Many of us are conditioned to believe that we have to accept life as it is and by that we are already putting up mental barriers, preventing us from dreaming big or achieving our goals. Even if you are someone who sets themselves goals – how many of these have you lost track of or just let your motivation slip away as day to day life takes priority again? The good news is that there is a way to help prevent this from happening and for you to get closer to achieving your dreams and help you lead the life you desire.
“I do not fix my problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.” Louise Hay
Visualisation is a powerful technique that many successful people have used to help them achieve their goals. In essence, it is using the mind to conjure images related to your goals to help you move closer to them, and them to you. In a similar fashion to meditation, visualisation often involves taking some time out of your day, clearing your space and mind and focusing solely on what you want to achieve. The aim is to not only imagine your goal by creating a clear picture in your mind but also to put yourself in that picture and really feel what it would be like to have achieved your goal.
How can visualisation possibly help you to achieve your goals?
The science behind visualisation proves exactly this! Some of the most compelling evidence that visualisation actually works is the way our brains react when we visualise something. Our brain isn’t able to distinguish between what is real, and what is being clearly imagined – it is simply being told that whatever you are visualising is happening, meaning your mind and body is acting as though it is – and this is why it’s so important to really think, feel and experience your visualisations. Still not convinced? A study has shown that the particular brain patterns activated when someone lifts weights are also activated when they simply imagined lifting weights. By visualizing your success, you are literally in training to achieve it!
“Visualization is daydreaming with purpose” Bo Bennett
So how exactly do you practice visualisation techniques?
Kelsey Aida has written a wonderful post about how, using visualisation, we can manifest nearly anything into our lives. First of all, you must decide what you really want and focus on how you want to feel. Secondly, you have to be expectant and patient. Imagine ordering something online – you expect it to arrive once you’ve chosen it right? This is exactly how you should feel after your visualisation practice. Thirdly, you need to be open to receiving what you’ve asked for – and this means dropping negative thoughts like ‘Things like that don’t happen to people like me.’ It’s important to believe and know you deserve what you’ve asked for.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates
Just like with meditation for focus and concentration it can be a little difficult to get the hang of taking time out of your day to focus on your visualisation technique. One method that can help you effortlessly visualise what you want each day is to create a vision board - a physical collection of images, phrases and visual representations of the life you want to live. Jessica, an advocate of visualisation on her blog Acorns and Lemonade, swears by her vision board ‘It serves you as a great piece of motivation and reminder about the road you are traveling and where you want that road to end up.’ So if you’re feeling creative – why not sit down get your headspace right with a pile of magazine and really shop for your dream life!
Whether you choose to visualise through a form of mindfulness meditation or by using a vision board, it is crucial to remember this: whilst it is perfectly ok to visualise the car, the dream job and the perfect house, do not forget to focus on how you would feel once you had all those things. It is those feelings that kick start your subconscious mind to move you forward towards these goals.
“Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion.” Bill Hybels
It is so easy to put up your own mental barriers to achieving what you want in life. But the good news is – if you put those barriers up you can also take them down! Take control, decide what your goals are and that you deserve them and enjoy yourself as you purposefully take action towards your dreams and goals.