Do you remember a time in your life when you visualized an outcome that later came true?
Humans have a unique ability to see the future before it actually happens. We can use our imagination and visualize how we believe our lives will be, then begin to take action to make it happen. This works in both the positive and the negative.
I've written a lot about my childhood and how difficult it was. Like many kids, I grew up in an alcoholic home with daily drinking, chaos, dysfunction, neglect and instability. My only escape as a child was in my mind. If you were to look at my circumstances as a child, you might say it would not be possible for me to imagine a better life yet I remember seeing myself succeeding in ways that I didn't understand. I didn't know it at the time but I was visualizing.
Since then I've gone on to study positive psychology and yoga psychology. I wasn't surprised to learn that two of the most important mental habits for success (which can be learned) are hope and optimism.
In my yoga psychology studies (which is all about the quality of mind and emotion) I learned that the first tool for transformation is visualization. Simply put, visualization is how we can train our mind and emotions to focus on a certain desired goal or outcome.
Stephen Covey, author of "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" writes, "there’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.
To be clear, visualization is not about imagining something we want then sitting back and waiting for it to come to us. Visualization is about building within ourselves the faith, vision, feeing and belief in what we want to experience and create.
We have within our brains a reticular activating system. This is a filter that will mirror back to us what we already believe. If we believe life is hard and we can't succeed our reticular activating system will find evidence to prove us right. This works in the other direction too. If we believe in and visualize our goals regularly this same reticular activating system will begin to reflect back to us opportunities, people and circumstances that support our vision.
We are creative beings hardwired to experience more of what we already believe. Whether this concept is familiar or new to you the key is putting it into practice.
Our thoughts and feelings are very powerful. They become our world so let's be conscious and aware of what we are visualizing and make an effort to visualize our highest thoughts. Creating the life we want and creating the life we don’t want are both derived from our own thoughts and visualizations and we are responsible for them. If we decide on soul centered thoughts and visualizations, we create a better future and a better life.
This is one of the most life changing strategies and principles I teach my coaching clients.
Spend a few minutes each day imagining something you really want in life... as if it's already happening. Sit with your eyes closed and put yourself in the scene, like you've entered a movie and you're the main character. Feel it. Be there in your mind. You don't have to worry about strategy. Just allow yourself to see it, feel it and experience it on the inside.
This is a vital step in creating our desired future.