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Reaching-Goals-Using-Imagination The Power of Visualization

One of the misconceptions many of us have is that it only takes willpower to achieve whatever it is that we want – be it losing weight, quitting smoking, or breaking bad habits. So, when we fall off track, we blame it on our willpower. We think that we don’t have enough of it to bring positive change in our lives. But the truth is, it takes more than just willpower for us to reach our goals.

The Power of Visualization

It takes more than just willpower to achieve a goal because, to achieve it, you have to have a clear picture in your mind on what it looks like. Unless it’s clear in your head on what you want to achieve, you will remain stuck in the goal-setting phase. This is where visualization becomes helpful.

Visualization is simply a technique of creating a mental image of what you want to achieve. By visualizing your desired outcome, the goal becomes less overwhelming and appears more achievable.

This technique is no longer new. It has been existing for thousands of years and has been used by several professional athletes, entrepreneurs, and other successful people. Some of the famous figures who have used the visualization technique include Jim Carrey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lindsey Vonn.

Why and How Visualization Works

Visualization has been used mostly by many athletes because aside from increasing their motivation and confidence, the technique is shown to improve their muscle memory. This discovery on the link between visualization and performance has been attested by a study done by an Australian psychologist Alan Richardson.

In his experiment, he divided the subjects into three groups. One group practised free throws every day for 20 days; the second group only did free throws on the first and 20th day, and the third group practised visualizing free throws every day. At the end of the experiment, Richardson measured each group’s performance. The first group improved by 24%; the second group didn’t improve at all; and the third group, who practised daily visualization, were able to improve by 23%, close to what the first group had achieved.

The use of visualization for purposes other than spiritual development became popular when Charles Garfield published his book Peak Performance. In his book, Garfield highlights how Russian athletes spent more time in mental than physical training. This effect of mental activity on the muscles can be attested in one study published by the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Visualization works because the repeated thoughts you have to drive your subconscious mind to act on them. And when your repeated thoughts involved strong emotions, then it would incite action. You then begin to change your behaviour and habits in accordance to what you constantly imagine in your head.

How to Use Visualization to Achieve Your Goal

The effectiveness of visualization in helping you achieve your goal depends on how you do it. If you’re completely new to this technique, then the following tips can help you get started:

  • Be very clear on what you want

  • It’s hard to visualize the desired output if you don’t exactly know what you want. So, before you establish a routine of creative visualization, it’s important to know what you want to achieve.

  • Do not rush into this process. Spend some time writing down your thoughts and deciding what it is that you want to see yourself doing or having in the future.

  • Find out what works for you

  • Every person is unique. Some people find it hard to just imagine what they want in life. There are auditory and kinesthetic learners who find it necessary to incorporate sounds or touch with visualization. With regular practice, you will figure out what works for you.

  • Add the element of feeling

  • Visualization is more effective when you start to feel what you are envisioning. Research shows that an image stays locked in your memory when you attach strong emotions in it.

  • Commit to daily practice

  • Consistency is key when it comes to visualization. When you commit yourself to daily practice, you sustain the motivation the technique gives and that further moves you into action.

Hypnotherapy and Visualization

Hypnotherapy and visualization have something in common. They both tap your subconscious mind.

Under guided hypnosis, you are placed in a complete relaxed state that enables you to tap the power of your subconscious mind. It’s your subconscious mind that accounts for 90% of your habits and behaviour. Hence, through hypnosis, you can break bad habits, form new ones, and create the change you want for yourself.


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