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Can you Imagine…?

I worked with a new client recently who shared that with the issues she has going on in her life, she could not imagine that her life could be any different.

She has been stuck in a rut for so long – unhappy with her health, her body, her relationships… she could not imagine that any of these issues could change. She reached out to me because she wanted to change those things that were making her feel miserable, but she could not imagine how she would be able to do that, wondered if change were possible and felt helpless over the “if” question… if it could be possible for her.

I think my client is not alone. If we get honest with ourselves, we all have a part(s) of our life that we desire to be different. Without the ability to imagine that part of our life could be different, we tell ourselves a story to try to accept it which sounds a lot like “I guess that’s just the way it is”. Have you had that thought? If you have, you know firsthand that thought will serve to keep you stuck, helpless and hopeless that anything can change.

Whether your lament is twenty pounds you are trying to shed, a bad or difficult relationship you would like to be healthier, safer, or more satisfying, or a job or business situation you are unhappy with, the truth is one of the things that keeps us stuck is that we cannot imagine it could be any different, because it’s not the way we want it now.

Some people have a natural ability to imagine the future they want, while others cannot see past what is right now.

Those that visualize or imagine what they want are able to help their brain see it by frequently tapping into that vision. It is also one of the strengths of many entrepreneurs- to imagine what does not yet exist.

However, for the vast majority of people, they cannot see past their current circumstances. And if they get stuck there, this will keep them from imagining that any part of their lives can improve.

My response to my client was to hear her. It was to validate that it can seem very difficult to see what Is not yet in existence. Furthermore, it can feel hopelessly discouraging to not see a way forward.

That is in part what the counseling process is about. It’s about realizing you don’t have the tools yet to go from here, to the destination you wish to arrive at. It’s also about learning to practice imagining what you want. Allowing yourself to go there. What do you look like 20 pounds thinner? What do you feel like when you imagine either choosing to leave that unhappy relationship or embark on a process to strengthen and repair it?

The big takeaway for my client that day, was to actually experience how powerful her brain is and how impactful her thoughts can be. We did an exercise that allowed her to physically, emotionally and mentally see the power that is contained within her, right now.

Sometimes what we need the most are a combination of imagination, new tools, experiences, new accurate thoughts and support to nudge us forward.

If you want something to be different in your life… if this is the year you want to actually accomplish a big shift, goal or desire, begin to imagine it first. Once you keep “seeing it” it will help your mind to know it is possible.

If you are having a difficult time imagining, create a vision board with photos- magazine or internet pics -that depict the things you desire. Give your brain a visual prompt daily that reminds you what you want to move toward.

Once you identify what you wish to be different, be sure to check in with your “why”- why that goal is so important to you and how your life will be different and better once you accomplish it.

Lastly, consider what you will do differently, what plan of action you will take. “Seeing” is just the first step. You will need to craft a plan of action that includes small daily steps to move you in the direction of accomplishing that which matters to you.

It starts with imagining and believing you can!

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