Where Did Your Imagination Go?

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When was the last time you experienced true wonder? When was the last time you were awestruck? Why is it that when we become adults, our imagination seems to disappear and our capability for awe and wonder seems nowhere to be found?


Your capability for wonder and that overwhelming feeling of being awestruck is not gone, my friend. Instead, as we get older we learn to misuse our imagination. I was always described as a very imaginative child. If you’ve ever read Anne of Green Gables, then you know the kind of child I was. Always thinking “there’s scope for the imagination here” and getting caught up in daydreams. However, as I became older and as I encountered the stress of life, I turned my imagination into the worst form of it. You see, worry is the misuse of our imagination. (Harris, 2020)


Do you experience a large amount of worry in your life? Well first, congratulations! You still have your imagination fully intact and as active as ever! And second, let’s learn how to reuse our imagination for good. What do you worry about? What makes you feel anxious? In case you’re stuck or you don’t have enough to worry about, Harris (2020) provides a list of the most commonly expressed worries:

  1. Not living up to expectations
  2. Being judged negatively 
  3. Being rejected
  4. Making a bad decision
  5. Disapproval from others 


We all have fears, both rational and irrational. It’s important to understand the “why” behind your fears so you can begin to tackle them and free up your imagination so you can experience more joy, wonder, and awe in your life. One exercise that is helpful is changing your “if only” to “what if.”  We all tell ourselves “if only” quite frequently. If only I wasn’t so busy. If only I had more money. If only I was 20 pounds skinner. 


Now change those things to “what if.” What if you said no and gave more time to yourself? What if you were content with your life? What if people loved you exactly the way you look right now? What if today will be a good day? 


Make your own list of “if only” statements. Do they have anything in common? Do they relate back to any of your fears? Now, make a list of your ‘What if” statements. Be bold. Really dream here! It takes the same amount of energy and effort to imagine a positive outcome as it does a negative one. Keep practicing this. It’s time to take back your imagination. 


If reading this sparked some interest or a desire to dive deeper into connecting with your imagination and experiencing wonder in this life, check out The Wonder Switch by Harris III. 

- Caitlyn Hannum | GRTS Intern


Billy Robinson
Caitlyn, I love this! I especially loved your development of worry being understood as a misuse of our imagination! Amazing opportunity for reframing.
June 21, 2021
Laurie Peterson
I love this blog. It really spoke to me because that is what we all do as adults. We need to start living and trusting. Thank you for this Caitlyn.
June 15, 2021