This time of year, many of us find ourselves reflecting on our accomplishments while simultaneously trying to formulate new goals for the year ahead. For author, entrepreneur and fashion stylist Brittany Diego, a vision board is the best way to manifest these future accomplishments. The Forbes 30 Under 30 visionary has used vision boards for many years to create her dream life and career.
“I created my first vision board when I was a teenager, when I first discovered the film and book The Secret, and have made one every year since,” says Diego.
The thought leaders at the forefront of The Secret movement were very inspiring to Diego. One shared a powerful story of how he used vision boards in his own life. “[He] mentioned how he put on his vision board this beautiful mansion and didn’t realize until many years later that he was living in the exact house he had on his board,” says Diego. “I found [this] example so powerful and inspiring.”
And he’s not the only one to provide inspiration to this mogul in the making. Diego adds, “I was reading the autobiography of one of the Spice Girls, and she mentioned how she encountered a book by the author Louise Hay which introduced her to affirmations and vision boards. She created one around the Spice Girls, becoming a #1 chart-topping global success. Of course that happened, so I thought, OK, if it worked for her, it can work for me.”
“Unfortunately a lot of the luxurious visions I had in mind for myself were primarily portrayed in the media by women who looked nothing like me: fair skinned and blonde.”
A self-professed “creative/artsy type,” Diego admits that initially creating her own vision board came very easy to her. She took the “crafty” approach of cutting out images and inspirational phrases from magazines but says the creation process wasn’t without its challenges and considerations.
“Unfortunately, a lot of the luxurious visions I had in mind for myself were primarily portrayed in the media by women who looked nothing like me: fair-skinned and blonde,” says Diego. “In order to feel your vision board into existence, there has to be some suspension of belief and, of course, believing it is possible for you. I became very intentional about the images on my vision board and sought out images on Pinterest and Tumblr.”
It wasn’t long before Diego found creative ways to make the vision boarding process more of her, in ways such as utilizing the free online tool Canva and following the #BlackGirlLuxury movement on apps like TikTok to compile images that resonated with her. “I am also no stranger to superimposing my face on images to really make it feel like I already achieved those goals,” she shares.
“Your subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between what happened in your mind or real life, so that’s why vision boards are so powerful.”
Diego—whose fashion career has afforded her the opportunity to work with the likes of Trevor Jackson, Dani Leigh, Draya Michele and Lori Harvey, as well as companies like The CW and MTV— first used the vision board process to successfully manifest a four-year university scholarship to study fashion. After that, she says, the sky was the limit: She’s added goals including a spot on Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 list, speaking engagements on event panels and writing a book to her vision boards, all of which have materialized.
“Your subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between what happened in your mind or real life, so that’s why vision boards are so powerful, because your mind wants to do everything it can to close that gap between dream and reality,” says Diego, whose 2023 focus is to scale her education company, Fashion Mentor—a goal that will undoubtedly be on her next vision board.
If you love the idea of creating your very own vision board for the new year, Diego offers the following useful tips to help get you started:
Tip #1: Get clear on your goals. A lot of people have vague goals, such as being happy or making more money, but what exactly does that look and feel like?
Tip #2: Gather images and inspirational phrases from magazines and the internet that evoke the feelings of already having achieved your goal.
Tip #3: Put those images together in a collage. It is also very powerful when you mix in images of you doing things you’ve already done with the things you still want to do.
Tip #4: Hang your vision board in a place (or places) you can see every day. “I have a printed board in my bedroom, so I see [it] every morning as I wake up and every night as I go to bed,” says Diego. “I also have my vision board as my phone lock screen.”
Tip #5: Feel worthy of the things you’re visualizing. That’s really the biggest key of it all. Diego shares, “This was a big issue for me for so many years: thinking if I didn’t achieve a certain goal, I would be a failure, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Once I took my vision board goals off the pedestal I had in my head, that’s when they started flowing in (quickly!).”