Do you have an ideal vision of yourself – the “you” you would like to be if only you could find the time…or had the right opportunities…or were given the right information…or made the right decisions? What would it be like to finally live that life? There’s actually a strategy you can use to help bring that vision into reality. I call it simply envisioning the future. Like a daydream, with meaning. In your mind, you see yourself succeeding: you…and improved.
Envisioning is not fantasizing; quite the opposite, it’s a practical, efficient technique to get clarity instantly by tapping into these rich stores of knowledge that sometimes get obscured in the chaos of daily life.
To envision your future, close your eyes and imagine yourself exactly where you want to be as a leader and in your life. Here are the steps.
Prepare. Set the context. What, specifically, do you want to envision?
Relax. Envisioning always works best when you are relaxed. Before you rush off to envision your future, slow down. Breathe.
Envision. Now imagine yourself at the time and place of your choosing – whatever and whenever it was you said you wanted to envision – and really see yourself there. Take it all in, using all of your senses and emotions, observing what it’s like to be you…then. Now take yourself on a tour. As if you were walking the scenes of a movie set, you move from one image to another. Your work. Your career. Your home life. You see it all while you’re there, visiting your future.
That’s it! Easy. When you’ve “looked around” this future vision of yourself, take time to debrief and interpret what you saw.
- What surprised you?
- Was there anything missing?
- How did it feel?
Questions like these help you anchor the images while they’re fresh in your mind.
You can get additional insight by interpreting the images you saw. Recall the details and think about what they might mean.
Finally, to find out how this process has clarified your ideas about what you want, write down the answer to this final question: “When you have achieved what you want to achieve…when you have become who you want to be…when you have done what you want to do…what will be true for you?” Keep what you write. This is your vision.
Would you like to try this exercise in more depth? I’ve put up a FREE audio recording in my own voice that you can use to do this visualization the “real” way, with your eyes closed and a coach walking you through the process slowly. You will find it at www.TheInnerEdge.com and clicking on Worksheets and Audios (on the left). Look for the You and Improved Visualization Audio. Enjoy the process!