Friday, August 13, 2010

The Power of Positive. . . Envisioning?

First, the winner of this week's follower contest (chosen with the help of is Steph! Steph, send me an e-mail with your address to jill(at) and I'll drop your signed advanced copy of THE TRANSFORMATION OF THINGS in the mail. And check back on Monday for next week's contest!

As I'm nearing the end of my first week of this optimism quest, I've tried to take a step back and look at things. The first thing I realized was that even though this week should have been exhausting and had the potential to be rife with stress (due to the first week of school), I've actually been feeling pretty good. And not just happier, but more energetic, relaxed, and calmer. This is a pleasant side-effect I hadn't expected, and also something that makes me feel downright enthusiastic about continuing this journey!

So maybe it was this calmer, more relaxed state of mind that made me remember something: I wasn't always a complete pessimist. Last night when I was lying in bed, I remembered something about myself from about seven years ago, back before I had kids, had a book published, or even had an agent yet. At the time I'd been trying to get an agent for a year or two, and kept getting rejection after rejection. At the same time, I was also trying to get pregnant, at first, unsuccessfully with a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage. I was anxious all the time, worrying about the future, worrying that nothing I really wanted in life was going to be possible. So I had this thing I'd do to make myself feel better. Every night before I fell asleep, I'd envision myself walking into the bookstore, pushing a stroller with my baby, and walking over to the shelf to find my published book. And then after a while, I started to believe that this would actually happen. And then after another while, it actually did.

So last night, I decided I'd start doing this again. And as I lay there in bed, I got a mental picture of something I've been really, really wanting to happen, but that the pessimistic side of me has refused to believe ever would. And then I fell asleep, and I had a dream about it happening. When I woke up this morning, I was convinced, for a second that it had happened. But even after I woke up a little more, I wasn't upset, because I realized I had genuinely begun to believe what I'd imagined was going to come true, eventually.

Maybe this sounds a little crazy. I'm a rational person, and I realize that we can't just imagine good things to make them come true. But I began to wonder, if we make our subconscious envision something like this, if we make ourselves, deep down believe that the things we want to happen will, do we then make a conscious effort to try harder to make them happen? By visualizing good things happening to us, do we somehow make it easier for ourselves to achieve our goals? I think we might. What do you think?


  1. I think, if you truly think with all your might that something is going to happen it will. Not only because we unconiously aim harder for that goal but because we no longer have that invisible barrier holding us back. We're back to our childhood state of anything is possible. And so it is.... make sense?

  2. That's a good point, Jessica, about removing the invisible barrier. Also, I think I've realized this week that a lot of being positive relates to going back to "our childhood state." Makes me wonder if pessimism is only something learned in adulthood?

  3. This actually goes along with what that book, "The Secret," was saying. Send out good thoughts and good thoughts will come back to you. In this sense, you can visualize what you want, focus on it, and eventually, you will get it in some form or another.
    Then the problem becomes, what if you're not quite sure what it is that you want? You know you want something more positive to happen in your life but can't figure out just what?

  4. Maybe if you start with something small -- just one tiny action or reaction that you're hoping for and focus on that. I don't think you have to envision huge chunks of your life -- like babies and books being published :-) Right now I've chosen a little tiny moment that I'd like to happen and I'm focusing on that, if that makes any sense.

  5. Dear Jillian,

    Remember me? I am your fellow "Jessica author." :) I love this idea of your new blog, and, having so loved "September Sisters," I am so excited about your coming book! I had technical trouble subscribing to the blog, but I'll stop in every day, after writing! Having read the latest (or the last?) post on your old blog, I have a question. How did you write two books at a time? :)

    Thanks! Looking forward to your daily doses of positivity.


  6. Thanks for stopping by Katia! I'm going to send you an e-mail to answer your question :-)

  7. I think this is a really good area to focus on. Not because I think you are a pessimist - I actually never thought of you as one - but because, as you are seeing, your life becomes much more enjoyable.

    I went through a similar transition a few years ago after a very stressful promotion that had me working 70 hours a week while I was also completing my MBA. I realized that I needed to find something that would help me stop worrying about the things that I can't control and find balance in my life.

    What I found was that we create our own stress, our own fears and our own boundaries. Why do we do this? Why as adults do we suddenly decide life is just that horrible? Did it ever really change? If anything, as a child you constantly have other people putting limitations on you and only as an adult can you truly realize freedom and achieve everything you want.

    Everything one stresses about doesn't really matter in the end. What matters are the people around you and what you do each and everyday. A book I came across as I was cleaning out my Dad's office a few months back was a great reminder of this - The Four Agreements. Check it out and see if it helps.

    As for the topic of your posting, I'm a strong believer in envisioning and positive thinking. It provides confidence in yourself while pushing those fears and stresses away so you can see and do things differently.

    Wishing you success on your journey, I'm excited to see how it goes.

  8. Thanks for sharing all this, Marjory. I'm looking up that book right now. . .

  9. This is very inspirational. Kind of like a vision board for the mind. :)