Making things happen: The power of images to influence behaviour
Visuals quickly affect you emotionally and psychologically. They have the power to influence your behaviour and encourage action. Marketing people know this and use images to powerful affect in advertising and fundraising campaigns. The self-defining images you use in your collage can also motivate you to purposeful action.
For example one of my early collages was about the ‘future of UnglueYou®’. I looked through the magazines letting images resonate with me. Naturally some of the ones I chose weren’t surprising to me. But when I saw a picture of a duplo figure holding a mic, I realised I wanted to be a keynote speaker. Something I’d not considered before. Despite enjoying giving presentations in a previous job.
So I included this goal in my business plan and have taken practical steps towards making the image a reality. When I become a keynote speaker, it won’t have manifested through the Law of Attraction. Every opportunity I get I let people know I’m available as a guest speaker. I’ve lectured, spoken at networks and fundraising events. My social media platforms, website and marketing materials mention it. I’ve undertaken presentation training. Basically doing everything I can to ensure I achieve my goal. Including booking a speaker slot at The Best You EXPO 2017 in March.
If I’d approached the activity from a goal setting perspective the lady with the mic would never have been included. I simply wasn’t consciously aware that a keynote speaker was someone I wanted to be. Now everytime I see that collage it reminds me of my goal. As I move towards it I’m enjoying the journey, the ‘how I want to be’ as reflected in the figure’s smiling face.
Read other women’s transformative stories.
Unlock your unconscious mind
With a background in Art therapy I’m aware of the power of images to tap the unconscious mind. Bringing to the surface that which may be hidden, forgotten or hard to articulate. Because of this when you work with me I won’t ask you to come with preconceived ideas of what you want or the images you’ll choose. You’ll choose the theme for your collage, but I ask you to come with an open mind, curiosity and lack of judgement.
The process begins with a mindfulness exercise, preparing you to be fully present in the moment. You’ll then be given guidance on gathering your images (pictures and words) from the varied magazines, in a way that allows your unconscious thoughts to surface.
Once your images are gathered you’re encouraged to ‘play’ before gluing your chosen ones in position. (Rarely will you use all of them). This allows you to see connections and relationships between them. Including gaining an understanding of their relative importance to you and the significance of colour.
I apply creative constraints around timings. Otherwise there’s a risk that you’ll start to overthink as your conscious thoughts begin to question your choice of images, or ponder too long over their placement.
Image by jampondphotography.com
The last stage gives you the opportunity to share your collage story. This brings deeper insight and understanding. As through enquiry and clean language questioning by me, you become aware of the meaning of any visual metaphors and symbols that haven’t already become clear. Sometimes this can be challenging, as you explore feelings and aspects of your life that haven’t been given consideration before. But in equal measure it’s insightful, exciting and reaffirming.
Inspired to Achieve: A woman’s recent experience of the process at the Happenista Retreat 2017 (organised by Jenny Garrett).
Choose collage for true transformation
Like a Vision Board I’d encourage you to place your collage where you’ll see it regularly. It serves to inspire and motivate you long after you created it. Also, visual metaphors tend to have several layers of meaning. So, unlike a Vision Board, your collage continues revealing new insights and deepening your self- awareness.
Vision Boards have their place if you’re looking for a tool to visually catalogue your goals. A way of reminding you what you’d like to have. But if you’re looking for real transformation; then you’ll want to use an approach that goes deeper. One that will help change your mindset and release your potential.
The key benefits of the collage process are:
1. Bringing thoughts, ideas and feelings you may be unaware of to the surface
2. Identifying blockages
3. Connecting with your goals on an emotional level
4. Gaining clarity and a sense of direction
5. Prioritising areas in your life you want to change or focus on
6. Being inspired and motivated to make changes
7. Reaffirming/ discovering values
8. Realising you have choices
9. Time for reflection
10. Recognising strengths that increase your confidence
The beauty of using collage is that no artistic skill or previous experience is needed. The materials are familiar and easy to use. Yet it works in a profound way on many levels, which can’t fully be explored in one blog post. Learn more from our website at ‘The Science Behind the Art’.
If you’ve been inspired or are simply curious get in touch and let’s have a chat.