Visualize Who You Want to Be?
Updated: Jan 24, 2020
"Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print and begin to build it." - Robert Collier
Visualization is tremendously powerful! There is one common thread with successful people, they all believe in and practice visualization. They know how impactful visualizing yourself living your future life is. If you listen to any famous actor, athlete, CEO, or top performer they will all share a story about how they would visualize their future as they wanted it to be. They would see themselves living in the home they wanted, performing in the top films, playing for the best team and running a highly successful company. They know that to achieve what you want you must see it clearly, feel it and believe it.
When my children were growing, there would be times when they would make a mistake and lie about it or perhaps be unkind to a friend. In their teen years they were times they felt less than motivated to go the extra mile on homework or a chore around the house. I would sit in front of them and look them in the eyes and calmly ask, "Is that the kind of person you want to be? Is this how you see your best self?" They did not need to give me the answer. It was a question for them to ask themselves. The questions were meant to make them evaluate themselves and to become aware of the choices they were making. I never accept perfection from my children. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes and sometimes behave less than our best. I wanted to teach them to be self-aware of their actions, and how to use visualization as a skill to help them become whatever they wanted to be in life. If you are unaware of your behavior, you can not change or modify it. If there is no light shed on our actions and we are not making deliberate choices, we will continue to go along behaving in the same way. One day we wake up and realize we are not living our best life.
You can not become anything you can't see your self doing. Ask yourself, "Who do I want to be?" Sometimes this is a very, very difficult question to answer, especially if you are not in the practice of self-reflection. I get it! When I was a young mother, I was so busy just trying to keep my head above water I didn't have time to think, let alone self-reflect.
Let's start slow. Have a pad of paper and pencil nearby for after. Find a quiet place to sit or lay. (I always feel closest to my authentic self when I'm outside in nature.) Close your eyes, and take ten slow, deep breaths. Try to tap into the quiet space in your spirit that holds your authentic self. In your mind's eye, see yourself in 5 years, what do you look like? What are you wearing? How is your hairstyle? (It is easiest to visualize these simple things first). Getting a bit more detailed. Who is around you? What do you do in a day? How do you feel? In your mind's eye, see yourself in 10 years, how do I look? How is my health? What clothes are you wearing? Where do you live? Who is around you? How do they make you feel? What does your typical day look like? What adventures do you have? Hold this image. See the details around you. See it as if you were watching a movie with you as the star. Smell the air, feel your loved one's arms around you, see your co-workers faces. Are you happy? How do you feel in this future life? Is your heart full? Are your worries gone? Are you at peace? Are you filled with joy?
When you open your eyes write down what you saw, in as much detail as possible. Use the words, "I am ..... I feel... I see..... "
The mind is incredibly powerful. Scientific tests are showing that your body does not know the difference between actually moving and thoughts of moving. A study looking at brain patterns in weightlifters found that the models activated when a weightlifter lifted hundreds of pounds were similarly activated when they only imagined lifting. In some cases, research has revealed that mental practices are most useful as an actual physical practice and that doing both is more effective than either alone. Scientists have hooked up athletes to monitors to record their physical and brain reactions during physical activity such as running, dancing or shooting a basket. Then they had those same athletes sit in a chair and visualize the same motion they just did. The physical and mental reactions are the same. The brain tells the body that it's moving and the body believes it is physically doing the same movement even though it is sitting.
My daughter is a professional Ballerina. As an athlete, she physically practices 6-7 days a week. But her body needs to rest, even when she is preparing for a solo in a sold out Ballet. She will mentally go over and over and over ballet techniques or a particular part in the ballet she is performing. She will mentally feel the custom on her body and the placement of her partner's hands. In her mind's eye, she can hear the orchestra and the sound of the audience applauding. Her mental visualization is detailed. She FEELS the excitement and pride of doing well in the performance. She FEELS the joy of doing her best. She has practices visualization since she was a small child pretending to be a famous ballerina. And she still practices it every day.
SEE yourself living your best life.
Notice how that makes you FEEL.
BELIEVE that it is on its way.
Now CREATE it!