As you’re reading this, I want you to take a moment and think of a goal you currently have. Any goal should do, but just for fun, let’s try that goal you’ve been putting off. Lock on to that now for a moment. Whatever outcome you want to see from this goal I want you to focus and see yourself as if having accomplished that goal already. Go ahead and visualize that now with your mind’s eye and see how you are benefiting from this achievement. Visualize what your face might be doing, and feel any emotions you have now that you’ve met this goal. Step into that feeling? How do you feel?
This practice is called visualization. It is not a new technique by any means. In fact, we spend a lot of time in different forms of visualization without being aware of it. Consider daydreaming: In this form, we can go in and out several times a day, and out of those times we may not even catch ourselves doing it. Maybe you remember daydreaming about what it would be like to win the lottery, or perhaps you’ve daydreamed about getting a promotion over that one specific co-worker? What about the time spent daydreaming about less positive things where you find yourself reenacting an argument except this time you have all the good comebacks. Or perhaps it’s the daydream about quitting your job and telling your boss where to shove it?
The truth is that daydreaming and visualization are nearly identical. Daydreaming usually starts with unfocused thoughts manifesting out as pleasant or negative scenes. Daydreaming also is a more unconscious space where we tend to spend time going over the past or what might happen in the future. It can be a pleasant escape when it’s a beautiful future we daydream about but, this often leads to procrastination vs. action that a visualization practice brings. The practice of visualization is done with a set intention.
Visualization is a powerful tool and helps high performing individuals achieve their desired outcomes. It’s not magic, it is science. Focusing on your goals and desires through visualization produces four undeniable benefits such as:
- Subconscious Activation: This generates a creative stream of ideas to help you achieve your goal(s).
- Programming The Brain: Simply put, your brain can put up walls or lay down the red carpet to help you reach your goal(s). Programming techniques are vital to achieving success along paths you’ve not yet walked. This is common in my practice with clients and highly effective. Learn more here.
- Building The Motivation Muscle: Daydreaming can be great, yet it demands no commitment, no action. Through visualization techniques, I help clients find the internal shift from “should” to “want to,” which creates fuel for building that motivation momentum.
- Law Of Attraction: This concept has been around for a long time but, in recent years has received a lot of attention based on popular authors, filmmakers, coaches, and influencers that range from spiritual to scientific. I find that there is room for both. Simply put, the Law of Attraction is the ability to attract into our lives that which we bring into focus. Interested? Check out my workshops and sign up for the one of these upcoming workshops near you!
Many different visualization techniques can be useful, depending on your goal and personal preferences. The mental rehearsal technique is especially helpful for individuals looking to achieve a specific goal where high pressure or anxiety is a factor. You may use a mental rehearsal visualization technique to prepare for an important speech or presentation, or as part of competitive training. It is often played out as if watching yourself on a movie screen accomplishing the goal and reaping the intended reward of this achievement. It is a high definition movie, so all of the details are important in this scene. The entire process includes visualizing yourself interacting with the YOU in the movie, deepening and vivifying the experience. It concludes with some version of you consuming the picture at the end when all is accomplished as a way to embody the success. I use this technique with my clients and have found it to be very effective. If you are new to it and attempting it on your own, it can take some practice. Don’t give up!
Another popular visualization technique seen around popular social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are affirmations with images that depict the desired outcome. The visual representation of whatever financial, business, skill, or perhaps relationship goal you may have gets paired with an appropriate affirmation can act as powerful daily reminders. These become effective when displayed in environments where we spend time consistently, such as a bathroom mirror, kitchen, office, etc. and have access to see often. While these may be more on the passive side, these visual reminders can be effective over a period of time, especially when used with more active visualization.
Brain studies now reveal that thoughts produce the same mental instruction as actions. Visualization has an essential impact on several cognitive processes in the brain, such as attention, perception, direct muscle function and bodily movement, strategy, planning, and memory. The visualization process acts as a brain rehearsal, training prior to an event or performance to enhance an outcome of motivation, develop greater confidence, improve motor-control skills, and pave new neural paths for success.
More and more scientific studies are showing the powerful mind-body connection. Many examples of this are seen in high performing individuals such as athletes, musicians, actors, business gurus, and patients who have overcome great odds through this visualization technique practice. Powerful shifts have been found through visualization work while in the hypnotic state. One reason for this is that while in a state of hypnosis, we are more open to positive suggestions of change. In our conscious state, we may want to achieve specific goals, but there are sometimes conflicting beliefs within our subconscious mind. When hypnosis is induced, you can move from interacting with the conscious mind to both conscious and subconscious mind simultaneously. Read more about how this works here.
Meditation is another way to tap into powerful visualization. Meditation is easy to access and as flexible as you want it to be. You can meditate anywhere, anytime you want, for as little as 2 minutes or 2 hours if you wish to! The benefits are immediate for many with reports of feeling more calm, stable, increased capacity to experience self-awareness, and respond to circumstances with more grace. Individuals describe the long-term benefits of producing greater confidence, patience, self-esteem, empowerment, and increased self-awareness, contentment, balance, and many other markers of enhanced well-being.