Can visualization techniques be the key to changing a habit, learning a new skill, or realizing your dreams?
Now with the proven power of visualization, anything you want (within reason) is available to you.
There are three main ways to having visualization techniques work in our lives and to help us achieve our goals.
Believing we can Create our Dreams is the Basis of Visualization
First, before using visualization techniques, we have to believe that what we want out of life is possible. This means we have to learn to think of ourselves as no-limit people.
Sound easy? It can be.
Here’s a link to another article that explains the power or positive thinking: Positive Affirmations-The Secret to Getting Life Changing Results.
The way to begin to release our self-imposed limits, involves going back to our childhood and looking at the “I can’t” things that we learned.
Those limiting beliefs lead to low self-esteem and suffering. “I can’t swim,” “I can’t draw,” and “I can’t speak in public” are some examples of common limiters.
What are your limiters? Write them down on a piece of paper. Now, unless you have physical limitations that keep you from doing these “I can’t” things, let’s get rid of them with one of these methods:
- Write each limiter on a separate piece of paper. Hold a little ceremony and announce each “I can’t” (I can’t draw), saying, “I release this limiter.” This can be done in a safe space with people who are encouraging.
As you do this, set fire to each piece of paper and let it burn completely.
- If using fire is not appealing to you, take each of your “I can’t” items and simply turn each into a positive statement that claims your ability in the present. (I draw with ease whatever I picture in my mind.)
- Record all your statements and play the recording back for yourself 5 times a day for a month. Before long, you will find yourself growing beyond these limiters. (If “I can’t draw” was your limiter, you will find yourself doodling all over things.)
Turning Wishes Into Realities by Actively Creating your Dreams
As long as we stay in our heads with our dreams, that is where our dreams will live. Getting ready to use visualization techniques for success requires a bit of preparation. We need to quantify, clarify, and simplify our dreams.
All this means is that we have to write down what we want and how we plan to get it. Why write it down? Committing our dream to paper is part of the process of owning it. This is what creative visualization techniques are designed to help us do.
We need to take ownership of our dreams by writing them down. Otherwise, they remain wishes rather than realities. Once we have our plan, we are ready to use visualization exercises, for the third step: achieving our dreams.
Visualization can Bring new Beliefs, Skills, Abilities + Success Into Your Life
There are many ways to adopt new beliefs, skills, and abilities to create success. Some of the best ways include:
The Proven Power to Jumpstart Your Goals
Now that you have decided what your goals, dreams, or ambitions look like, you are now ready to see what they feel like by using visualization techniques.
To do this, you can use the same tool athletes use to win and celebrities use in their careers – visualization techniques:
- Jim Carrey wrote himself a $10 million dollar check, dating it for 1994 and used it to visualize his success. In 1994, he learned he would earn $10 million for his role in the comedy Dumb and Dumber.
- Athletes Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor have garnered 3 Olympic Gold Medals as a beach volleyball team using this technique.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger employed the technique to become muscular. Then he used it to transition beyond bodybuilding to acting and politics.
- Oprah Winfrey went from abject poverty to extreme wealth using this technique. She used vision boards, boards with pictures and phrases of her desired goals in life, that helped her visualize her dreams.
- Gold Medalist skier Lindsey Vonn visualizes every ski run before she does it and moves her body with the visualizations.
- Will Smith often quotes Confucius, saying that people who say they can and people who say they can’t are both usually right.
Now it is time for you to join this list.
Strength Through Visualization: Propel Yourself to Success
Visualization techniques are all about turning fantasy into reality. If you can dream it, once you bring it down into concrete terms by writing it down, you can do it.
Whether you are a surgeon who wants to perform delicate surgery, a businessperson who dreams of making life-changing deals, or an athlete who wants a gold medal, you can do it.
Or you may just want to be able to pass up whatever you crave that is bad for your health. You can do it.
Do visualization techniques really work? A resounding “yes” comes from scientists who have researched the use of imagining doing something and its effect on the body.
In a study that examined weightlifters’ brain patterns, researchers found that no matter whether the weightlifters only imagined lifting weights or actually lifted them, the brain patterns were virtually the same.
You may be thinking, “Yes, but they lift weights all the time, so this is not new behavior for them.” But in another study, an Ohio exercise psychologist compared people who went to the gym with people who did virtual workouts in their heads. There was a muscle increase of 30 percent in the gym-goers versus a 13.5 percent gain in muscle mass in the virtual gym trainees.
What the research has found is that your thoughts will produce the same mental instructions as your actions.
When you use mental imagery to visualize adopting new skills, realizing your dreams, and achieving your goals, you set the process of actually creating new behavior in motion.
Studies have also shown that positive mental practices like visualization techniques work to increase your motivation to make your dreams come true. They also:
- Increase your confidence that you can create the reality you visualize
- Boost your self-esteem
- Rev up your motor skills and fitness
- Get you ready to accept success when it comes your way
- Increase the law of attraction (The law of attraction simply means that when we focus on positive things, we draw more of them into our lives.)
Another way of looking at visualization is to view it as a rehearsal for a play you will star in. You practice your lines in the play over and over until you get them right.
Soon you will find yourself acting out the play in real life.
Your subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is a product of your visualization. It acts on the images you create, regardless of whether they reflect your current reality or not.
Techniques for Using Visualization to Supercharge Your Goals
Between your ears, you have the most powerful computer ever built. With it, you have the power to create your own reality. Using one or more five-minute sessions each day, you can indeed change your life with one of these methods:
In our busy world, this may be hard to do, but it is in no way impossible. Find a quiet space. Sit comfortably with both feet flat on the floor (keeping you centered). Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, exhaling slowly as you relax your body.
Once you are relaxed, see yourself going through the steps you wrote down for achieving your goal.
Wrap any stray thoughts that try to intrude in a cloud, tie a string to the cloud, and let it float away, knowing you can pull it back later.
With each step, note how it feels. Let yourself experience the sights, sounds and other sensations of each moment as you follow the pathway you have created to acheive your goal.
See yourself achieving the goal you have set, and enjoy the feeling associated with it.
Breathe in the joy of the moment and let it infuse your body with happiness. See yourself tucking that moment in time into your own personal history book.
Here’s a link to another article that shows you some of the benefits of meditation: 7 Benefits of Meditation: The Science of How it Helps you.
Superior Guided Visualization Techniques
Some people find that having a guide for their visualization journey helps them travel the path better than doing it all by themselves each time. There are two basic ways to go about a guided visualization meditation:
- Have a trusted person, who is significant in your life, record the steps you have written down for achieving your goal. It is a good idea to write out the script for the person.
Sample script for someone who wants to be able to paint:
See yourself setting out the watercolor paper. Rub your hand across it. How does it feel? What is the subject of your picture? Pick up a pencil and with a light hand, sketch in the picture you want to paint.
After you finish, make any adjustments necessary. See yourself picking up the watercolor brush. How does it feel in your hand? What size brush have you chosen? What color will you begin with?
See yourself painting each area in your drawing. Let yourself enjoy the way the watercolors spread and interact with each other.
When you finish painting, set your painting up, stand back and admire it. See yourself sharing it with others and delighting in their enjoyment of it.
Each day find a quiet place, sit comfortably, close your eyes, and listen to the recording, following the instructions in your mind.
- Studies have shown that when we record instructions in our own voice, we achieve results much faster than when we are listening to someone else. So, create the script for your visualization, and then record it yourself for faster results.
Coach Logan Christopher feels that, like skier Lindsey Vonn, it is important to not only engage the mind in a visualization, but to engage the body in it also.
This means that while imagining yourself doing any physical part of the process to achieve your goal, you also allow yourself to feel the muscles involved in that process moving.
Other studies on visualization techniques and athletic performance have shown favorable results.
Treasure Map Technique
First begin with a quiet setting where you will have no distractions. Then get a piece of paper and a pen, crayons, or a pencil. Get your goal firmly affixed in your mind and then begin drawing things related to this goal you have envisioned.
If you want a degree in psychology, draw books; draw a computer for an online degree; sketch out you with a client when you finish your degree, or draw whatever else you feel relates to your goal.
This goal-oriented creativity will clear your mind and enable you to achieve a sharper sense of clarity and focus.
Implementing these Terrific Techniques
Visualization techniques, or mental imagery, has helped athletes perform better, and it can help you, too! All you have to do is use it.
Keep in mind the old joke about the tourist in New York City who stopped to ask a man with a violin case under his arm how to get to Carnegie Hall. The man’s answer was, “Practice, practice, practice!”
If you have any doubts about your ability to visualize your goals effectively, you can build your visualization skills by starting slowly and working up to heading for success in life. Here are some visualization exercises to help you begin:
- In a quiet place, close your eyes and relax.
- Visualize an apple. Note its color, shape, and any imperfections. Cut the apple and enjoy its aroma. See the interior of the apple with its seeds. Now take a bite of the apple and savor its flavor. When you first try this exercise, if all you see is a blank screen in your mind’s eye, do not get discouraged. With more practice at another time, you will see the apple clearly (and taste it).
- Once you have mastered the apple exercise, pick a person you know well to visualize.
- Focus on all aspects of this person. Then dress the person differently, change his or her hairstyle, and any other aspect. You are now using creative visualization. You can continue to use this tactic with a variety of mental situations. Try creating new environments, people, and worlds within your own mind through your power of visualization. Mastering this technique will enable you to envision your life goals more vividly and will help them take on new life.
You most likely have used it yourself many times before you interact with others.
You run through a list of what you want to say and how you want to say it before getting into a discussion.
Then, when you get into the discussion, you remember what you practiced and are better prepared to say what you want to say.
If you have trouble being assertive, practice the conversation beforehand, it can give you the courage to state your needs and ask that they be met. Regardless of your profession or issue, mental imagery can help you become a better you!
You can also use visualization techniques to envision and at times even predict the future.
Whatever we think, we create. Every action we ever take begins with a thought.
Even when we think we are operating on autopilot, we are really following a set of instructions we have set in motion for ourselves before this moment in time.
So, doesn’t it make sense to visualize the best possible future we can see in our mind’s eye?
Research has shown that our brains cannot tell the difference between real action and mentally envisioning things.
Prove this to yourself by getting a piece of string. Hold it as still as you can, close your eyes and visualize the string swinging. Have someone with you when you try this, because they will be able to see the string move while you are visualizing moving it.
Approaches that make your Visualizations Succeed
Here are some ways you can ensure the success of your visualizations:
- When you think of a big goal, you will naturally see all the obstacles between you and your goal. Write them down and write down creative ways around the obstacles. “All top performers, regardless of profession, know the importance of picturing themselves succeeding in their minds before they actually do in reality. It is extremely effective when harnessed and used correctly.”(Mayberry, Matt, Entrepreneur, Power of Visualizing)
- Make your visualizations as detailed as possible. “ …you don’t have to be an elite athlete to benefit from visualization. Whether you’re a student, businessperson, parent or spouse, visualization will keep you tethered to your goal and increase your chances of achieving it. The power of visualization is available to all people… it is a powerful way to achieve positive, behavioral change and create the life you desire.” (2011, Huffington Post, Using Visualization)
- Feel the experience as you visualize it and imagine even the tiniest detail. This fools your brain into thinking the experience is real. “Scientists and medical experts conducting serious objective research, have discovered that the human nervous system does not distinguish between actual actions and imaginary actions. In other words, your brain has the same perception of events whether you toss the ball into the basket or just imagine in detail that you do.”(Aiden, Ashton, 2013, Gaia)
- Involve all your senses in the visualization as your rehearsal both triggers the muscles to fire and creates a blueprint mentally that will guide your future successful performance. “Sports psychologist Dr Richard Suinn found that visual rehearsal actually triggers neural firings in the muscles and creates a mental blueprint that can ultimately facilitate future performance. Using electromyographic equipment, Suinn discovered that skiers who simply visualized skiing downhill fired electrical impulses and produced muscle patterns almost identical to those found when the skiers actually hit the slopes.” (Bailey, Mark, 2014, The Telegraph)
- Get into a meditative state before doing your visualizations, as this increases your receptiveness to visualization and increases the power of visualization. “The therapeutic application of creative visualization aims to educate the patient in altering mental imagery, which in turn contributes to emotional change.”(Revolvy, Creative Visualization)
Whatever visualization techniques you choose, just know that there are people all over the world, from all walks of life using these techniques to positively change their lives. Join them Now in believing, creating, and achieving a profound change in your life! Which technique will you choose?