Does everything you try lately end up in disaster or fail miserably? Is the way your life is going right now just not working out for ya? It might seem like a helpless situation now, but there are solutions, girlfriend. Did you know that by visualizing future events in a certain way you could actually influence how things will go? ‘Everything is possible, if you would just believe in it’ or ‘Fake it till you make it’ are just a few of the one liners that illustrate how visualization could positively direct all there is to come. Now that your interest is sparked, you probably want to know why it is that visualization helps you bloom and how you bring something like that into practice. Have no worries, it is all about to be explained.

Negative Nancy

Visualization is not a new technique. We all visualize shit all the time. Usually though – and sadly enough – we use the power of imagination to visualize everything that could go wrong ever in life. Jennifer Lawrence probably spent the whole year of 2014 imagining herself falling down at a major public event like a 1000 times before she actually did at the Oscars of 2015. Just sayin’.

Why do things like that happen? Why do you fail terribly at speaking fluently before a group of people if all you did the night before was have some life-like horror scenarios playing over and over in your head. It’s not like you took some sort of stuttering-pill. Just thinking about it, shouldn’t mean it should actually happen, right? Wrong.

How your brain handles reality versus fantasy

Whether you like it or not, your brain does not know the difference between created reality and what’s actually happening in the outside world. Just by imagining something, your nerve system will react in the same way it does as if it were happening for real. You get the same sweaty hands and increased heart rate, whether you are just imagining giving that scary presentation or you are actually doing the real thing. By thinking about a situation in a certain way you’re conditioning your nerve system. When the situation is actually happening your nerve system is triggered to react in the same way as it did before (in your imagination), because it feels familiar and safe.

To sum it all up: since your brain doesn’t know the difference between real and fake, the real situation will evoke the same reaction in your nerve system as it did with the fake one, because you yourself conditioned it to do so. If all this were true, then why shouldn’t this whole reaction chain work with positive experiences as well? Since the rhetorical nature of this question is quite clear, it is best just to move on to ‘how-to-do-a-visualization’ part right away, because that obviously is all you want to know right now.

5 steps into the perfect visualization

  1. Relax.
  2. Think about what it is you want to visualize.
  3. Perform your visualization both associated (personal perspective) and dissociated (helicopter view). This will help you visualize the emotions that go with the experience versus the bigger picture.
  4. Go into detail and make it as lifelike as possible. Don’t compromise your emotions; just let them flow and think big.
  5. When you start with the visualization technique, make sure to repeat your practice at least five times.

A little side note: to achieve your goals, it’s better to visualize the process instead of the outcome. Why? Thinking about how it is you are gonna achieve those goals, gives you an idea of what it is you would need (to do) to get there. It increases the power to solve problems and it motivates to get started. This link between fantasy and real life helps you make your dreams come true. On top of that you’ll also learn to anticipate when it comes to setbacks and obstacles along the way. Everyone could use a little bit of that, right?

Not convinced yet? After reading these 6 benefits you will be

If visualization doesn’t work to achieve your goals (which would be really weird, but ok) it’s not the end of the world; it’s just a pity. There are still a whole lot of other reasons why visualization is awesome, which are to be found below:

  1. It enhances your performances
  2. It lowers your stress levels
  3. It makes you happy
  4. It inspires you
  5. It makes you confident
  6. It heals you

So, whatcha waiting for? Go ahead and dream the day away.