As a Dream Builder Coach, one of the critical practices my clients and I continually work on is to operate in the Land of Make Believe. While this has the potential to sound delusional or related to an episode of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” there are many articles and books that promote the power of creating our desires first in the playground of the mind, followed by taking inspired action. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and The Power of Imagination by Neville are two that spring to mind from my training. In this material, we’re taught that success begins by honing a vision, then acting as if it is already our reality. Of course, for coaching purposes we call it something more sophisticated and motivational than “make believe.” Essentially, we consider how the person we wish to be would act or conduct his- or herself in any given moment, even in as mundane a task as doing the laundry. For example, one could ask “How would I, as the successful CEO of my own company conduct myself? How would I dress? What inspired actions would a successful CEO like me be taking with the resources I have right now?” Another example: “How would I as a woman who has found the love of my life be in this moment?” My mentor, Mary Morrissey, the architect of the Dream Builder program, calls this “putting on the gorilla suit.” We are acting as if our desired outcome has already come to pass, incorporating the related feelings we would be experiencing as this person, followed by action. This practice requires consistent use of our imagination, especially when our life is far from this vision. (That’s where coaching comes in!) The good news is that we don’t have to be perfect at it. It’s a more-often-than-not equation.
Even the words, “make believe” imply that we are bringing our beliefs into reality. We’re making what we believe. And guess what? We are, whether we do this consciously or unconsciously. By design or by default. The way we play today determines the look of our tomorrows. Edgar Cayce, a Christian mystic, put it this way: “Mind is the builder. Your life is the result.” Using the imagination comes naturally to children, but by the time we are seven years old, most of our innate imaginative processes have been conditioned out of us, especially in traditional elementary schools where we are repeatedly reminded to sit up straight and pay attention, and to stop daydreaming.
I had a really rough start in my early years of elementary school. My father kept our school report cards in a file in his desk. Years later, he handed mine over to me. I was so sad for the little first grade and second grade me, as I read about my day dreaming and not performing up to the preferred standard for someone my age. At age six, I remember looking at all the worksheets we were given to fill out and wondered why the heck we had to do such a boring task. I just was not cut out for early conformity.
So, how do we re-capture something that came so naturally to us when we were little? I believe that we must re-condition ourselves to play again with our imagination, as if developing and training an important muscle group that has atrophied. During a vision workshop with me, my guests are invited to participate in quite a few exercises that require imagination and related interaction. We have a lot of fun and most walk away feeling inspired from the play they’ve engaged in, especially if they commit to playing “full out.” Not only is it possible to bring our imagination back to the forefront of our lives, it also raises our feelings of well-being, our level of confidence and shows up in the realms of creative thinking to solve challenges of all kinds.
While this practice incorporates the Law of Attraction, it is only a piece of the puzzle to bring ourselves into our desired outcome. As with learning any new practice, we improve over time. We get better and better at it, but we will never become perfect at holding the image at all times. Believe me, I am still working at this, and some days are better than others! The reason we fall off the wagon is that our logical mind will jump in and remind us that we are nowhere near the life of the person we are emulating. Fortunately, the Dream Builder program has many tools to see “the voice of reason” for what it most often is: a paradigm that keeps us stuck!
Join me in the Land of Make Believe and put yourself in a place you’d love to be!