Are you looking for your dream job? Or perhaps you are longing to find your soulmate? Or do you just want to find a way to achieve your goals? Then visualization could be the right method for you.
What is visualization?
Visualizing events or situations is a natural process that we use every day: we see ourselves stuck in a traffic jam, we imagine how our job interview will go, or picture ourselves in our dream house. Depending on our beliefs with regards to the situation, our visualization will be more or less positive.
When used consciously, visualization, also referred to as creative visualization, is a technique in which you use your imagination to model your life. Nowadays, numerous people, such as athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs, actors, etc., use the power of visualization to achieve their goals.
How does visualization work?
Even though some people might think this technique is only a hype, science has shown that visualization really works. According to research, the brain doesn’t make a difference between imagining something and actually doing it – the same brain regions are activated in both processes.
Visualization can be used to meet your goals on different levels such as physical, emotional, or spiritual. Even though the technique is called visualization, you don’t necessarily need to see things when imagining them. Depending on your type of memory/imagination, you might see images, sense or feel what you are imagining.
The process of visualization relies on three key elements that will help you set a clear intention:
- Desire: What is your goal? What do you wish to achieve? Find out what you truly want.
- Feel: Perceive the situation/feeling you are looking for.
- Believe: Persuade yourself of the fact that you are truly living what you are picturing. Believe your goal has already been achieved.
What are the benefits of visualization
Now that you know the basics of visualization, you probably wonder why this tool is so powerful.
First of all, imagining yourself achieving your goal can have an extremely motivating effect. E.g., if your objective is to buy a house, imagine yourself reading a book while sipping a cocktail in the garden of your dream house. This picture and the associated feeling of satisfaction will be a great help to stick to your goal and keep the momentum.
Picturing a situation/activity over and over again – just like athletes or musicians will imagine themselves performing their run or piece of music – is perceived by our brain like actual practice. E.g., it can be useful to visualize yourself in a stressful situation (exam, interview, confrontation, etc.) so you will be better prepared when the real event occurs.
The act of already seeing yourself in a specific situation will also grow your level of confidence. The mental imagery will familiarize you with the process and help you be more confident that things will turn out well and that you can do it.
Is there any better way to focus on your goals than to visualize them? Not only will the imaginative process help you define your goals but the repetitive practice will also allow you to re-adjust them, if necessary.
As we will see in the next section, relaxation is key when it comes to effective visualization. The process can be compared with meditative practice. Relaxing and concentrating on your objectives is a great way to combine achieving success and reducing your stress levels.
How to use visualization
Being in a state of relaxation is key to successfully use visualization. One of the reasons is that it will help you quiet your mind and keep you from worrying.
You can use any method that works for you to relax: meditation, yoga or simply deep breathing.
Not only will you have a clear head to do effective creative visualization, but the regular relaxation exercises will have positive effects on you body and mind.
Using highly detailed imagery is an extremely powerful and effective way to achieve your goals. The more realistic your mental vision will be, the easier it will be for you to believe in it. This does not only apply to the visual aspect. Try to put yourself into the situation you are picturing, with all the feelings, body language, etc. This will allow you to practice the situation in a realistic way and be better prepared.
Just as any new skill, mastering visualization requires practice – especially at the beginning. The best is to make visualization part of your life. Even a few minutes a day can make a difference.
Also, try to be patient even if you aren’t seeing the desired outcome as soon as you’d like to. We all have (negative) patterns that we have been repeating for years or even decades, it can take time and practice to get rid of them.
Choose the right moment
The best moments to practice visualization are just after waking up and before going to sleep. These are usually times of the day when we are in a more relaxed state of consciousness, which will make visualizing easier.
For better results, you can practice both in the morning and before going to sleep.
Adopt a positive mindset
Remember to remain open and flexible. If a vision doesn’t feel right, try another one. Find out what works best for you and keep in mind that there’s no
Also, it’s important to visualize situations related to positive feelings and images. The purpose of visualization is to motivate and encourage you to move towards your goals.
Affirmations are a great tool to help you keep a positive mindset and play a key role in visualization. Firstly, creating and writing down your affirmations will allow you to set and define your goals. Secondly, the regular practice of affirmations will help you replace any negative beliefs or blocks you may have regarding a situation with more positive ones.
Enjoy the journey
As explained earlier, your visualizations will be much more effective if you avoid forcing anything. If it doesn’t feel good, it means that you need to re-adjust: try a different approach or re-adjust your goal. The more fun you’ll have with the process, the easier it will be to achieve success.
Creative visualization is an effective technique to fast-track yourself towards your goals and create the life you truly desire. As a bonus, it’s an excellent mindfulness technique that will also improve your mental, emotional, and physical heath.