BY ADELE CASANOVA
One of the most powerful techniques used by successful people to reach their goals is visualization. What is it, how does it work, and can it work for you? Visualization is imagining a goal as already complete. It is the mental picture of yourself successfully completing a task or goal. When done with purpose, visualization taps into your subconscious mind, making it a powerful tool.
Research has shown that the human mind cannot distinguish between a real memory and one that is imagined with emotion. Mental practice through visualization can be as effective as real practice. Knowing this, you can harness visualization techniques to develop beliefs that lead to success. Elite athletes have been using visualization since the 1960s as a technique to improve their performance, but you don’t need to be an elite athlete to use visualization successfully to reach your goals.
Let’s break down how visualization can work for you. There are four important things to remember when creating a mental image of success. First, relax when creating the mental image of your successful accomplishment. When deeply relaxed, you can reach a light state of self-hypnosis, during which your visualization is impressed on your subconscious mind. Second, incorporate your emotions when picturing your success. Allow yourself to experience the emotions you believe you will feel when you actually succeed. Third, repeat the process of relaxing and seeing the picture of success in your mind. Repeated visualization increases your chances for success. And last, visualize your success in great detail. Imagine sounds, touch, environment, every detail of the event. Whether you are imagining yourself successfully performing a sport, cashing a check from a successful sale, managing the shop or office in which you work, or flawlessly performing an artistic event, visualization can move you closer to your goal.
Repeated visualization builds internal motivation and helps you override negative, limiting thoughts and beliefs. Your brain becomes programmed to seek out and recognize the resources you need to accomplish the imagined success.
As an example, suppose your goal is to become a successful public speaker. Your visualization exercise would involve picturing yourself speaking in front of a live audience. Do this exercise at a time when you can relax and focus, such as when you first wake up in the morning. Imagine the scene in minute detail, incorporating sight, sound, and touch. See the room, the podium, your notes, the audience. Imagine the lighting and the sound equipment. Then imagine you are feeling confident, relaxed, and self-possessed as you face the audience. Hear yourself speaking in a confident voice. See the audience listening carefully to your every word. Then hear the applause when you are finished, and experience a great sense of accomplishment.
In addition to the repeated exercise of relaxing and imagining in detail your desired success, you can boost the power of visualization by creating a vision board, a collage of visual images cut from magazines and collected on a poster board. These images combine to create the successful future you imagine for yourself. Keep the vision board where you can see it daily and let the images sink into your subconscious mind. You can also create “flash” cards with positive affirmations written on them. These affirmations should encourage you to believe in your success and to perform the daily activities needed to reach your goals.
You can use the power of your brain, along with the power of visualization, to attain success. Create the habit of performing these visualization techniques. Be consistent and dedicated to following the techniques in detail and you will be amazed at how you gravitate toward success!