Visioning – good for your brain & your business

Personal Growth

Written by Tracey Burns

January 5, 2023

Do you remember engaging in make believe when you were a child? The minute you thought of what you wanted to be, you transformed yourself into an astronaut landing on the moon, someone who could talk to animals, a shopkeeper with jars of free candy to share with all your friends.

In my case I was always trying to fly, fully believing that one day I would. My other favourite was to jump from couch to chair avoiding the carpet where alligators awaited as I yelled to my parents to “watch out”!

Make believe plays an important part in children’s development with many benefits, including enhancement of the capacity for cognitive flexibility and, ultimately, creativity. ~ Russ, 2004; Singer & Singer, 2005

Think back to one of your favourite make believe times and remember how vivid your imagination was. Perhaps you held imaginary tools, imagined strange new terrain you had to climb over, maybe you wore superhero capes made of pillow cases, wore paper crowns adorned with crayoned jewels or wielded tinfoil swords as you battled an invisible enemy.

An adult version of make believe is visioning and also happens to be one of my favourite things to facilitate with clients.

Here is a short video example of what you might experience during a visioning process:

Not only is the visioning process engaging and creative, it also has neurological benefits.

A study out of Northwestern University’s Institute for Neuroscience found sudden bursts of high-frequency 40 Hz oscillations (gamma waves) in the brain appearing just prior to moments of insight. This fluctuation creates links across many parts of the brain.

That same study found activation of the right anterior superior temporal gyrus, the part of the brain that is involved in perceiving and processing music, spatial and structural relations (such as those in a building) and other complex aspects of the environment.

The findings indicate that when we have a moment of insight, a complex set of new connections is being created. These connections have the potential to enhance our mental resources and create new pathways in our brains.

When you vision, you’re dreaming a new future into existence. At first the process may be tricky and feel uncomfortable or even too intimate. Your grouchy gremlins may even run interference and shame you out of fully participating.  Breath, relax and release any expectations you might have. Even if you’re only able to engage for a minute at a time, you’ll find that your capacity for this process will grow. 

Give yourself permission to fully engage in this process and if you’re working with a coach, ask them to facilitate a session with you. This will support you to expand your capacity beyond your limitations and support you to clear whatever is in the way. 

Deep narratives may create mischief and disempower your attempts to vision. It’s okay, keep going anyways.  

Another great way to practice is daydreaming. Have you ever spontaneously drifted off into a daydream state?

Stay with your daydream and allow it to run its course. 

In today’s world, imagination will support you to approach unforeseen situations with creative solutions and grow the confidence to try new things that just might change the course of your business in a profound and powerful way. 

Support those around you to do the same and actively engage in brainstorming and visioning sessions. Create a safe environment to do so and encourage input from all walks of life within your field or industry.

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