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How to practice Visualization





We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of visualization in the last two articles, ranging from motivation to training and manifestation. But what we haven’t talked about so far, is how to start practicing visualization and to generate a habit out of it. So, this is what we are going to look at today. How do you prepare for such a practice? How do you get in the proper mindset? And how do to ensure that it becomes a regular habit? Let’s start off by looking at a typical example of how one could utilize visualization to their advantage.



Situation: Meet Sarah, a young professional who wants to excel in her career, particularly in her sales role. She's always been a bit shy and self-conscious, often feeling like she lacks the charm and attractiveness required for successful client interactions.

Visualization Technique: Sarah decides to use visualization to change her self-perception. She starts by finding a quiet place and closing her eyes. She imagines herself in a business meeting or social gathering where she effortlessly engages with clients and colleagues. In her visualization, she sees herself smiling, making eye contact, and conveying confidence and charm. She focuses on the positive reactions she receives from others in her mental simulation.

Belief Reinforcement: Sarah repeats this visualization exercise regularly, allowing herself to feel the emotions associated with being charming and attractive. As she does this, she starts to believe more strongly in her own charm and attractiveness. She internalizes the idea that she can genuinely connect with people and create positive impressions.

Positive Self-Image: Over time, Sarah's self-image transforms. She starts to carry herself with more confidence, both in her professional and personal life. She notices changes in her body language, tone of voice, and overall demeanor. She's no longer self-conscious; she genuinely believes in her ability to be charming and attractive.

Behavioral Changes: As Sarah's self-belief grows, she begins to act in alignment with her new self-image. She engages more proactively in networking events, speaks up confidently in meetings, and takes the initiative to build rapport with clients. Her actions reflect the charming and attractive persona she visualized.

Positive Feedback Loop: As Sarah consistently behaves in this manner, she starts receiving positive feedback from her colleagues, clients, and peers. They respond more favorably to her, as her newfound confidence and charm are contagious. She forms stronger connections and is seen as more attractive, not only in appearance but also in character.

Career Success: Sarah's career starts to flourish. She closes more deals, forms lasting client relationships, and receives recognition for her contributions. Her success reinforces her positive self-belief, creating a self-perpetuating cycle of confidence and achievement.


In this scenario, Sarah's use of visualization led to a profound internal change, altering her beliefs about herself. This change in self-perception had a ripple effect, influencing her behavior, the way she interacted with others, and ultimately, her career success. By visualizing the person she wanted to become, Sarah sowed the seeds of her own transformation and reaped the benefits of her positive self-belief.



So, after all this talk about the benefits of visualization, let’s get into the details of how to actually do it.


There are three basic elements to visualization:

1. Clarity of intention

2. Finding the mindset

3. Exercising visualization


What do I want to achieve?

When I sit down to do visualization practice, what is probably most important is the presence of a clear intention, about where you want to go with this practice. In order to use visualization properly I need to have some sort of aim, maybe a challenge I want to overcome. So, the first step is to become very clear about my aim. Research shows that the most effective way of making progress on any given project is to select it as the one priority to work on. Having more than one priority usually decreases the probability of success, because it makes it harder for us to focus. After having set your priority, you want to make sure to formulate clear actions you need to take to reach your goal. If your goal is to become a good dancer, you can specify these actions in terms of how often per week you will have to train, or maybe visit a class. Be very specific about the number of times and/or hours you want to spend, so as to make your progress measurable.


What am I using visualization for?

The next step is to be precise about what you want to use the practice of visualization for. Is it for training a specific skill or is it for motivating yourself by imagining a positive result? Or is it maybe for convincing yourself that you can achieve your goal and therefore manifesting it? Depending on what your aim is, you will want to adjust your practice. The next most important thing to do is to make the practice of visualization a habit. Only in this way can you get a sustained benefit from it.



Making it a habit

The good thing about visualization is that it is a practice rather than a static reminder. The problem with static reminders, like a sticky note on the fridge, is that they get canceled out by our subconscious very quickly, meaning that after a couple of days, we don’t see them anymore, even if they are right in front of our face. Unlike the sticky note that you put on the fridge, the images in your mind cannot simply be canceled out by your subconscious over time, because you actively create them every day you do the practice. Doing this every day helps to keep your goals and intentions fresh. If you can set a time in the morning (maybe as part of your morning routine) for visualization, you can maintain clarity of direction regarding your goals from one day to the next. And by doing this every day, you signal to your subconscious that you actually care about this project. The key thing about building new habits is to reprogram your subconscious so that you don’t have to consciously do the work of maintaining the habit day in day out. And the best way to reprogram your subconscious in this way is to convince it that you care about the thing you’re trying to build a habit around. Visualization is very helpful in this regard since it can serve to reinforce those reasons, thereby creating the foundation of becoming a routine for itself. Because you use visualization partly to remind yourself of what you can achieve, it programs your subconscious in the right way. And so, it will be easier for you to generate a habit both of the thing you’re training for, as well as the practice of visualization itself.


Finding the mindset

Some people will find the act of visually imagining a scenario harder than others. To some, this sort of practice comes quite naturally. For others, it might feel somewhat awkward at first. But with some practice, everyone can get good at it.

In order to get into the proper mindset for your practice it is usually very helpful to start with some physical relaxation techniques. This is both good for calming yourself down, as well as for shifting your focus onto something that you can easily control. Those two things will help in preparing the mind for clearer visualization. Find a comfortable space, where you can sit for a while and close your eyes. Start with diaphragmatic breathing, where you breathe deeply into your abdomen instead of just your chest. Breathe slowly and follow a steady rhythm as you go.

Next, you can continue with what is called progressive muscle relaxation. This is where you focus on a specific muscle group (typically starting with your toes and working your way up) and tense those for a few seconds. After about 5-10 seconds you release the tension and allow your muscles to relax completely. Then you move to the next muscle group.

After that, you can do a couple of minutes of mindfulness meditation, where the goal is to become a simple, non-judgmental observer of yourself. Here you will want to allow your subconscious to do its work freely, without intervening or changing anything. If a thought comes, you let it come, if an emotion arises you allow it in, until it leaves again. The goal of this practice is to create some distance between yourself and the workings of your subconscious mind, such that you don’t have to react to everything that pops up in your head. Some like to call this practice, silencing the monkey mind.




The practice

At that point, you should be all set for your visualization practice. Here is a bit of an overview of how such a session might go:


Step 1: Setting the Intention

  • For example, "Today, I will focus on visualizing my upcoming presentation to boost my confidence and performance."

Step 2: Imagery (example)

  • "Imagine yourself standing in a well-lit room, filled with friendly faces."

  • "Feel the coolness of the floor beneath your feet and the warmth of the spotlight on your face."

  • "Hear the supportive applause from your audience as you speak confidently and passionately."

  • "See yourself gesturing confidently and maintaining eye contact with your audience."

Step 3: Focus on Emotions

  • "How do you feel in this moment?"

  • "What emotions are surfacing as you succeed in this scenario?"

  • Take the time to enjoy and cherish these positive feelings.

Step 4: Resolution

  • Bring the visualization to a positive resolution. For example:

    • "As you conclude your presentation, you feel a deep sense of accomplishment and pride."

    • "You receive positive feedback from your audience, reinforcing your confidence."

Step 5: Reflect on your experience

  • Ask yourself questions like:

    • "What did I notice during the visualization?"

    • "How did I feel, both physically and emotionally?"

    • "What insights or new perspectives did I gain?"

Step 6: Set Action Steps

  • Based on the insights gained from the visualization, set yourself specific action steps you want to take to achieve your goal.


As we have discussed extensively in the previous articles, there is really no limit to the application of this practice and I think, once you get a hang of it and you feel the potential hidden in this practice, it will be an easy thing to make a habit out of it. It’s really one of the most powerful tools for motivation, training, and even manifestation at our disposal and we can use it to guide ourselves, our own development, and our lives in the direction we want them to go. In that, it is a tool for becoming more autonomous and taking more control over how our lives unfold and in what direction they go. It’s hard to overstate the tremendous benefit you can get from this practice, so I would really recommend you try it. And even if it feels a bit awkward in the beginning, be patient and get used to it, and your life will very likely be better for it.


I hope you have found today’s article helpful, and I’ll see you in the next one. Have a nice week.

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