Picturing the Future
In a recent interview , singer/songwriter Jewel Kilcher stated that her number one goal in life was to be happy. Unfortunately, as a homeless, suicidal, and severely anxious teenager, that wasn’t always so easy.
If you happen to be an ethically non-monogamous swinger, a polyamorous bisexual, or some version thereof, then happiness may also feel somewhat out of reach for you. Especially if you’re new to embracing your truth, or you’ve yet to get there.
During her interview, Jewel recalled that one day, while sitting outside and staring out at the ocean, she made an important observation: much like the tides come and go, nothing in life is permanent. Through this observation, she was able to surmise that the waves of anxiety worked much like the tides of the ocean. Knowing that eventually, those anxious waves would pass, just as the tide would come back in, was enough to help her sit, and breathe, and make it through.
For Jewel, this was a first step toward managing and overcoming the anxiety and depression that plagued her youth.
Healing Through Positive Psychology
What Jewel may not have realized is that this is actually a common practice utilized in modern Positive Psychology.
Positive Psychology calls this method “Goal Visualization,” or “visualizing an imagined future.” For Jewel, the visualized future was simple; she imagined the moment that her anxiety would pass and waited for it, just so she could feel normal again.
In your case, perhaps you imagine a future where you feel comfortable in your own skin, or proud of who you are despite society’s judgements of people like you.
The thing is – whether you’re Jewel, LGBT+, poly, swinger, or someone who just wants to explore Kink and BDSM – positive psychology can work for you.
This practice of Goal Visualization is based on the on the ‘A’ in the PERMAHS model of Positive Psychology. That ‘A’ stands for accomplishments or achievements. Using carefully designed methods to visualize our goals – both working towards them and accomplishing them – gives us the opportunity to start believing in our ability to achieve what we want in life.
How Goal Visualization Works
So what’s the point of all this?
Research and observation have taught us that imagining future events can be hugely beneficial to mental health. Such practices can help boost motivation, inspire goal-directed behavior, and improve overall performance. Taking the time to visualize a future event increases the likelihood that the imagined future will come to pass.
When Jewel first started observing that her waves of anxiety would come and go, it sparked a fire within her. Before long, she began to wonder if there was anything she could do to make an anxious episode pass more quickly.
With her ultimate goal in mind (to be happy), Jewel focused intently on studying her experience with anxiety, the things that made her feel happy, and how to override her anxiety by leaning into practices that sparked joy within her.
By keeping her goal at the forefront of her mind, Jewel discovered new ways to overcome anxiety and find great success in life. She went from being a homeless, anxious, and suicidal teenager, to becoming a successful singer, songwriter, and celebrity.
Put Goal Visualization to Practice
What sort of goals do you have in mind for the future? Are you hopeful that one day you will be comfortable with your identity as a bisexual who is into kink and BDSM? Do you hope to explore possibilities that you’ve imagined over and over again in your mind, but are too afraid to try? Are you eager to accept your polyamorous nature so that you can finally begin to live life out loud?
Do you actually believe you can achieve those goals? Why or why not?
Whether you believe in yourself right now or not, working through goal visualization practices can help.
Jewel spent many years figuring these things out all on her own, but the good news is, you don’t have to. With help from a trained, mental health professional who is familiar with Positive Psychology, PERMAHS, and proper Goal Visualization tactics, you could be on the fast track to accomplishing your goals in no time.
And as someone who specializes in working with poly people, the LGBTQ+ community, explorers of BDSM, and beyond, I’m more than qualified to help you with your specific goals. Get started by requesting your free, brief consultation with me using the form below. I serve individuals throughout the state of Texas, and I look forward to helping you visualize and achieve your better future.