5 Vision Board Myths

Should I put my family on my Vision Board?
Should I show my spouse my Vision Board?
Where should I display my Vision Board?

These are commonly asked questions during Dare to Declare Vision Board workshops. Over the past year I have developed some simple rules of “vulnerable safety”.

1 – Everything is voluntary within the workshop. No one is required to do anything they don’t feel comfortable doing. This is different from being coached and nudged out of one’s comfort zone.

2 – There are no “should”s. “Sh&t on should”s is what I tell participants. This means uncovering wants vs. expectations.

3 – Share your Vision Board only with those who will be 100% as excited as you are by the goals. If not, then they do not deserve to be in your arena.

4 – Let’s consider what Brené Brown shares about vulnerability and the metaphor of an arena. Brené Brown suggests there are four sections of that arena you should know about:

1.) The Cheap Seats – This is where we find the anonymous critics who pass judgment on us, but are not connected to us day-to-day. Let’s take a hockey scenario: the Cheap Seats are occupied by the naysayers and maybe even the opposing team and its fans.

2.) The Box Seats – These seats hold the people who built the arena and give us the messages about the expectations we must meet. For my Toronto Maple Leafs, these would be the alumni, the owners and the corporate sponsors.

3.) The Critics’ Section – These are the people who give us the messages of shame, comparison and scarcity. At the Air Canada Centre, you could compare this section to the national and local hockey media: reporters, announcers, analysts and pundits who weigh in with slanted views and negative opinions.

4.) The Support Section – These are the people who have empathy for us and show us compassion. That NHL athlete who’s sacrificing his body for a win has to love the front-row people – the students, the television fans, parents, cheerleaders, alumni, teammates and all other fans (and sometimes coaches) – who cheer him on. The generational fan whose grandfather was a Leaf fan and can’t imagine being anything else. Don Cherry who loves the underdog.

It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is in the arena. Whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly …”
~ President Theodore Roosevelt

After reading that quote, Brown says it made her realize three things. First, she wanted to be the person in the arena. “If we want to be courageous and we want to be in the arena, we’re going to get our butts kicked,” she says. “There is no option. If you want to be brave and show up in your life, you’re going to fail. You’re going to stumble. You’re going to fall. It’s part of showing up.”

The second thing she realized is that comments from “Twitter thugs” — people who never risk anything but criticize the people who do — don’t matter. “If you are not in the arena also getting your butt kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback,” Brown says.

The third thing culminates everything Brown has learned over the past 12 years of studying shame and vulnerability. “Vulnerability is not about winning, it’s not about losing — it’s about having the courage to show up and be seen,” she says. “It’s about willingness to say, ‘Look, I don’t have all the answers.’”


Your Vision Board is for you and no one else. What do YOU want? Sometimes it takes a couple of hours during the workshop to open up the right brain and to find the freedom for possibilities & discovery. When people share with me their Vision Board choices, they reason they chose a certain image because it is realistic. But what they REALLY want is… and then they proceed to tell me their big goal. I then question where that is on their Vision board. The answers vary, but usually it’s the same…that they are fearful of failure and don’t believe in their own worth or value. A great place to begin is to ask yourself, “What did I want to be when I grew up?” Feel the freedom of dreaming without abandon.

“The only weakness you need ever feel is the weakness in your knees caused by the excitement of your dreams.”
~ Anthony C Gruppo


Many Dare to Declare workshop participants put the “how” on their Vision Board instead of their clear goal. For example, they will have an image of an organized closet. When I ask if that is their final destination, “an organized closet”, they answer that the goal is a feeling of peace, calm and serenity. They miss the big picture by not placing an image of that “feeling” on their board, which will not only permeate in their bedroom but throughout all of the areas in their life.


I offer a 7 Life Area goal-setting workshop. For those who find goal-setting overwhelming, I have a “gut instinct” workshop called Dreaming. Goals like values and beliefs should be holistic and not segregated. Separating professional goals from the rest of the six areas does not provide connection and resources required for their full manifestation. In a recent workshop, a women declared her goal of learning to play the piano. During the workshop she was offered a free piano and afterwards through the Facebook group was offered free private lessons from a spouse of a fellow workshop participant.


There is no magic; God has the Big Plan for our life already mapped out. We need to live out our best life and use the gifts He created in us. Scientific research shows that when we focus intentionally on positive goals, our brain actually grows. We raise the level of energy. By doing so, we invoke the Law of Attraction and bring those things into our life. We need to take ACTION. Obvious and inspired action. By creating a habit of daily grateful acts, we will raise the vibration of energy and manifest out goals in the most surprising ways.


Reframing this notion that the images are celebrations vs. a grocery list of to-do action items. “Feel” each image choice to filter those that only feel positive and hopeful. For example, if it is an image of elderly parents, rather than a reminder of their increasing weakness and decreasing independence, reframe it to be a celebration of your love and devotion for them.

The words “Have to” or “Should” are like a gambler who is losing and continues to throw money down rather than call it a day, cut his losses and walk away. Disrupt your daily habits and life script to become clear about what you want.

“You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it you become someone worth becoming.”
~Jim Rohn