We all have a different way of seeing things, but what if we could actually use our minds to alter the world around us? Visualisation is an exciting technique that can help you do just that. In this article, let’s talk about how visualisation works and how you can use it in your daily life.
What is visualisation?
Visualisation is about seeing possibilities for yourself and for your life, beyond the obvious. It lets you use your mind to imagine and create the life of your dreams.
Think about it this way: If you were to ask someone how they would like their life to be in one years time or maybe even in just a months time, how many times do you think they would say “I am not sure yet, I just want more of this and that” or “I want to solve this *insert problem here*”.
You can probably think of some things that are important to them (money, family, career, etc), but if we asked what else could happen – if there was something else out there – then maybe not so much. Most people don’t really know what else might be possible. They’re just stuck on whatever it is they currently have or don’t have.
If you are one of those people, it’s totally okay. You can absolutely attract the life you desire. Visualisation can help you get past this because it makes you look at your life differently – through different lenses if you will – which allows you all sorts of new possibilities that you might not otherwise have seen before.
How does visualisation work?
Visualisation works on two levels: the conscious and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is where we form thoughts about what we want to achieve or change, but these thoughts don’t always translate into action because of resistance from the subconscious mind which wants to continue doing things as they are now so it doesn’t have to change its habits or lifestyle.
A specific part of the brain called Reticular Activating System or RAS is responsible for your consciousness as well as filtering of unnecessary information. This process allows you to create the life of your dreams by changing what’s going on inside of you, from the inside itself and then out to the world!
The key is to get those two minds working together—by visualising an outcome from beginning to end, we increase our motivation and ability to take action towards achieving our goal (and thus build momentum). This also helps us overcome fear by knowing exactly how we’ll feel if/when we reach our goal!
The thing is, you have to be clear on what it is that you want to occur. Be specific on how you want to feel when it happens, what it will look like, what it will smell like, etc.
What’s also very important is that you need to have the utmost belief in what it is that you visualise to happen. It’s like that little saying “I ask, I believe, I receive”.
In a new episode of Happiness Co’s The Upside Podcast, Thomas O’Brien and Julian Pace discussed and debunked some of the most common myths and misconceptions about visualisation:
- Visualisation doesn’t work and it’s a woo-woo.
It’s actually not! As mentioned above, visualisation can be explained scientifically as it is related to how our brain works. It has also helped so many people achieve their goals, boost their confidence, and live a life aligned to their true mission and vision.
- Visualisation needs to be long-term and it takes too long to bring things to life.
Why not visualise what will happen in your life tomorrow? Or next week? Pick a problem and visualise how you can be better in this problem tomorrow.
As Julian Pace mentioned, you are only as free in life as the options that you have. If you are stuck on a problem, try visualising so you can widen your options. If you can change the way you look at something, what you look at changes.
- Visualisation always has to be about the big things.
You can actually start small and use visualisation in your daily living and problem solving. For instance, you can just look around you and evaluate the type of people that you hang out with, the way you spend your time and energy, and the words and things you feed to your mind, – you can assess whether they still align to you. If not, then start visualising how you want it to look like.
Easy ways to do visualisation
Visualisation is about taking the time to think through what you want, and how it could look. It doesn’t have to be perfect – just a rough plan on how things might pan out if everything worked out well.
- Get a pen and paper. If you are more inclined to technology, get your smartphone, iPad, or laptop.
- Write down what it is that you want or need in your life right now. This could be anything from career goals, health improvements, or relationships.
- Set an intention! Decide how long you would like this goal/desire/thought etc…to last (in days, weeks, months).
- Finally: Visualise yourself already having the thing that you want by seeing what exactly it would look like. What can you see? Where are you physically? What can you taste, smell, touch? How does it feel knowing that this thing has happened for real…imagine all of these feelings combined together at once!
Best time to visualise things
It was also mentioned in the podcast episode that the best time to do visualisation is anytime that you have a problem that needs lateral thinking.
It does not need to be long, it can last around 2-5 mins. But if you have time, you can even do it for an hour. The point is, you do not need to overcomplicate it and have an excuse that you don’t have time because you can do it even when driving home from work.
You can also set a schedule to do it when you wake up in the morning and before you sleep at night. Think about planting good thoughts and incredible intentions.
Julian Pace also reminded everyone that if you take your life to chance, you live so many uncertainties. Visualization gives you clarity, and clarity is power.
If you want to listen to the recent episode of Happiness Co’s The Upside Podcast where Thomas O’Brien and Julian Pace also conducted a powerful visualisation exercise, click here. (I promise you won’t regret it!)