I first heard about visualisation when I was twenty eight. This was back in 1989 when I read my first self-help book, Success through a positive mental attitude, by W. Clement Stone.
Over the next twenty or so years I read hundreds more self-help books, and most of them talked about visualisation and how great it was. But I could never get it to work for me. I went to seminars, listened to recordings of the great motivators, I did everything I could to change my life. But no matter how hard I tried I could never get the kind of results everybody talked about.
Visualisation was rubbish! For twenty five years I tried to visualise myself as a success to no avail. It was really frustrating and actually quite heart breaking.
Then one day, about three and a half years ago, my wife and I decided we were going to live somewhere warm. We had always loved the sunshine; and by that time we had talked about it, on and off, for nine years. But despite the talking, we were still in the UK, still in jobs we hated, and more stressed and exhausted than ever before. Then one day we were on holiday in Turkey and all the locals were so relaxed and happy that we just made the decision. Then and there, we just decided. It took eighteen months, but we made it happen.
Over the following three and a half years, not only did I create a life in the warm climate of the Mediterranean, I also wrote a book and started a successful online business. And guess what lay at the heart of this creation process? Yep, visualisation! I had finally come to understand the true power of this creative tool. Using visualisation, I have created more joy and happiness in my life in the last three and a half years than I did in the previous forty.
So if visualisation is rubbish for you right now, here are the top five reasons why that might be so.
- Not specific enough.
Earlier I said I tried to visualise myself as a success. That was far too vague to work. You need to be extremely specific about what you want. You have to pick one thing to go for. That can be anything you like as long as you decide, with your entire being, that it’s going to happen. The true power of visualisation is actually in the decision you make to make something happen–no matter what!
Not, “success”, but “One new paying client this week”. Not, “ lose weight”, but “Three pounds weight loss this week”. Not, “a new car”, but “a brand new, bright red, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta”.
- Reaching too high.
The further away emotionally from your goal you are, the harder it will be to imagine it. I used to try and see myself as this hugely popular motivational speaker, but I could never believe in it enough. How could I when I couldn’t even get out of my overdraft?
The success I sought only started to happen when I began visualising my next step. Sure, I would still love to be a great motivational speaker one day, but there’s a lot I have to do between here and there. You have to take one, simple step at a time.
What’s your next step? Don’t waste energy worrying about your huge pile of debt, visualise the next bill being paid. Don’t try and visualise losing half your body weight, you will never do it. Instead focus your visualisation on the next few pounds. Then the next few after that, and so on.
- Not consistent enough.
That one, specific thing you have chosen, and the next step you have decided to make happen—stick with it! I used to change my mind about what I wanted every other week. No wonder I couldn’t get anywhere.
No matter what happens in your life, you absolutely have to stick to that one goal, that single purpose, until you make it happen. No ifs, no buts. Stay the course. Don’t get distracted. Most of all, don’t change your mind and start going after something else.
Stay on the same track until you reach your destination. There’s no need to change trains, this is a direct line! Practise building the same vision all the time. Allow it to grow, to blossom. Keep adding details, colours, sounds, movement. Only by sticking with the same vision all the time can it grow into something that creates the feelings of what you want.
- Rushing it.
When you visualise you must take your time. You will need at least ten minutes so that you can relax first. This is the most precious, the most beautiful, the most important ten minutes of your whole life. This is creation time! Spend as long visualising what you want as it takes to create the feelings of having it. No feelings—no results.
- Baby steps
Take action towards what you want. Shortly after we decided to move to a warmer climate, my mobile phone was up for an upgrade. But as we had decided to move abroad in eighteen months, the new two year contract would have been worthless to me. So I didn’t upgrade my phone.
That one small baby step towards what I wanted was, at long last, the beginning of a life or purpose and achievement. It holds a place in my heart as the single most important choice I have ever made.
Every choice you make takes you towards your goal, or away from it. Every time you move away, your actions imply to your subconscious that you want to stay the way you are. But when your actions move you towards what you want, you re-enforce your visualisation, you fully engage the immense power of your subconscious, and suddenly—visualisation isn’t rubbish anymore—it’s the key to creation after all.
© Copyright September 2016 John Freeman. All rights reserved.