Can You Really Get What You Want from Life Through Visualization?
Visualization is one of those techniques that invites extreme reactions from people. They either swear by it or can’t believe that anyone actually uses it. What is it about visualization that is so polarizing? And what can you say to someone who’s a naysayer or merely someone who doubts the efficacy of this method?
Visualization may not always be effective but this is largely because the person hasn’t practiced it enough, or believes that visualization alone is enough. Like anything else, visualization is more effective the more you do it, and it has to be complemented by real work in the real world. It may not be a magic lamp that can grant you anything you wish for, but if the thing you’re aiming for is within the realm of possibility, there’s no reason why visualizing it won’t bring you closer to it.
Here are a few visualization techniques that everyone can practice to help attract the things they want into their lives:
Can daydreaming really be a visualization? Most people think that it’s a waste of time. Children are usually told by their parents to stop daydreaming and get on with work. So we get into the habit of constantly staying busy and not allowing our imaginations to run wild. However, WebMD suggests that daydreaming has many benefits, from helping you relax to strengthening your relationships.
- What Can You Daydream About? When you daydream, you’re usually thinking about achieving something. You might imagine people congratulating you after you performed a song in front of a live audience. You might imagine people appreciating your beauty or your clothes. You might imagine yourself close to someone you love, even if this person doesn’t exist yet! And the more you allow yourself to dream about these things, the more you’re allowing yourself to hope that they might actually be possible, which is the first step toward achieving them.
- Daydreaming on Paper. If you find that you can’t just let your mind wander, you can try daydreaming on paper. Imagine yourself achieving the things you want and write them down. Try to make the scene as concrete as possible. Where does it take place? Who’s around you? What are you wearing? Then go inwards and write about how you feel in that moment. Are you satisfied? Ecstatic? Do you feel a sense of peace? The more details you add and the more often you do this, the closer you’ll come to your goal.
In The Secret, Rhonda Byrne talks about creating a vision board to help fulfill your dreams. Julia Cameron talks about it in The Artist’s Way as well, recommending collages that are pasted together rather than images pinned on a board. Whether you choose to pin or paste your images and quotes, the idea is the same: to have a space on your wall that inspires you and speaks to the things you want in your life.
- Feelings vs. Material Things.This article from Huffington Post recommends focusing on the feelings you want to feel in the future, in addition to using images or text that focus on the material things you want. This is your vision board and you get to set the rules. The only requirement is that you should put it up in a place that you can see everyday.
- Using Positive Images and Text. You want to make sure that everything you put on your vision board has a positive connotation. If anything starts to feel the least bit negative to you, don’t put it up. All you have to do is ask yourself whether that thing is positive or negative.
- Willing Things into Existence. When you create a vision board, you may find that the things you put up start coincidentally making their way into your life. But of course, if you believe in visualization, you’ll know that there’s no such thing as coincidence. Everything happens because you’ve willed it into existence. And you can use a vision board to help you do that.
Work from the Outside In
When you’re daydreaming, you’re working from the inside out. You imagine the things you want to happen and this helps lead to their happening in real life. However, there are many methods of visualization that work from the outside in. For these methods, you can make changes, subtle or dramatic, to your surroundings in order to manifest even bigger changes of a positive nature.
- The Law of Attraction. How do you work from the outside in? This may not seem clear at first go. However, it can be explained by the law of attraction, explained at length on Oprah Winfrey’s website. When you make a change of a positive nature, you invite more positive changes into your life. Like attracts like.
- Change Your Appearance. How exactly do you make the changes that will invite good things into your life? One way is to change how you look. It seems superficial, but putting some effort into your appearance can make you feel more positive about making other changes and inviting good things into your life. You don’t need to buy a bunch of designer clothes, but wearing the same old ones over and over can make you feel more “stuck” than you might realize.
- Organize and Decorate Your Surroundings. Another great way to work from the outside in is by organizing and decorating your home. If you’re constantly living in a messy place, your thoughts are also bound to be messy. Clean up, organize and put a little effort into living in beautiful surroundings. It’ll make you feel good and will also invite more good things into your life.
This might seem like a strange thing to consider as a visualization. However, as we saw earlier, like attracts like. So if you’re having fun, you’re also inviting more fun into your life. The better you feel now, the better you’re likely to feel in the future.
- Find Your Fun. Everyone instinctively knows the things that are going to make them feel better, and it’s important to focus on your individual idea of fun, whether it’s reading a book, going for a run, or spending time with friends.
- The Importance of Fun at Work. Most of us seek occupations where we’re experiencing some degree of fun or happiness. If we end up in jobs that don’t resonate with us, we’re not likely to experience that sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. Even if others look at us and think we’re successful, we certainly won’t feel that way.
- Moving Gradually Towards Your Goals. If you aren’t having fun at work, does this mean that you need to switch jobs immediately? Can you just up and quit being a high-powered lawyer and become a stay-at-home writer like Ben Fountain, whom Malcolm Gladwell wrote about for the New Yorker? The answer, for most people, is no: even Ben Fountain went about the process gradually, discovering new things about himself as he went.
- Figuring Out Your Purpose in Life. If you’re not entirely sure about your purpose in life, you can adopt a similar approach. But the best way to find your calling is by asking yourself if what you’re doing is fun. Does it make you happy? Do you wake up every morning looking forward to beginning your work day? And if the answer is no, then it might be time to consider what else you can take up, at least in your spare time, to give you the job satisfaction you desire.
Visualization isn’t a magic bullet — getting what you want in life also requires real work and practical skills that you can develop. Contact me for more tips on creating the life you want!