Do Vision Boards Work? Depends on Who You Ask.
Do you believe in the power of vision boards? Some people swear by them, while others think they’re a bunch of nonsense. So, what’s the truth? Do vision boards actually work? The answer is…maybe. Let’s take a closer look at what they are and how/if they can help you achieve your goals.
What is the point of a vision board?
Some people believe that vision boards can help you manifest your dreams and goals by helping you to stay focused on what you want to achieve. Others believe that they are simply a tool for self-expression.
The idea behind a vision board is it is a creative/visual way to organize your goals and help you gain clarity about the things you want to achieve.
Do vision boards actually help?
It depends who you ask! There are competing theories and studies regarding the efficacy of vision boards. We’ll examine both perspectives and let you decide.
What Science Says About Vision Boards
There have been a few studies attempting to answer the question, “Do vision boards actually work?” The truth is, you can find scientific evidence to support either answer to that question. That’s because there’s nuance to the question you have to consider. We’ll briefly explore these and let you decide!
Science That Supports Vision Boards
Proponents of vision boards point to studies that examine the psychology behind using them to help achieve your dreams.
In an interview with CNBC, psychiatrist and executive coach Tara Swart is an ardent advocate of vision boards – if used correctly.
According to Swart, seeing photographs on a vision board sharpens the mind’s receptors for possibilities that may otherwise go unnoticed.
This is because the brain has a technique known as “value-tagging,” which imprints critical information onto your subconscious and eliminates superfluous data. The greater you look at those pictures, the more important they become.
Vision boards also promote visualization – a tool used by high-power executives, elite athletes, and everyday folks you like and me.
There’s a caveat, however.
Visualization works when you use it to picture the process for achieving your goal. It’s not effective when you limit visualization to just imagining life after you’ve achieved your goal. In fact, doing that actually has the opposite effect.
Why Science Says Vision Boards Are Pointless
Let’s look at the flipside. There is scientific evidence that also shows that vision boards are a waste of time.
It all has to do with visualizing the process versus the outcome. The University of California conducted a study that asked one group of students to visualize getting an A on an exam, and another group to visualize studying for the exam.
The group who visualized scoring well ended up performing worse than the group who visualized studying.
Because vision boards often focus on outcomes instead of processes, there are many scientists who say, “Just ditch them altogether.”
They argue that creating vision boards have the unintended consequence of detracting people from envisioning positive action towards goals, focusing instead on how they’ll feel after the goal is achieved.
That’s problematic because it tricks to brain into thinking you’ve already achieved your goal which has a negative impact on taking positive action towards getting there in reality.
So should you keep doing vision boards?
That’s entirely up to you!
If you do decide to create vision boards, make sure the images help you focus on the process and actions you must take in order to achieve your goals. There’s no reason to think you can’t tweak your vision board process to be more effective.
Prefer to put your energies elsewhere? That’s cool, too! There are many avenues towards achieving goals and what works for one might be a waste of time for another.
One thing’s for sure – if you pick a strategy that motivates you to take positive action towards your goals, you’ll get there faster!
What’s your go-to strategy for meeting goals?
Comment below and share your tips!