. Personal. Your vision board needs to emit positive energy. If you think that you’ll be criticized or forced to justify yourself for your vision board, then keep it in a private location so nobody else can bother it or you.

Beyond these basic guidelines, let this tool be whatever you want to make of it. Ultimately, it’s yours to design, develop and utilize as you see fit. You can add to it and change it over time as your goals and focuses change.

Make your own subliminal messages

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Criticism at work can stimulate professional and personal growth if you know how to deal with it effectively. Here are some guidelines for adopting a positive mindset and responding to feedback from supervisors and colleagues.

Taking a Positive View of Criticism

1. Stay relaxed. If you try to appear calm and confident, you’re more likely to feel that way. Keeping your emotions under control will enable you to listen better. Take some deep breaths and keep your body language open.

2. Look on the bright side. If you’re sensitive to criticism, remind yourself of your good qualities and the many things that you do well. Maintain a good work-life balance so you can draw on support from your loved ones or spiritual practices to help manage any tension at the office.

3. Keep an open mind. Your co-workers may have valuable suggestions for areas where you can improve. Respect their point of view. Be receptive to new ideas and alternative approaches. You might learn something that makes your job easier.

4. Look for the humor in the situation. Even if you receive unjustified comments, you can make them easier to deal with by noticing the comic elements. For example, if a customer blames you for their expired coupons, respond tactfully without taking it too seriously.

5. Take a compassionate view. Your supervisor may speak harshly about your performance because they’re stressed about pressures in their own life. Give others some leeway if you know they just came out of a difficult budget meeting or are experiencing challenges at home.

Responding to Feedback From Supervisors and Colleagues

1. Invite feedback. Asking for feedback regularly beats waiting for the annual performance review. You’ll get prompt and specific guidance for doing your job better, and you’ll demonstrate your ability to take initiative.

2. Ask questions. Show the other person you’re really listening by asking pertinent questions. You’ll also clarify any areas of doubt.

3. Hear the other person out. Let the other person speak without interruptions. For the moment, pay attention to them instead of working to prepare a defense.

4. Conduct a self-appraisal. Regularly evaluate your own work. It will give you a stronger foundation for reflecting on your colleagues’ remarks.

5. Focus on the message. Distinguish between the content of the message and the manner of delivery. Even if you think someone is being less than courteous, there could still be some truth in what they’re saying.

6. Get a second opinion. Surveying other people around the office is helpful if you need some objective input. You may find out that your experience is typical. On the other hand, you may discover that you’ll need to make a special effort if you and your boss appear to be a difficult fit.

7. Document your position. If there’s an ongoing disagreement, find ways to support your conclusions. Industry statistics or internal memos may strengthen your case. However things turn out, you’ll contribute to a constructive and informed dialogue.

8. Be gracious. Set a good example by offering your feedback in a way that’s timely and specific. Focus on people’s conduct rather than their personalities. This will encourage better morale and office communications. Show your willingness to cooperate with everybody even when you experience occasional conflicts.

9. Schedule a follow-up session. Let people know how much you appreciate their advice. After you’ve had time to implement their suggestions, tell them how they helped to improve your performance. This will also give you a chance to make a better impression on them.

Make criticism at the office work to your advantage. Use feedback from others to improve your performance and advance in your career.

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