I was going through some old keepsake papers and organizing them into an accordion folder the other day. I came across an old vision board I created on a piece of paper from around 2009, when I was 26 years old. A vision board is a place to post pictures of things you want or experiences you want to have. For example, you could post a picture of a beach from a magazine or a stock photo to represent a desire to go on a beach vacation.
One of the pictures on my vision board especially caught my eye. It was an ad from a magazine I had clipped out. It was a clothing company ad that showed a picture of a fashionable styled younger woman wearing a pretty dress with a light scarf around her neck. I remember choosing it for my vision board because one of my aspirations was to work on my personal style and have a better wardrobe. I wanted to feel more put together. I noticed that when I went shopping sometimes I would just pick random things that I liked, but nothing I picked out necessarily went well with other things I already had. I wanted my wardrobe to be more intentional. For me, having nice clothes to wear was a form of self-care. I wanted to look nice, but didn't want to break the budget either. This was a couple years before I started ModestPop.
I am a believer in visualizing the successes you want to have, also known as manifesting. Our brains are more likely to be creative and find solutions to our problems or find ways to make our aspirations possible if we acknowledge what we want and get excited and hopeful about it. If we put intent and energy behind something, we're more likely to be productive and focused to somehow make it happen.
At the time, the thought of starting an online clothing company for women and teens had never crossed my mind. Life can sneak up on you like that. Opportunity, like a lack of options in the fashion world specializing in modest clothing, and intention, like wanting to have more cute clothes in my own closet, can merge in unexpected ways. Especially when an unexpected heat wave makes not having lots of modest options that don't require layering really frustrating. Frustrating enough to think, "what can be done?"
This is one of the reasons I love the simplicity of vision boards so much. They are not a well thought out business plan with steps A to Z clearly laid out. They are just a few pictures of hopes that have not yet materialized. There's no concern over "the how." There's no expectation to fill in the gaps of the journey that will happen to get those hopes to turn into a reality. They are just simply the first step in moving towards what you want. You just have to give that hope a name and a picture. Once we do that, once we give ourselves permission to express what we desire, our brains have a better chance of figuring it out, one step at a time.
Intentions matter. Thoughts matter. Having positive energy around our desires matters. Our brains are more creative when we give ourselves space to hope, be imaginative, like we give children that room to just be kids. We can't be creative when we tell ourselves, "this will never happen." We won't be risk-takers if we tell ourselves, "it will be embarrassing if everyone sees me fail." I learned the power of thoughts after I graduated from college with a degree in sociology (a beautiful education but also a career path to almost nowhere) and then discovered the field of life coaching. Life coaching school taught me that the stories we tell ourselves matter. Our stories boil down to simple thoughts and core beliefs we believe about ourselves and the world. Our stories and core beliefs can be empowering or stunting. We get to choose.