What is Visualization?
Visualization is quite simply using your imagination. You create a scenario in your mind, just like a day dream and imagine yourself as part of it. It’s important to know that people visualize differently. Some peoples’ visual clarity is vibrant, full of color and as real as everyday life. For many others, when they close their eyes, they see darkness. This is completely normal, there isn’t anything wrong with these people, and it certainly does not mean that they can’t visualize. It’s just that they visualize at a deeper part of the mind, a part that they can’t mentally ‘see’ when they are awake. But pretty much everyone has woken up after having a dream and can recall pictures of what they were dreaming about. This proves that everyone certainly has the ability to visualize, just like everyone else. Again, it’s just that it happens on a different level of consciousness that isn’t normally seen while you are awake. Even though the pictures may not be seen, they are still there, and most people can “feel” that the picture is there and at some level are aware of it. The good news is that the more you practice, the more likely you are to start seeing those pictures with greater clarity and awareness.
The key thing to realize about your mind is that it doesn’t think in words. You mind actually uses visual imagery to communicate or think. We can use visualization as method for directly communicating with our mind. By imagining something as vividly as possible it’s sends a clear message to your mind, directing it’s inner resources to make your dreams a reality.
Why does Visualization work?
Visualization works because the mind doesn’t really know the difference between regular waking reality, dreams or consciously directed visualization. The mind understands all of these experiences as if it were a true waking experience. We use our conscious selves to determine the difference between normal waking reality and the dream world, but to the subconscious mind, they are one and the same. Think of visualizing as a mental practice that over time will enable you to perform the visualized acts in real everyday life. So if we use this powerful visualizing ability that we all possess, we are utilizing all of our inner resources to help us succeed. At the very least, no one can claim that visualizing hinders a performance, so there certainly isn’t any harm in it. Please keep an open mind and give it a try as we go through the exercises.
How to make Visualization extremely effective
There are some things to be aware of about visualizing that will improve it’s overall effectiveness. To make sure that your visualization is as effective as possible, we have to make it as sensory intensive as possible. This means that visualizing should include much more than just visual stimulation. We also want to imagine our other senses; touch, smell, hearing and taste. The more senses included in the experience, the more believable the experience will appear to your mind, improving it’s effectiveness. Think of it as if we are trying to recreate reality within our minds, in a way fooling ourselves into thinking that we truly had the experience. The advantage in working with visualization reality over normal reality is that we get to write the script ourselves, allowing us to create a scenario precisely the way we want it to be.
Include yourself in the visualization
So what is the one thing that is always present in all of your waking life experiences? It’s you! You are always there, always present during any of your experiences. So this means that we also want to include ourselves in the visualization process. Sometimes we can get caught up in visualizing a goal, we create a visual movie complete with smells, audio etc. but we forget to include ourselves in the picture. So remember to also include yourself when you are doing your visualizations. It makes it more like a real experience that has happened to you in the past.
Now consider if you just visualize yourself in the movie as a passive character. Just there sensing what is going on around you. That really doesn’t include everything that you normally experience is it? Normally, while you are experiencing things in life, you are thinking about what it happening, reacting and feeling emotions. Well guess what? We want to include these as well. So when you create your visualizations be sure to include yourself acting, reacting, thinking about what you are experiencing.
The most powerful, and probably the most important thing about visualizing is to really feel the emotions. I mean really intensely, don’t worry if it feels silly, or childish, just do it. If you are visualizing kissing a girl in the rain, don’t just experience the kiss itself, also feel the rain running through your hair. Feel the intensity of the emotions of that passionate kiss, really feel everything just as if you were really in that situation. I promise that the more energy you put into these visualizations the more success you will have in achieving your goals.
Visualization is for everyone, particularly successful people.
The human brain thinks in visual imagery
Visualization is effective even if you have trouble ‘seeing’ the mental picture – just think the thoughts and feel the emotions
The brain can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination or visualization
Remember to include the following in your visualizations.
Visual Intensity, Clarity and Vibrancy
Include yourself in the action.
Intellect (What are you thinking during the visualization?)
Emotions (What feelings are you having during the visualization?)