Have you heard it, too?
More and more people are talking about the power that a daily visualization practice has over setting the gears in motion to get you to the life of your dreams.
It might seem like a new concept to some, but it’s really old stuff.
Napoleon Hill talked about it in 1928:
Any dominating idea, plan, or purpose held in your conscious mind through repeated effort and emotionalized through a burning desire for its realization is taken over by the subconscious and acted upon through whatever natural and logical means may be available.
If you are wondering what this is all about, and thinking it’s too good to be true, I hope this will help you clear your mind of any doubts.
What’s Visualization and How Does it Work?
Visualization is the practice of seeing yourself having the experiences that you want to have in life, in your mind, and feeling all the emotions connected to the scenario that’s taking place in your head.
“What you think you become. What you feel you attract. What you imagine you create.” — Buddha
Some believe that this practice allows you to connect to a higher power and “place an order” with this force, that will orchestrate the circumstances of your life for your dream to come true, provided that you commit to openly receiving all that is coming your way.
Personally, I like to think in terms of the subconscious mind.
The subconscious what?
The power to move the world is in the subconscious mind.
– William James, Philosopher & Psychologist
The subconscious is “the part of the mind of which one is not fully aware but which influences one’s actions and feelings.” (Google)
It’s a part of you that has access to all the information that you ever came across, and potentially even to the ones that you never stumbled upon.
It can be thought of in terms of a higher power, as well.
If we accept the idea that we are spiritual beings, then our subconscious is the representation of the divine in us.
Whatever you believe, the subconscious is notoriously powerful in influencing your life.
It can be in a negative way, through the silent blockages our past programming and limiting beliefs impose on us — or in a positive way, through inspiring us in taking meaningful action in the direction of our dreams.
Visualizing leverages the positive influence that the subconscious mind holds over our conscious lives.
I love this analogy from Napoleon Hill, who talks about the practice of visualization as an act in which “the conscious mind acts as a lens, concentrating the image of your desires and bringing them to a point on the film of the subconscious”.
Once you get that image printed neat and clear in your subconscious mind, this will start to silently guide your hand to make the magic happen — by allowing you to make the right choices, see the opportunities ahead of you and take advantage of them.
Society and Your Upbringing Are (Probably) the Enemies of Your Success
Imagining your dream life and emotionally engaging with the visualization is one of the keys to successfully reaching any of your goals.
The tricky part is believing that this really works.
We are taught from an early age that we have to deserve good things and that we have to be worthy of receiving love.
Growing up, most of us were also exposed to the false beliefs of not being deserving nor worthy, that men are fundamentally evil, and that we are all somehow sinners that need repenting and suffering.
Television and the media in general promote a “lack mindset”, inculcating fears and market-generated desires into people’s minds, and pushing everyone to compete in an endless and pointless race for a fake idea of success the capitalistic society has crafted for us.
None of that is true.
We live surrounded by abundance and beauty.
You are full of love, worthy, and deserving of all the good things that your heart can desire, simply because you are.
And — perhaps the best part of it all — you are the creator of your own life.
As soon as you realize this, great things are going to happen.
There’s science behind this
Science is now proving that a growth mindset makes you reach your goals much faster and with more ease. While also keeping you happy in the process.
Research by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson has shown that positive emotions enable us to think more creatively and be more resilient to challenges, which ultimately allows us to be more successful in reaching our goals.
Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor, researcher, and author of The How of Happiness, explains that happiness is what leads to success and not the other way around.
If a happy life leads to success, and you have the power to choose happiness at any moment regardless of your circumstances, then what this means is that you have the ability to create your success.
Don’t you find this comforting, too?
5 Steps to an Effective Visualization Practice
If evoking positive emotions by visualizing your dream life on a daily basis can help you achieve your goals, why not give it a try?
After all, visualizing can be considered a way to train your mind.
Have you ever heard of the phrase “where attention goes, energy flows”?
In this light, visualizing is a way of focusing your attention on what you want to achieve, making it more likely for you to direct your actions and thoughts toward their achievement.
Here are a few steps for an effective visualization practice:
- Make it a ritual —dedicate five minutes of your day, every day, to dreaming about what you want in life.
- Give it the right space — mindfulness and visualization go hand in hand. Find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed, relax, and enjoy.
- Be specific — the more details you can picture, the better.
- Emotion is queen — feel the joy, the love, the gratitude, and all the wonderful feelings that you would feel experiencing the things you are imagining.
- Write a script — if you struggle to visualize on the spot, it can be helpful to write a script beforehand. Imagine you have achieved all you want in life. Now imagine a day in this life. What does it look like, and what are you doing?
- You gotta be in it — this is all about you, living the life that you want and having all the experiences that you want to have. Make sure you place yourself as the main character of your mind-movie.
Having dreams is great. It’s what pushes you forward in life.
Having plans to achieve these dreams can also be nice.
But nothing feels quite as good as seeing yourself living the life of your dreams and experiencing that joy over and over, day after day, from the comfort of your couch.
It’s free, guaranteed to make you feel good and super effective.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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