What is Creative Visualization?
Creative visualization is your ability to use your imagination to get what you want out of life. Visualization helps you get clearer about intentions and objectives. In other words, you develop detailed pictures of yourself successfully achieving specific future possibilities and outcomes.
For example, suppose you decided to cook dinner tonight, but you had no concept of what you wanted to prepare. Because you lack direction, when you go into the kitchen you don’t know which ingredients to gather or how to combine them. Through trial and many wasted ingredients, you may eventually concoct a good dinner. However, wouldn’t you have an easier time getting dinner ready if you had a clear picture of the outcome? Absolutely! The process would have been more direct if you had been able to picture what you wanted long before you began putting your ingredients into a pan.
Having a clear picture of your outcome provides direction, eases frustration, and increases your chances of success.
The same holds true for your goals, dreams, and aspirations. You reach success when you hold an image in your mind that predicates a successful outcome. Motivational speaker Les Brown advises, “You must see your goals clearly and specifically before you can set out for them. Hold them in your mind until they become second nature.” Visualization is an essential element of achieving success.
Visualization is a secret shared by top athletes, actors, performers, and business leaders. In fact, almost all successful people use some form of visualization. Visualization is mentally picturing an event before it happens and seeing your self successfully accomplishing the event. You picture yourself confident and passionate, being in possession of what you desire. You experience the excitement, satisfaction, and fulfillment of already having what you want.
Visualizing your success is important and can propel you through many difficult times. Here’s a quick primer on how to use creative visualization in a more conscious way to achieve your goals and dreams.
Know What You Want
The first step in creating what you want is to determine exactly what it is you want. Sounds simple, but it is not always so. For a dream to become a goal, clarity and detail are required. It’s not enough just to have a vague idea of what you want. You want to define your dream beyond wanting more energy, better health, or losing weight. Take your concept of what you want, shape it, define it, and picture exactly what success would look like to you.
Whether your goals are personal or professional, the visualization of having achieved them makes all the difference. Create a vision of who you want to be – and live in that picture as if it were already true. Allow the pictures of your life to be vibrant, rich in detail, exciting, and full of hope. Use your five senses to bring life and excitement to your imagination. Go through all your senses and notice what you imagine seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, even smelling, in your vision. Breathe deeply and easily as you do this, breathing life into your vision.
Rehearse Your Success
Visualization is an active, ongoing process. It is not something you do once and then forget about. Rehearse your desired outcome many times in your mind before it actually happens. By taking the time to visualize your dreams, you bring them into your body, and you invite them into your life. Get into the habit of holding your image of success in your mind day-by-day, moment-by-moment.
Move Beyond Obstacles
Visualization melts away the mental roadblocks holding you back from living the life of your dreams. Sometimes, when you are deep into a problem, you may think you are stuck with no way out. Visualization is a creative tool in which you see yourself moving past your block, receiving what you need, and being supported in your efforts. Visualization allows your creativity to generate new ideas to overcome obstacles. Visualizing will help you find a way to win even under the most difficult circumstances.
More Than Wishful Thinking
While creative visualization is thinking positively, it is much more than wishful thinking. It is a mental process establishing a goal and then imagining the process of attaining that goal. Vision is not magic, it requires perseverance and patience, but it works. Stick with it and creative visualization can be a useful tool to manifest your dreams.
Strange? Sure. But it works. Achieving success requires that you prepare yourself for success, and visualizing helps you do that. Begin right now and imagine yourself living your ideal life and feeling really great living that life. This type of visualization isn’t something that happens on its own. Plan ahead, and decide to spend time each day imagining your ideal life. As you think, so you become!!
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Copyright 1997–2009 Annette Colby, PhD. All rights reserved in all media.