If you’re currently working toward a goal or set of goals, you may have heard or read about visualization. Many people brush it off because they either don’t know what it is or think they would be unable to do. The good news is, it’s easy, free, and effective! Keep reading on and we’ll tell you all about the power of visualization to reach your goals.
What is Visualization?
Before we go into more about the power of visualization, it’s important to know what it is. To explain it simply, visualization involves visualizing your end goal. There is no spiritual connection involved, you don’t even have to meditate on it. It is just closing your eyes and envisioning the moment when you achieve what you’re working for.
Sound too good to be true? Well, many successful business owners, athletes, celebrities, and more all say that visualization played a part in their success. If that doesn’t help you make up your mind, science has confirmed it as well.
How Does Visualization Work?
Visualization works on several different levels. The main ones include the law of attraction, an increase in motivation, and improved creativity and problem-solving.
The law of attraction is the idea that we are able to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on. It states that the power of the mind alone is enough to manifest your thoughts and materialize them into reality. Visualization follows along with this same principle.
Visualization offers you the ability to harness the power of your subconscious mind. Your subconscious can almost be looked at like a programmable computer. It functions on a different level than your conscious mind, which is more concerned with thinking, logic, and communication. Since the subconscious mind is pre-programmed, it doesn’t rely on the outside world for its knowledge. This also means it can’t differentiate what is real and what is imagined.
Visualizing our completed goal does at least two things for our mind.
The first is, it activates the creative subconscious. This helps us to work out our problems, think of new ideas, and reprogram old, negative beliefs.
The second is, it forces our minds to try and work out the conflict between what we imagine and our reality. Your subconscious mind visualizes the goal as complete while your conscious mind knows this is not true. This can set off a conflict resolution type activity in the mind where your conscious mind will try to match what has been programmed in your subconscious.
The Science Behind Visualization
In the groundbreaking book Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision into Reality, authors Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng shared an important study. Athletes training for the Olympics were split up into four different groups.
Group one had 100% physical training.
Group two had 75% physical training and 25% mental training.
Group three had 50% physical training and 50% mental training.
Finally, group four had 25% physical training and 75% mental training.
The mental training involved visualization; having the athletes visualize themselves crossing the finish line.
The results were surprising to most involved. Group four, that received the least physical training but the most mental training, performed the best during the Olympics.
“This has been such an important finding that the US Olympic Committee now has increased the number of full-time psychologists on staff from just one to six over the last 20 years,” the authors added.
Dr. Abigail Brenner, a psychiatrist in New York agrees with the findings. She told Psychology Today, “Anyone can utilize creative visualization to achieve their desired goal. Thought precedes creation; the idea guides energy in the physical world in order to create certain behaviors.”
Visualization Plus Practice Equals Success
Scientists were interested in studying what affects visualization could have on the body and what they found was shocking! At first, they noted that when they looked at the brain activity of weightlifters, the same brain pattern would activate when they were actually lifting and when they were just visualizing lifting. Armed with this information, researchers dug a little deeper.
A team of doctors and scientists at The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio recruited volunteers and separated them all into different groups. There was one group who strength training at the gym, one who visualized going to the gym and doing those same exercises, and one group who did nothing at all (the control group).
Over the length of the twelve-week study, the group that performed the physical exercises had an increase in strength of 53%. The group the performed the visualization of the exercises had a 35% increase in strength. While the control group, that did nothing, showed no change.
Researchers from the study stated, “Our findings demonstrate that the mind has remarkable power over the body and its muscles.” They also recommended a combination of physical training and visualization for the best results.
Take Advantage of the Power of Visualization
If we take the advice above and apply it to our life, we just need a little bit of physical activity and a little bit of visualization in order to achieve our goals. You can do this any way you feel most comfortable. However, we’re going to offer you a quick beginner’s guide to visualization below.
Before we get started, you must have a goal in mind. If you still need time to figure that out, that’s perfectly okay! Just come back to this when you’re ready.
- Find a quiet place where you can have a moment to yourself. Take some deep breathes and try to relax your body and clear your mind.
- With your eyes closed, start thinking of your ultimate goal and what you’re looking to accomplish. Then begin to picture it coming to life. Visualize as much detail as possible during every moment. Let the scene unfold in your head exactly the way you want it to happen when you achieve your goal. Pay attention to how the room looks and how the other people around you (if there are any) react. Most importantly, pay attention to how you feel. Make sure you visualize all of this in the first person, i.e., how you see life right now. It’s important that you visualize all of this happening to you as it would in your own reality.
- Repeat this process as often as possible. As you do, you may find more details are being added or little things get changed. Make sure you listen to your inner voice as well. Pay attention to how you feel. You may find that your goal needs a little tweaking if visualizing its completion doesn’t make you feel the way you thought it would.
- Keep reaffirming this process in your mind as often as possible. Encourage the successful moment or what you desire over and over again.
We all function within a reality in which our mind feels comfortable. By allowing your mind to realize its full potential through visualization, we can shift this perception into becoming an actual reality.
Is visualization working for you ?
Comment below and let us know !