Quick, before we dive in! I am so ecstatic to join this amazing team of lady bosses and meet you all. I’m Lexi, one of the new additions to Sweet Success Society (get caught up on all the latest and greatest news here) and we can break the ice over at the brand-new MEET THE TEAM. I hope you’re ready to embark on an incredible journey as the five of us hit the ground running with rebuilding Sweet Success Society to best help you in becoming the most successful, badass lady you can possibly be. I look forward to getting to know you and please let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
Okay, let’s get started!
We understand the power of writing down our goals and we’re familiar with the concept of vision boards. But let’s take both those ideas, combine them and go even further with creating a vision of precisely what we want by writing down the best possible connections, professions, lifestyles and environments. It’s an incredibly effective way of manifesting that paints the picture of the perfect finish line that your mind can imagine—and from there, you’ll continue to grow and build on its awesomeness, so I suppose it ends up being a really great check-point instead of finish line.
You can do this exercise for virtually anything: The perfect significant other, your dream career, a community you would love to move to, and oh so much more. Because you see, we get caught up in our routines, lost in the weeds of adulting. We may complain about our job or our significant other, but there is a fine line between everyday challenges and feeling stuck in an unfulfilling pattern. When we take a step back and answer the questions revolving around “What can I bring into my life that contributes to the best version of myself? What qualities in a career, individual, place, etc. will benefit me to be the happiest, most successful I can be?” our mind’s wheels start turning and we begin imagining positive change.
The trick is not to attach a specific place, job title or individual to these exercises. We’re looking to create, recognize and understand an overall vision that explores every nook and cranny opportunity, not necessarily pinpoint it on one thing and link ourselves to that. I believe that’s where it leans more toward goal-writing (which is fantastic!), though to take that step we need to first fully comprehend our “best life” vision. Unless of course, you’re 110% sure you know exactly who/what/when/where, in which case all the power to ya because that probably means you’ve already done some form of this whether you realize it or not.
I’ll give you three personal examples (bear with me).
Example #1: Envisioning the most incredible, encouraging and supportive community/city where you will thrive.
I was a sophomore in college and extremely excited at the prospect of studying abroad the following year. The only thing was, I wanted to go anywhere and everywhere—which didn’t narrow down my search for the perfect program and destination. So, I pulled out a pen and paper and simply began writing everything down that I would love. Yes, some of the items on this list contradicted each other (or at least, that’s what it looked like on paper), but I kept writing everything that came to mind.
I imagined myself living near a beach with the opportunity to explore the mountains. Immerse myself in a different culture that speaks preferably Spanish, without a tourist vibe. A colorful community, rich with history. An affordable program with ample scholarship opportunities and the support of a host-family, while maintaining my sense of independence. Plenty of opportunities to explore nearby countries. You get the idea.
At the end of this three-page list, I took a step back and looked at it. Okay, so a different language and culture popped up in several places, so I crossed England and Australia off my list. A non-touristy and unique spot were also general themes, so I eliminated the signature study abroad European locations. At that point, I was stumped. So what did I do? I walked right into the study abroad office on University of Colorado’s campus and handed my counselor the list. She input multiple filters according to my list and came up with ONE search result: Valparaiso, Chile. Yep, you guessed it—that’s where I lived for six months, and I had never even heard of the city before. As it turns out, the study abroad program and location was positively perfect for me, and I never would have known about it without this list.
Example #2: Understanding and embracing the qualities and characteristics of your perfect partner.
Three years ago, someone we’ll call the Italian Stallion broke my heart. I knew from the get-go that we wouldn’t live happily ever after, but there was a fiery spark all the same. As I picked myself back up and thought about the kind of healthy relationship I wanted, needed and—most of all—deserved, I began writing down what I envisioned to be my ideal man.
I took all my favorite qualities from past boyfriends and what attracted me to them and wrote them down. I thought of every time I imagined “I wish he was more ____” and wrote it down. The way he looks at me, the consistent emotions I feel in his presence, his relationships and background, his values and motivations, right down to his looks.
I kid you not when I say a week after I wrote this five-page list of what the perfect man means to me, I met my boyfriend (the one I moved to California for). Sure, he may not be as tall as I indicated on paper, but the important stuff is absolutely there. Like a good relationship with his family, genuinely bonds with my family, makes every effort to appreciate my friends, has drive and passion within his career, indisputable trust between us, and we can sit around and laugh at ourselves and each other till the sun comes up.
Example #3: Laying out your dream career, the ideal work environment and the benefits tailored to you.
A year and a half ago, I lived in my parents’ basement and was desperately trying to find a job in my desired marketing field. If you asked me to specifically describe what kind of job that meant, I couldn’t tell you. “Anything associated with marketing” was pretty much my only answer, so I did this same exercise for my profession to figure out, well, what I truly wanted out of my profession.
I input what I’d love my salary and benefits to consist of, I wrote down how I wanted my job to make me feel when I started and finished each day, I dived into daily tasks, responsibilities, interactions and schedules. I thought about the work environment and its culture, management behavior and teamwork. Etc, etc.
Several months into my first marketing job out here in Sacramento, I found this list filed away from the move. I had honestly forgotten about it, and was completely stunned when I read what I wrote six months previously because there were so many parallels. Was I at my dream job? The honest answer was no, I actually left that agency to join an established and reputable national agency that, indeed, fit even more from my list only a few weeks later. However, there’s no way I would have landed this second marketing position if I hadn’t started at the first agency.
My point here is:
If you don’t know what you want, how is the Universe supposed to know? I am a firm believer in manifestation—I have too many personal experiences that prove it is real and it is active in our everyday lives. It is our responsibility to understand where that finish line is and make it as clear as possible (hint: writing every detail down), so that we enable ourselves with tools to help us succeed in every aspect of life.
Because my friends, we have this one beautiful life to live, made up of experiences, emotions and connections. If we ask ourselves what we want, who we want, where we want and answer some form of “I don’t know,” don’t you get frustrated with yourself? I know I do, and I know when I ask my friends and that’s their response, I just want to grab them by the shoulders and shake ‘em.
I’m not saying if you write down every detail of everything you want in life that it’ll magically appear. I’m right there with you wishing the world worked that way. But I am saying that by fully recognizing and understanding what you want and need for a fulfilling life, you’re naturally going to be more aware with a clearer vision. That self-awareness builds self-confidence, which leads to decision-making and actions, ultimately resulting in positive change that YOU make happen.
Don’t let “I don’t know” be part of your vocabulary for what you want in life. Maybe top of mind, you don’t know right away—but once you really start asking yourself questions and writing your answers down, you’ll realize that your subconscious actually does know what you want. You may see things on that piece of paper you had no idea were important to you ten minutes ago. It helps you recognize your patterns, aspirations and values—and it’s literally right there in front of you.
It can be hard to break away from that “I don’t know what I want” mentality. Trust me, I understand. That’s exactly why we’ve added a vision worksheet (for lack of a better word) to help you get started and get the brain juices flowing. (As of Monday, April 17 we have “Envision Your Perfect Partner,” so keep checking back as we add more vision worksheets!) I recommend doing this exercise with pen and paper, though type away if that’s how you roll!
Have you ever written down your vision? Do you feel you have a firm understanding of what you want in various areas of your life?