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Why Vision Boards Don’t Work

You probably have heard a lot about using visualization and vision boards to help you achieve your goals.

However, for most people (up to 60% of us) vision boards are pretty useless!


Simply stated, some people are not 'visual.'

Indeed, only 40% of us are visually oriented, with the rest of us preferring to use other 'modalities.'

What are these 'modalities' (also called 'representational systems, or 'rep' systems)?

Well, there is one modality for each of the 5 major senses, plus a 6th, which I will explain below.

  1. So there are people who are 'visual' - as I said 40% prefer to think in terms of what they see or saw.
  2. Then those who think in terms of what they 'hear' or 'heard'. This is called 'auditory'.

This is also about 40% of us.

The remaining 20% of us think in terms of

  1. Feelings ('Kinaesthetic,' including touch)
  2. Taste (Gustatory)
  3. Smell (Olfactory)
  4. 'Auditory Digital'.

With Auditory Digital, people think in terms of their internal dialogue - the 'little voice.'

Also, they are people who think in terms of 'data' or 'words', not the actual sound they hear.

They may typically be the accountant or 'number cruncher', and they're mostly interested in facts. Most people in IT are like this.

Of all the rep systems, Visual, Auditory, Auditory Digital, and Kinaesthetic are the most common.

So when it comes to 'vision boards', only 40% of us can really take advantage of them!

That would suggest we need other systems to take care of the other rep systems.

Indeed, there are a few:


Saying affirmations is primarily an auditory digital system. You are sending information to your brain - but then, those who are not 'AD' will not be able to process them easily.

How could we cater to the feelies, or the tasties and smellies?

Hypnosis and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)

A Hypnotist or NLP Practitioner will suggest to the subject to 'feel the feeling of what they want' or will cater for all the other modalities, such as 'Experience the taste of success', or 'Imagine the aroma of success' - etc.

So If you are one of the 'not visual' people, try framing your goals in terms of your preferred rep. system.

If you would like to do a simple test to see which system you prefer, check out this website:

Also you can get the same test as an excel spreadsheet with all the calculations done for you by emailing the author (address at the web site).

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