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Practical Ways to Visualize What You Want

Manifestation. Intention. Focus. Direction.

No matter how you choose to make creative magic and direct yourself to a brighter future, visualizing success is the first step. With how fast our modern world moves, taking the time to truly visualize what success means to us seems like an unnecessary stop.

But I implore you, taking the time to craft a detailed mental image of our desired outcome is the secret to manifesting intention that will transform your life, and enable you to achieve your goals. It involves harnessing the power of our mind to visualize success and manifest our desired outcomes.

Visualization is a powerful mental technique that has been used by athletes, entrepreneurs, and high achievers across various fields to turn their aspirations into reality. It's a simple technique, but that's the beauty of it: the simplest step can translate into a successful outcome. A visual representation of a future event, much like manifestation, can create powerful change in the present moment.

In today's blog post, I'm going to convince you that this simple method of using visualization techniques produces massive returns on your time and energy. No matter what future you desire, these techniques are for everyone, everywhere.

The Power of Visualization

Visualization is a mental practice that involves creating vivid and detailed images of your desired outcomes in your mind. It's more than just imagining a future, but actively crafting a detailed, exact scene of the success you envision for yourself.

For example, by picturing your goals as already achieved, you tap into the power of your subconscious mind which helps reinforce positive beliefs and behaviors. In this way, it's similar to a self-fulfilling prophecy and manifestation, which are concepts I've championed on this blog before, and use to this day.

This technique is rooted in the idea that the mind and body are closely connected, and by mentally rehearsing success, you can influence your real-world performance and experiences. A recent study from the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics found that richly imagining completing a task successfully was enough to increase the likelihood of individuals actually succeeding, with no other changes beyond crafting detailed mental imagery.

Visualization is a transformative tool for personal growth

I'm an unwavering believer in the power of self confidence, because everything that radiates from our being is grounded in how we relate to ourselves, our internal fire. I've written many blogs about how to create a more genuine, confident relationship with yourself, but I want to highlight how visualization comes into play. We need to envision a future where we not only achieve greatness, but feel good doing it.

When we put in the extra work to include our desires, the detail, the emotions, and the passion for ourselves in our visualization, we actually force ourselves to grow. We prime ourselves to be that person achieving all we wanted to achieve, talking confidently, succeeding effortlessly, and not being held back by any limits.

This idea of visualization being a tool for growth is the heart of my book, Mindful Success, where every chapter emphasizes that our emotions and imagination are the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. Life has a way of making us feel like -- at moments -- we are powerless, or unable to get out of an unfortunate circumstance; in my personal journey, I've encountered these moments quite a few times.

Yet every time I heard a "no," or a "you can't," I took a step back and thought about my future self. Would my future self take no for an answer? Absolutely not. And when I gave myself permission to think of that future self, actually using mindful success techniques in visualizing outcomes I wanted, I transformed my entire direction.

I share my journey to remind you that we are never powerless, as long as we believe that the future is something we can create.

Understanding Visualization Techniques: 5 Actionable Steps

The brain and body are intimately linked, and luckily, there's a step-by-step process I feel will help most people tap into that energy. Visualization techniques are wonderful because the imagery is unique to each person (and their personal development), and they can be done practically anywhere.

1. Create a clear vision

The first step sounds obvious, but trust me, it's more in-depth than it appears. Define your goals with clarity and intention; start visualizing casually, and gradually become more specific as you think about your future. Leave no detail undefined -- you wouldn't use a map that was only "sort of" specific, would you?

The same principle goes for your roadmap to success. For example, a specific vision may start with:

  • "I got accepted to my graduate program of my dreams with a strong application."
  • "I just bought a house in the neighborhood I always envisioned myself living in."
  • "I am successful business owner with over 100k in sales."

Notice the present tense and the specificity. Once you have a specific goal in mind, you have a solid foundation to build from.

2. Engage all of your senses

What does your future look, feel, sound, taste and smell like? What the vision feels like is as important as how it looks. Be specific about what your future truly feels like to you. For example: imagine you're giving an incredible presentation -- envision how the audience sounds, how your voice sounds, what the venue looks like, and even what the ground under your feet feels like. What hand motions are you doing? What are you presenting?

But more importantly, once you have a detailed scene, start imagining with the most pivotal sense of all: your emotions. How does this current moment you are envision resonate with your heart? Are you elated? Excited? Nervous? No matter if it's a positive or negative emotion, give yourself permission to feel the moment. Every feeling and sense only serves to make your future more rich and real.

3. Practice consistently

You don't need to have a specific ritual or space in mind to use visualization techniques. The beauty of visualization techniques is that you can do them anywhere at anytime. I love to practice visualizing daily over my morning coffee, when the day is just beginning, because it sets up the following day with focus and intention. Visualization practice is not meant to be perfect, but to get your mind used to crafting a strong mental image on command.

Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and focus on your mental image. Aim to spend at least 5 minutes at the start of each day with this form of mental rehearsal. Regular visualization is critical. The more you practice, the easier this memory will be able to access to access when the actual day arrives, the day where change is just on the horizon.

4. Reflect on your visuals during times of doubt

The reason we become so detailed with these images is to partly be able to access them when they're needed most. This is my favorite visualization exercise because it reminds us of our purpose, and allows us to break a cycle of negative thinking. When we encounter adversity or doubt, it's helpful to not only reflect on past achievements and past accomplishments, but to revisit this mental projection of our futures.

We revisit these images in order to reflect and center ourselves, giving us the opportunity to prepare properly for making decisions during moments of conflict. This is why I advocate for writing your vision down, maybe even using a vision board if that's your preference, because a written record can be a gentle reminder.

Reflect on if this situation and your decisions are bringing your closer to, or further from your goal. Ask if the things in your life that are stressing you are serving your higher purpose. Truly ask if your current direction is leading you to your desired outcome.

5. Use guided imagery tools

If you're new to visualization or find it challenging to create vivid mental images, consider using guided visualization tools. There are many apps, videos, and audio recordings available that can guide you through the visualization process and help you achieve your goals for the exercise.

These tools can provide structure and help you stay focused during your practice. Effective guided imagery tools should make you feel relaxed, comfortable, and equipped with the tools to create positive feelings about the future.

Conclusion: Making Visualization a Lifetime Practice

As you embark on your visualization journey, be patient and persistent.

The more you practice, the more effective your visualizations will become -- visualize daily. The more you put in the practice, the easier it is to draw upon all you've built in real life.

Embrace this powerful technique, and watch as your dreams and goals unfold before your eyes. Your mind is a powerful tool—use it to create the life you envision and deserve.

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