Are you working towards a goal or wanting to make a long held dream a reality but at times feel stuck in a rut as if you’re not moving forward, and the same old frustrations keep happening despite your best efforts, and you’re thinking “how am I ever going to get there?” I certainly have and it’s a common complaint my coaching and psychology clients come to me with.
Now visualizing your dream when it feels like you’re light years away from it might seem counter intuitive. Why would you want to be focusing on what you don’t have and make yourself feel even worse right? But for many people, myself included it doesn’t. In fact, visualizing where you want to be in your life promotes positive emotions because you’re tapping into those things that make you feel good, which is going to have an instant positive effect on your mood. When you’re feeling down about yourself it’s a sure thing that inner critic of yours with the super high expectations is the culprit. “You haven’t done nearly enough” ,“Other people can do it why can’t you?”, “You’re just not good enough”. Sound familiar? Hmmm.
When you use positive imagery you’re disengaging with the negative self-talk of the critic and connecting with your values (those things that are important to you) on an emotional level, which creates a shift in mindset and feelings.
So when you notice yourself entering into a downward spiral of negativity; maybe you feel frustrated because you didn’t get that job you desperately wanted, or you feel sad because you’re sick of single life, or you feel like a failure because you’re not making X amount of money, use the power of visualization to shift you out of your current state of blahness (as I call it) and into a state of acceptance. From there you are in a better space to think logically and make your next move. Many of my clients who do this exercise report that they can more realistically see the progress they’re making right now, even if it’s small or not in the way they expected.
The Visualization Exercise
Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths in and out, and in your mind’s eye fast forward to sometime in the future when you have achieved your goal and are living your dream. It doesn’t matter when, just allow yourself to soak up that image and connect with it using all your senses, as if you are really there right here right now.
- What do you see? Notice all the details around you, including colors, textures, clothes, furniture, nature etc.
- What do you hear? Notice the sounds around you? People chatting, silence, birds twittering, music playing, the wind?
- What can you touch? Notice the feel and textures of the things around you and in contact with your body, e.g., the sand, a rug, table etc.
- What can you smell? Notice the scents in the air, such as food, fresh grass, sea salt, perfume
- What do you taste? Notice what tastes are in your mouth.
- How do you feel? Notice where in your body you can feel them? Perhaps its elation, comfort, love, joy, relaxation, pride. Whatever feelings you are experiencing in this vision allows those feelings to wash through your whole body right now.
Now take 3 deep breaths and slowly open your eyes, seeing if you can hold on to those feelings as long as possible.
How did you go? I’d love for you to share your experiences with me! 🙂