It's no secret that going from internalizing our ideas to visualizing them increases the chances of our thoughts becoming things.
Cue in the power of vision boards — a crafty way of using pictures and objects pasted onto a board that you reflect on daily. The irony is, while vision boards are great at displaying and ingraining our dreams, many people are sleeping on 'em. But not Miss Union.
Recently, actress Gabrielle Union got honest about her more intimate goal initiatives when she revealed she keeps a pregnancy test on her own dream board. And not just any test, but a positive one. The author told Redbook:
"I make a vision board every year. Some of the pictures on my first one were of a haircare line, Kenya, and a Clearblue pregnancy test.... The only things that have not come to pass are a cosmetics line, Machu Picchu, and a baby."
But perhaps as important as the power of intention, is the necessity of specificity, something even Gabby is learning. Too often we are modest with our personal demands, as if we fear God or the universe will deem us greedy or ungrateful if we were to "ask for too much," in turn punishing us with absolutely nothing. So we can be very general in asking for our wants, versus being very specific about our desires.
"I've had the positive [pregnancy test] stick, but also a number of miscarriages, so maybe I just have to go more specific and show a woman with a human being traveling through her orifices. I'll put those things back on this year's board and see what happens."
Last year, the wife and stepmom opened up about coming down with a case of the (Clear)blues after suffering 8-9 miscarriages during her attempts at getting pregnant via IVF. However, despite the losses, Gabby doesn't discredit her wins, but instead, only reaffirms the power of being intentional when it comes to goal-setting and being very detailed and specific when it comes to the life you want.
Despite her strengths, Gabby also has her weaknesses when it comes to staying true to her intentions. Part of what contributes to this is a lack of self-compassion, something even Gabby was quick to admit she also struggles with. The 45-year-old later goes on to open up about the dangers of the self-doubt that settles in once you actually get what you want:
"Over the years, I'd been approached with ideas for things like my own clothing line, and I'd have those momentary feelings of, 'I got picked! Yay!' And then it was, 'Oh God, they're going to figure out that I have no value.' Part of that is I didn't have my own style. I was always looking to others for outside validation, so I would've basically been like,'Well, who's popular right now? Let's try to look like that person.' If you don't have your own style, how are you going to design a line?'"
"As goals manifest, I've been able to look at my boards and say, 'Damn, I put in a lot of work and deserve it.' That's helped me to stop feeling suspicious of joy. To not sabotage something before I've had a chance to do it because I assume I'll be rejected."
Okay, serious question ladies — when will we start accepting that when it comes to our own joy, and the wonderful things that we manifest into our lives, that we not only deserve it, we've earned it?
Unfortunately, Gabby's feelings of self-sabotage are all too familiar and common, especially in the ambitious woman. And while being a perfectionist may have its perks, self-condemnation is the curse of perfectionism, and perfectionism turns into punishment real quick when we fail to forgive our naturally flawed selves.
In the meantime, it's important to keep in mind that life is not about perfection, it's about perspective. Gabrielle Union doesn't simply use or view her vision board as a "wish list," so much as she does a "checklist." She's done this, so she deserves that! And quite frankly, so do you!
And while the 45-year-old star is still waiting and anticipating adding "mom" to her resume, she is making sure to count her blessings along the way. Word of advice, make a "happy list," folks:
"I started working with a life coach who asked me to list things that make me happy, and one of my top three was imitation crab! You're not on the right track if you say imitation crab. So the life coach started to ask questions: 'What don't you like? What annoys you? Have you ever experienced euphoria?' Examine those moments and you'll start to figure out who you really are."
Duly noted, Mrs. Union-Wade!
Read Gabrielle's full feature story for the March 2018 issue of Redbook here.