Anyone with even a minor interest in personal development and success has probably heard that visualization helps. By picturing your life as you would like it to be, you’ll make it so.
That said, many people who’ve heard of visualization also dismiss it as pseudoscience. Depending on your beliefs, in some capacity, you may be right. It’s fair to assume that simply visualizing your dream life won’t help you manifest it through some magical force.
That doesn’t mean visualization isn’t useful. On the contrary, many of the world’s most successful and fulfilled people, from pro athletes to business owners, recommend using visualization techniques to succeed in life. The following points will help you understand why you should take those recommendations seriously.
Why Visualizing Success Works
Improving Your Mindset
Research indicates that focusing on particular experiences for a few minutes (or even seconds) can make you start to feel the emotions and attitudes associated with those experiences. A simple example is the excitement you feel when planning a dream vacation. Even though you may not be on vacation yet, thinking about it and focusing on it generates some of the emotions you’ll experience when you’re actually there.
The same principle applies to your life goals. Mindset and emotional state can make a big difference in whether you succeed in a given endeavor. If you’re convinced you’re going to fail, odds are good you will. If you believe you can succeed, you have a much better shot at doing so.
This illustrates why success visualization is so helpful. If you consistently visualize achieving a life goal, over time, you’ll find that getting into the corresponding mental and emotional states becomes easier and easier. This helps you overcome mental barriers.
Improving Actual Skills
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that success visualization techniques simply involve imagining yourself living your dream life. To thoroughly leverage the power of visualization, you should also visualize performing specific tasks that may be necessary for you to succeed.
Many athletes do this. They visualize theoretical moments they might experience during major competitions, such as throwing the football towards the end zone. Most importantly, they try to imagine not only the visual components, but also the physical sensations associated with a given moment. In other words, the football player will try to “feel” what throwing a touchdown would involve on a physical level.
Research indicates this practice works. To some degree, visualizing yourself performing a specific task on a regular basis will improve your ability to perform that task in the real world. For example, if you consistently visualize yourself delivering a compelling speech, your public speaking skills will improve.
When you first begin to practice visualization techniques for success, you may not be entirely certain what types of situations you wish to visualize. Stick with the practice, however, and you’ll begin to understand which scenarios most appeal to you.
This will help you better understand your own major life goals. By visualizing what you want, you’ll learn what you truly want. That’s key to actually achieving it.