Visualisation is the practice of affecting the outside world by changing your thoughts and using imagination to experience new behaviours and new events. By creating detailed schemas of what you want, over and over again and by using all senses to recreate these, new patterns for a change in behaviours are laid down in the brain as templates.
Using the mind and your imagination, you can see the potential for new events and new behaviours in your life. Using positive thinking and these new learnings to see things and situations differently through creating a multi-sensory experience in your mind, these new, helpful and resourceful behaviours will become positive habits.
Using the Power of Creative Visualisation opens up opportunities to create positive outcomes. Picturing positive outcomes help you create this reality in your life.
Power of Imagination
To appreciate the power of your mind, imagine a plateful of lemons, cut one in half and then see what happens – you will probably be beginning to salivate. Similarly, imagine yourself running up a series of stairs and feel the effect that this has on your breathing and your heart-rate. The Power of Imagination!
1. Visualise the Familiar
If you don’t feel experienced in visualisation then look at what is familiar to you. Think about what you had for lunch? Think about the colour of your front door? Who was your favourite teacher? What was your first pet? Where did you go for your last holiday. Start in those familiar places and relive the experience. That is Visualisation!
2. Visual Navigation
Close your eyes and begin to remember journeys that you have made before, now in your mind. Positive journeys. Perhaps start with a walk around your favourite place and re-notice all the landmarks – the smells, the sound, the feelings. Perhaps around your old school, a place where you worked, somewhere that you visited. Notice as much as you can in your mind. Revisit this place often and notice new things. This will help you to develop your neurological pathways and create the basis for change. For re-visiting places in Visual Navigation, make sure that you only re-visit places that are OK for you psychologically.
Look at the language that you use to yourself. Is it full of demands; shoulds, musts, have tos, aughts? These put unnecessary pressure on yourself and make the journey towards your goal much more demanding. Think of converting your demands to preferences, have a desire for action and create a new language to yourself that is more helpful.
4. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
The key to success in goal achievement is repetition. Eventually new behaviours become new habits and unhelpful behaviours are extinguished. Regular practice of new behaviours, such as Goal Visualisation, lay down new neurologies as ‘templates’ in the brain that you access from new memory. The name of the game is Repetition; new behaviours become habits over time.
5. Short-Term Goals
Practise regular short-term goal visualisation, perhaps 5 minutes twice every day. Imagine the Stepping Stones that you will take towards your goal and make the images as vivid and as real as possible. Think about When, Where and With Whom?
6. Familiar Anchors
Use familiar objects to ‘Anchor’ or ‘Fix’ the images and the feelings of your new goals. Use things such as trees, steps, buildings, traffic lights. Things that you will encounter on a regular basis and that will remind you of the steps along your journey and your goal.
7. Outcome or Process
Research has shown that if you focus on the Process (The Steps), as well as the Outcome (your Final Goal), that the end result will be more durable and effective than focussing only on the Outcome (Pham & Taylor 1999). Visualising and Imagining the steps along the way as well as the final goal will make the result much more successful.