Part 1 of 3: Create a Vision
by Jen Verharen
I recently had a client say to me, “Everything on my vision board has come true this year. I can’t believe it!”
Huh? Believe me, if the logical, left side of your brain is going, “Yeah, right,” you’re not alone. It has taken me years of visioning for myself and seeing it work for clients to convince me that the power is real.
Visioning is the ability to imagine what will come to be. The vision you have for your life, your riding, a project, a particular dream, or even for the world gives you a destination. When you have a clear vision, you’re able to connect your daily activities to your future. You stop going around in circles, wondering why you keep passing the same places over and over again.
Vision is particularly important for equestrians. A life with horses is hardwired to be a roller coaster. We experience high highs and low lows. Having a vision can help you move through the tough stuff with resilience, grit, and grace. Visioning is not a talent limited to certain people. It’s a skill that can be learned and honed.
Vision provides context for your goals. A good goal is supported by and in alignment with a larger vision for your life. Visioning can help you uncover lost dreams, discover new ones, and give you a glimpse into what you’re truly capable of. You can represent your vision by writing it down or creating a vision board of words and images.
To begin your visioning process, step out of the comfy, well-worn boots you wear in the present and into the boots you’re wearing five years from now. Not only is it five years from now, but it has been the best five years of your life. You and I run into each other on the street and I ask you to tell me everything. What has happened? How do you feel? What have you accomplished? What have you learned? What are your days like?
Write down your answers. Let your imagination take over and do not entertain buts, can’ts, should, or won’ts. For now, don’t think about how you will make things happen. Stay focused whole-heartedly on what you want to create. Take time to do this. Once you’ve written your vision down, create a visual representation of it in whatever form calls you. Place it somewhere you’ll see it often.
Consider this: you don’t ask for a shoulder-in without knowing what the aids are and having a clear picture in your head of what you want. You don’t start your show jumping round without knowing the course, what lines you intend to take, and the pace you want. Yet so many of us wander through life without knowing what we really want to create and accomplish. Getting clear on your vision for your life will allow you to make conscious choices instead of winging it. You’ll make important decisions more easily, sustain motivation, and fulfill your true potential now rather than “someday.” It’s true. I see this happening with my riders and clients every day!
Most of us tend to focus on the past. Whether we want to relive a favorable time in life or avoid the recurrence of unpleasant events, it’s fear of what might happen, rather than desire, that most powerfully informs our lives. We get comfortable and feel safe when we’re living to avoid risk. When you start creating your vision, you may find yourself thinking more about what is not possible and all the reasons you won’t be able to do this rather than about what you really want. If this happens, ask yourself the vision questions again and set aside habitual, negative thoughts as they come up.
I like to talk about what you want to create versus what you want to have. The attainment of possessions, credentials, and awards are an important part of your vision and represent meaningful accomplishments. They will not stand up alone, however, to the challenges inherent in manifestation unless you connect them to a sense of purpose and to your core values. While you’re visioning, keep asking yourself, “Why is this important to me?” and “What will be possible once I’ve accomplished it?”
Creating a vision is an important step to take before you set goals. If you’d like to make this the year you really go for it, take the time to get clear about what you really want.
Check out “Take The Reins: A Goal Setting & Empowerment Project For Riders” at www.takethereinscoaching.com
Jen Verharen is a professional performance and business coach. She is a United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Certified Instructor, USDF “L” judge’s program graduate with distinction, USDF bronze & silver medalist, United States Pony Club “A” graduate and a United States Pony Club National Examiner. Jen has competed and trained at the upper levels in both dressage and eventing. She has a BA in organizational psychology/ mental health and is a certified Health and Wellness Coach, Transformational Life Coach and mediator. She’s been a life-long student of the human psyche and spirit as well as a rider. Her business, Cadence Coaching, specializes in providing performance coaching and business training for equestrians. You can find more of what Jen offers at www.cadence-coach.com