Visualization And Imagery
The importance of visualization as part of your personal development plan cannot be overstated. Success begins within, and visualization is a great way to convince yourself you can achieve your dreams.
When you are trying to manifest your goals, you’re essentially trying to change something about your current state of existence. And with any change, the mind resists as the ego perceives the unknown to be a threat.
Visualization and imagery exercises are excellent ways of managing resistance to change as they help push through this common barrier.
The Benefits Of Visualization
Visualization is a proven technique for achieving goals, whether your goal is spiritual enlightenment or winning a race. Even spiritual traditions such as Buddhism espouse the importance of visualization and sports psychologists swear by it.
In their book, Karate of Okinawa, Robert Scaglione and William Cummins give some compelling evidence of why visualization is considered one of the best self motivation tips. They cite a study by Russian researchers prior to the 1980 Olympic Games. Interested in understanding the power of the mind on performance, the researchers developed training schedules that involved different degrees of physical training and mental training. They found that the group which devoted the most time to mental training (and the least to physical training) performed the best.
When To Use Visualization
The importance of visualization is heightened when goals require long-term action. For example, if you have a lot of weight to lose, it’s going to require a lot of time just following a seemingly mundane plan before you’ll see results. When you consider that many people eat because they’re bored, you can see why a mundane plan will be extra difficult for most.
The fact is; many goals take time to come to fruition. In his book, Harmonic Wealth, James Arthur Ray gives this example:
“Everything has a gestation period, a time period that must pass before things will come into form. If you plant a carrot seed, it takes about seven weeks for the sprout to make its above-dirt entrance. Bamboo, which can grow up to thirteen feet in as little as one week, takes up to seven years to break through the surface of the ground. But for seven long years it looks like absolutely nothing’s happening.”
Now, there’s no question that human beings are more complex than bamboo! And we have a tendency to sabotage our own efforts. This is why it’s best to incorporate visualization exercises into your daily personal development plan. You only need to spend a few minutes in the morning and just before going to sleep, picturing your success.
How To Visualize
When you practice visualization and imagery techniques as part of a personal development plan, you’re living as if you’ve already achieved your goal, hence the saying “success begins within.” In your mind, all you see is images of you at your goal weight. You see yourself in clothes you love, doing activities you’ve not enjoyed while being overweight, and most importantly, you see yourself getting plenty of attention from the opposite sex! These kinds of visualization motivate you to stick with your plan during the hard times.
Not Convinced Yet Of The Importance Of Visualization? Try These Exercises:
1. Internalization: see your goal in your mind’s eye
2. Externalization: imagine the situation when you’ve attained your goal, this time with your eyes open
3. Forecasting: This requires expanding on externalization. Play out a whole scenario in your mind. See how people behave towards you. What else is happening?
4. Emotionalization: Focus on all of the positive emotions you will have when you achieve your goal
5. Verbalization: Picture your goals and the scenario you painted during your forecasting exercise. Say out loud what the scenario is that you see
Visualization is one of the most relied on self motivation tips by Olympic trainers. And creative visualization is one specific style of visualization they often recommend. It requires imagining your desired goal by engaging all of your senses. For example, if you want to meet the partner of your dreams, develop a clear mental picture of what this person is like. What do they look like? Imagine the sound of their voice. What do they feel like. Can you see yourself holding his/her hand? What do they smell like?