It is often said that we become what we believe. One of the most notable books on the subject, The Secret, is all about the law of attraction, positive thinking and visualizing your dreams to fruition. I am a firm believer of this and when my daughter turned 3, I began to introduce this concept to her as well. It might seem like a young age to start a discussion on such a mind-bending subject, but I figured if I can train her to go to the bathroom, to hold my hand in public places and all of the other rules of childhood, why not train her to believe that her dreams are there for the taking? And while working with her to develop this characteristic over the last few years, I’ve had a few epiphanies myself!
Here are a few key steps that you can take to help your children envision their dreams and shape their future (you may want to give them a try as well):
Write daily affirmations
To quote author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy, “Your subconscious mind makes all your words and actions fit a pattern consistent with your self-concept and your innermost beliefs about yourself.” Writing down a goal, a dream or an affirmation unlocks its power and intensifies your desire to achieve it. Slowly it will start to seep into your subconscious and increase your belief in it.
When I realized that my daughter was starting to deal with body image issues, I had her start writing 4-5 affirmations a day. They all had to start with the words “I am” followed by something positive about herself. She has been writing them for about 2 years now and I have definitely noticed a difference in her self-confidence and self-esteem.
Every January, Journey and I spend some time discussing what areas of life she would like to focus on improving for the coming year. This year she is focusing on 4 areas—health, family, educational and personal. She writes down goals and action steps for each area. Next we pull out our art supplies and poster board and write them on the board. Then we cut out inspirational words and pictures from old magazines and glue them onto the board. We hang in her playroom so that she can look at it every day and review it periodically make sure she stays focused and on track.
If your child is too young to read and write, introduce the concept of goal-setting and visualization, by creating a Dream Book. Journey’s Dream Book is a scrapbook filled with things she would like to do, places she would like to go and what she wants to be when she grows up. I explained to her that the book was a place to keep all of her dreams and things she wanted. And that if she believed and worked hard enough, she could have everything in it. After receiving a few things she added to the book, she was sold! Now whenever she wants something, the first thing she does is add it to the book or write it down.
(Related Post: Encouraging Kids To Dream)
Provide real life examples
When the opportunity presents itself, use real world examples to reinforce the idea of manifesting thoughts and dreams into reality. If Journey is feeling anxious or scared about a school performance or trying something for the first time, I remind her to imagine herself on the stage singing her heart out, strutting down the runway, or gliding around the ice rink like a pro. I do it so often, she has started to interrupt me with, “I know mom, I know—if I can see it, I can be it, I can do it!”