See It, Think It, Feel It: How To Use Visualization To Create What You Want
by JANIE LOUBSER
Visualization is not a self-help gimmick or a get-rich-quick trick. It is a well developed method supported by substantial scientific evidence. I certainly didn’t discover or invent visualization, What I have done, is design a visualization plan that will help you work through the obstacles that I have seen many of my clients struggle with over the past 10 years.
Visualization has many applications but the underlying mechanic to its effectiveness is the fact that it helps you to focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. I’m sure you have imagined yourself having that difficult conversation in an attempt to prepare yourself for it – that is a form of visualization. We can call it a form of ‘dress rehearsal’ for what you want to happen in reality when you finally have that conversation. Visualization is also an effective technique to ease stress and can be used to practice a skill, much like you would practice playing the piano. Another very helpful application of visualization is to evoke positive feelings in you - before a meeting you may feel that you are not good enough and can become withdrawn, but if you evoke an image of yourself as upright, strong and confident and see yourself wearing something that will make you feel good, you would have then changed how you feel from insecure to confident. All these applications help you move away from what you don’t want into visualising what you do want.
In our ReCreate You coaching programme we teach visualization as an advanced skill to discover what you want for yourself and for your life, as well as how to create the very things you want.
No matter what you want to use visualization for, there is a secret ingredient if you want your visualization to be effective. There is so much more to it than just seeing a picture. In fact, by trying too hard to ‘see’ you are applying too much pressure and take the creative component away. The secret ingredient to visualization is – you’ve guessed it – feelings. People often miss this component and work hard at saying their positive affirmations and seeing a detailed picture only to lose interest and give up because ‘nothing is happening’. Things start to happen when we feel a desire or excitement awaken inside of us. I know it is not easy to imagine a positive feeling if it is so far away from how you really feel so, Sarah and I have written two articles for you that are great reading companions to understanding this approach: Why Your Emotions Matter and Why Your Thoughts Matter. Here, I will quickly explain how your feelings will make your visualization practice more effective and then, I will go on to show you how to use visualization as a daily technique to create what you want and how to achieve your goals.
How emotions make visualization more effective
1) You flow
You are much more than your thoughts, words and actions. There are successful people who have all the material things they want, but they lack happiness and a healthy mind. Or they may have a healthy mind – they are highly intelligent and focused – but they don’t know how to relate to others. This imbalance is expressed in what I often hear successful clients complain about - feeling empty. You are a whole being that consists of body, mind and soul. Your emotions reside in your soul and if you want to create wholly, you need to use your whole self. It is when body, mind and soul come together that the magic starts to happen. This is what we call flow – you are thinking, feeling and doing all at once. There is a sense of ease and enjoyment. Then I hear from my clients: ‘it doesn’t feel like hard work; it happened so effortlessly’.
2) You grow
The aim of life is not just to achieve your goals; it is also to grow as a person. By adding feelings to your visualization you are practicing positive feelings that will eventually change you as a person. You can grow into an independent, self-sufficient, confident, happy, attractive and fun person by practicing these feelings as part of your visualization.
3) You live
Visualization is supposed to be fun and when you approach your visualization practice with fun and excitement, you look forward to it and it easily becomes part of your daily living. Visualization then isn’t yet another thing you have to do, it is something you want to do! Instead of waiting and focusing on the absence of your dream, you feel good even before your visualization has become a reality. This is emotional maturity – not being dependent on things and people in your environment in order to feel good. You are in control of your emotions. You can carry on with your life, even though your goals have not yet manifested.
4) You create
Before you start to worry that you won’t get the stuff you want, let me use an example of how you use your feelings to create what you want. Say your goal is to have a profitable business - you have written this goal down; you’re able to verbalise it; and you’re even able to see what this business is. But you have underlying feelings of doubt (I don’t really think I can do it), disbelief (who are you kidding; you are being silly), fear (I will fail; it won’t work), poverty (I’ve never had money) - you are having feelings that are in direct opposition of what you are saying. These subconscious feelings are what make some feel like a fraud or a liar when they visualize their dreams. To others they make them feel neutral and their visualization feels dead and empty. A visualization that feels false or dead cannot create the things you want but, if you are able to feel the way you will feel when you have a profitable business, you can evoke elevated emotions such as excitement, pride, accomplishment, even freedom. You feel light and energised; you feel motivated to act and things start to happen; your emotions now match your goal and if you do this daily – be an emotional match with your goal – your goal will come to life.
If you want to know more about what you can do to be an emotional match to your goals and dreams there are many ways we can help you...