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Visualization
A Key To Achieving Your Goals

Visualization is an important personal development tool. Just as affirmations can help you motivate yourself and focus better to achieve your goals so can using visualization, or mental imagery.

Although it has only become really popular as a personal development technique since the late seventies and early eighties, we as humans have been using mental imagery since the beginning of time.visualization

Whenever we have an idea or notion to do something we visualize it first. For instance, if we're hungry and want to eat we picture different food possibilities; whether we want to cook a meal or go out to eat, and whether or not we want company at our meal. When we have a function to attend we picture what type of outfit to wear and where we might shop for it.

What is Visualization?

It is the use of the imagination through pictures or mental imagery to create visions of what we want in our lives and how to make them happen. Along with focus and emotion it becomes a powerful, creative tool that helps us achieve what we want in life.
Used correctly it can bring about self-improvement, maintain good health, help you perform well in sports, and accomplish your goals in life.

In sports, mental imagery is often used by athletes to improve their skills by picturing the achievement of a specific feat, such as hitting or shooting a ball, skiing a hill, swimming or running a race, among other things.

Using it as a technique invariably results in a much better performance and outcome. This also holds true in business, or in life, such as in delivering a speech, asking for a raise, or any other situation that requires preparedness and forethought.

How does it work?

Visualization or mental imagery works because when you imagine yourself performing perfectly and doing exactly what you want, you physiologically create neural patterns in your brain, just as if you had physically performed the action. The thought can stimulate the nervous system in the same way as the actual event does.

Performing or rehearsing an event in the mind trains it and creates the neural patterns to teach our muscles to do exactly what we want them to do.

In the case of competitive sports, not only are exceptional physical skills required, but so is a strong mental game. Most coaches preach that sports are 90% mental and only 10% physical. That's why so many athletes train in visualization or mental imagery along with their physical routines.

To be effective, like any skill, mental imagery needs to be practiced regularly. The four elements to mental imagery are relaxation, realism, regularity and reinforcement.

When To Use Visualization

  • For successful outcomes - See yourself performing skills at a high level, achieving your goals, being who you want to be and living the life you want.
  • To motivate - Envision yourself achieving your goals vividly to remind yourself of your objective and what you need to do to reach it. Many athletes, actors, and singers "see" and "feel" themselves performing a routine, program, or play several times perfectly in their minds before they actually do it.
  • To familiarize or set the stage for a performance/event -  Mental imagery can be used effectively to familiarize yourself with the surroundings before an event, such as a competition site, a racetrack, a stage or a difficult play or routine prior to a competition.
  • To do a run-through - Athletes and performers often do a complete mental run through of the key elements of their routines. This helps them to focus and eliminate some pre-performance jitters, thus making them more comfortable when the time comes to compete or perform. It also serves as a warm-up or mini rehearsal.
Visualization is a wonderful tool for preparing for anything, and everything. It invariably results in a higher level of performance.

How to Visualize What you want:

  1. Go somewhere quiet and private where you won't be disturbed. Close your eyes and think of the goal, mood, new behavior or skill, you want to acquire.
  2. Take several deep breaths and relax.
  3. Visualize the object or situation you desire in your mind as clearly and with as much detail as you can.
  4. Add emotion, feeling, and your senses to your vision.
  5. Practice it at least twice a day for about 10 minutes each time.
  6. Persevere until you succeed.
  7. Maintain positive thoughts and a good attitude throughout.

The Benefits of Visualization


tick Helps you focus better in order to achieve your goals
tick Inspires and motivates you.
tick Helps you improve in a sport or skill.
tick Can be used to rehearse and then acquire new, positive behaviors.
tick Can boost your mood by using positive, pleasant imagery to alter negative emotions.
tickHelps build self-confidence.
See Also:
Affirmations - How to Make Them Real
Back to Personal Development Articles
How to Develop Good Habits
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