The Power of Visualization

Visualization is the act of leveraging the powers of your brain to achieve your goals.

The art and practice of visualization have been around for years; however, with the increased focus on mindfulness and the power of positive thinking, visualization is gaining more attention.  The beauty of visualization is that it is something that can be learned and doesn’t take a huge amount of time daily.  What it does take is the commitment to an ongoing routine.

Before outlining a simple process for visualization, I’d like to provide a level of supporting information.

How people define the power of visualization varies.  At the most basic level, visualization is seeing your goals as if they have already been achieved.  It’s understanding the power of how your thoughts work for you.  By visualizing something, you are imprinting this vision in your subconscious mind.  If it is different than the current reality, what your conscious mind is experiencing, there will be a conflict between the two.  This is where the power of your mind works.  The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and your vision, it simply wants to minimize any conflict.  Think of your subconscious mind as an inner collaborator that works with your conscious mind to align what you need to achieve your goals.  You begin to see what it will take to achieve the goal more clearly and be attracted to those things and understand how they will help you achieve success – what you have visualized.

When you hear about visualization, you will also hear about the Law of Attraction – where positive or negative thoughts bring about linked outcomes.  At the highest level, the belief is that people and their thoughts are made up of “pure energy” and the energy of your thoughts is truly connected with all the energy in the universe.  Your thoughts will attract “like” energy.  This is the underlying premise of the power of positive thinking.

Additionally, there is the Reticular Activating System (RAS), which is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information that we are bombarded with daily so that the important information gets through.  Your RAS takes what you focus on and creates a filter for it.  By focusing on positive or your goals, your RAS will filter out what doesn’t fit.  Here’s an easy example of how the RAS works.  Think about being in a crowded restaurant or bar where everyone is talking.  You don’t hear their conversations, but if someone happens to say your name, you are likely able to hear it.  Another example would be when you consider buying a car.  Suddenly you begin noticing that same car everywhere you drive.  While those cars were already there, your RAS letting through the information that is important to you.

Let me address the naysayers: I understand that the practice of visualization will not automatically make things happen.  What is does is set in motion the process needed to achieve your success.  You need to follow your subconscious mind as it frames and guides your actions toward achievement and eliminate the conflict between your vision and current reality.  You can’t sit on the couch and lose 20 pounds just because you visualized it while eating a donut.

As mentioned above, visualization doesn’t take a lot of time, it simply takes a commitment to follow through with a few simple activities with consistency.

Steps to visualization:

  • Determine your goal – what you want to achieve.
  • Get comfortable.
  • Visualize the situation in as much detail as possible.
    • Use all your senses when going through this process –
      • What do you see, feel, smell, hear, and taste?
      • What are you wearing?
      • Who’s there with you?
      • What are your surroundings – where are you?
    • Add emotions and bodily sensations.
    • Be as vivid as you can.
  • Visualize in the first person, as if you have already achieved your goal. Don’t think about it as some future state, experience it as if you were there in the moment.
  • Repeat this practice 2 to 3 times a day. Frequency is important to training your subconscious mind to this new reality.
  • An additional step I recommend is to also visualize the steps along the way to achieving your ultimate goal. Visualize your success in increments and in doing what it will take.  Experience the journey.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

Now that you understand the basics of visualization, go out and leverage it for your benefit.  Start with something small and experience how powerful your mind is.


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