Lots of us find it hard to believe or accept something until we see evidence of it with our own eyes. Even small things, like the existence of a stain-remover that works on cranberry juice or that you remembered to turn off the stove, might need to be seen to be believed.
But this idea can also work in reverse. When we picture a scenario or situation happening in our heads, that can make it feel more real or possible.
Sometimes, this can be a bad thing, like when fear or anxiety gets involved. But when we use our imagination to envision the kind of future we want, real change can start to happen.
It might sound a little gimmicky, but science has proven the power of our thoughts and imaginations again and again. When we visualize ourselves doing something, even just in our heads, it prepares our bodies to follow through and complete the action in real life. Even famous athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have used visualization to help up their game.
But, you don’t need to be a hyper-disciplined, famous athlete to benefit from visualization. All you need is a quiet moment to yourself, a goal you’d like to achieve, and your imagination.
You’d be surprised by how even the little boost that visualization gives you can help reignite your passion.
Want to give visualization a try? Here’s everything you need to know:
Find a moment during the day when you can routinely have 3-5 minutes to yourself. Some folks like to do their visualizations when they first wake up, or right before bed. It doesn’t matter when you do them or where you are, as long as you can close your eyes for a few minutes and spend some time in your own mind.
Choose a specific goal that you’d like to achieve – big or small – and concentrate on it, with your eyes close. Picture yourself crossing the finish line, nailing that interview, rising to the occasion – whatever that may be for you.
Use your imagination to include as much detail as possible. Think about what the scene would look like. What time of day would it be? What might you be wearing? Try to include as many visual details as you can.
But don’t stop there. Try to immerse yourself in the scene using your five senses. Think about the smells, the sounds, the tastes. Really try to live in that moment. Build as complete a picture as possible in your head.
And finally, imagine how it would feel emotionally to achieve that goal. Would it make you feel proud? Excited? Joyful? Let yourself feel that emotion, if you can. Building the association between those good feelings and this goal helps inspire you to achieve it.
If you’re working toward a more complicated goal, you may want to visualize the process you’ll need to work through to get there. Breaking down the process primes you for each step, and gives you direction when moving from one aspect of your project to the next.
For each step in the process, use the same visualization practice as above. Imagine as complete a scene as possible, taking all of your senses and emotions into account.
After a few minutes (you can set a timer or just go by what feels right for you), open your eyes, and take a deep breath.
You should feel invigorated, or at least, more inspired than you did five minutes before. 🙂