My first experience with visualization was in high school as a springboard diver. My coach requested me to switch from a jackknife (or pike) dive to a layout dive, which had more difficulty and higher points in competition. As you probably know, a layout dive requires the diver’s body to be an unbending plank. My coach was extremely frustrated with me for weeks because no matter how hard I tried to stay straight, I’d bend at the top of the dive. (A diver gets docked in their score for this error.) Every day after diving practice, I’d go home exasperated with myself.
Then the summer preceding my junior year, the summer Olympics aired. I glued myself in front of the television to watch the diving competition. I watched divers execute a perfect layout dozens of times. For days, I’d go to bed seeing those dives in my head. Following the third day of diving competition, our swim team had an early morning practice. After warming up on the trampoline, I headed to the diving board. Without even thinking, I nailed a layout dive, surprising everyone, including myself!
Visualization used to be reserved for elite Olympic athletes. Not anymore.
Did you know that science has shown that just by visualizing yourself working out in the gym, your muscles grow in strength? Or when you envision a happy memory that neurotransmitters are released, and you will feel happier? Or by imagining being relaxed and peaceful, a person can shift anxiety to a more peaceful state?
Visualization involves creating images and experiences in your mind through colorful detail by using our imagination. It can require practice to master this skill, but it is worth the effort because our minds affect our bodies and the quality of our experience dramatically. Mental imagery galvanizes the brain’s focus and organization more effectively.
What does this mean for you?
Whenever you’re struggling to overcome a bad habit or to accomplish an important goal, visualization, and mental rehearsing of a positive result can accelerate the process and raise the likelihood of success. With focused attention, your endeavor or desired outcome can be more easily attained.
To enhance your results even more, here’s another key component. Studies have shown that focused intention without emotion or feeling creates very little change. High emotions, such as gratitude, signal the brain that the event has already occurred and compels the vision to your current situation. It’s vital to combine envisioning your desire’s completion with the accompanying emotions that you would experience once you have achieved your goal or dream.
So now that you know that mental imagery can support you in achieving your goals quicker, how do you go about implementing this practice in your life?
The Essential Keys and Steps to Visualize
- Sit in a relaxed and comfortable position.
- Call to mind the steps you’ll take to achieve your goal in vivid detail.
- See yourself experience the result. (Picture yourself receive the award for your graphic design or see yourself cross that finish line of your first marathon or see yourself happily relaxing on the porch of your new home overlooking the mountains. Whatever you desire, see it happen!
- Imagine how you’ll feel once you’ve accomplished your goal or dream.
- Absorb the experience as if it were real until you feel heightened emotions. Imagine the feeling of relief, the new sense of freedom, the joy, or pleasure of the accomplishment.
- Hold and revel in the experience for as long as you can hold it.
- Regularly recall your goal to mind.
You don't have to reserve a long time to do a visualization. You can take a quick 30-second break at work to submerge in mental rehearsal or while relaxing at home. Don't postpone waiting for the perfect time and place. Some of my most powerful experiences visualizing have been little snippets of less than 5 seconds.
Related reading: 3 Easy Visualization Techniques
Another helpful tool that can be used in conjunction with the above step-by-step process and visualization techniques are Mind Movies. If you’d like to accelerate change, using Mind Movies is a fabulous way to create a video of the sights and sounds of your future goal. This method reinforces your desire and imaging, The software video program accelerates your ability to dive into the feeling of living your future, just like when I watched the Olympic divers repeatedly. Watching a targeted movie of the fulfillment of your personal desires, goals, and dreams with images and affirmations powerfully imprints your mind.
What you desire IS possible!
Consistency and focused attention fueled with heightened emotions are keys to empowering you to fulfill your dreams, small or great. Now, see what you can create.
And if you’d like a mentor, who has studied the brain for over a decade and utilized these methods successfully and repeatedly in her life and business, reach out today. Heartmanity’s team loves helping people become the best versions of themselves and fulfill their dreams.