Envisioning and visualization is a powerful tool to help you unlock your dreams. Allowing yourself to visualize and giving your brain a structure to work toward paves the way for your mind to believe that you are capable of it long before you actually do it. Honestly, that’s most of the battle — getting your mind on board!
When I visualize, vacations come easily to me. Probably because they’re fun (and also something I really want in my life again right now)! Years ago when I took my mom to Santa Fe, I visualized us eating and shopping and having a good time — which is exactly what happened.
Here’s how you can use the power of envisioning to unlock your mind’s potential and a simple visualization practice you can walk through yourself.
Envisioning is the first step in my idea of aligned business creation. (You can read about how I used all 5 steps to leave my corporate job and begin coaching right here!) Envisioning and visualization allow you to have an idea of what you want to do, be, and have. It’s also proven to help build new neural pathways so you can practice the steps you’ll go through and how you’ll feel when you get what you want.
In fact, many athletes use visualization to see themselves going through the routine of a perfect game. It “locks in” the muscle memory even before they’re on the grid in their Indy car or on the court with the forwards bearing down on them.
When envisioning, I always start with the feeling — or the reason / why behind what I’m doing. For example: Why do you want new clients? What will you feel when you have those clients?
Close your eyes and allow yourself to imagine. Who are you being, how are you feeling, what are you doing because there are these 10 new clients filling your calendar?
Sometimes I don’t know the details of what I’m aiming at, I just know the feeling. Using the power of visualization, I’m able to follow the feeling that’s lighting me up to fill the details of the picture.
Last year as I was preparing to host a retreat, my intention was to host a retreat for my clients. I didn’t necessarily have much more than that intention, though, so to color in the outline, I’d imagine myself at the retreat. What are we doing? What’s the environment like? How many people are there?
Doing that envisioning allowed myself to immerse myself in the imagination of actually being in that space. Then, by following the feeling (exciting, peaceful, yummy), I’ll notice what it is about it that’s making me feel a certain way. For me, it looked like a small intimate group on the beach in the sun.
The advantage of allowing yourself to imagine your intention already coming into being is so you can notice the aspects that light you up of why you’re doing it.
If I’m following the feeling and it’s anxiety or my imagination takes me to a constricting place, I’d notice that, too, and feel into what doesn’t feel exciting. Usually, that’s when a should creeps in.
I should be up on stage. I should have 30 people at a big retreat. I should be teaching and informing instead of facilitating a meditation.
Shoulds are constricting. Notice when they pop up and check yourself. Are you envisioning what you want or what someone else thinks you want? Further, are you doing what you actually want to do or what you think you’re supposed to want to do?
Additionally, recognize if you have a visualization that’s messy, ugly, or your inner critic gets in, it’s a piece of your fear coming in to sabotage your story.
Sometimes I’ll have this vision of a beautiful place I’ve gone to visit. Then there’s a snake that wants to bite me, trying to ruin the visualization. That’s a piece of my fear that wants to sabotage that.
Take it with a grain of salt. It’s there to ruin the feeling. That doesn’t necessarily mean if I go there, a snake will bite me. That means my inner critic is speaking, not my inner wisdom. Remember: Inner wisdom knows all is possible.
Close your eyes.
Begin with an intention for how you want to feel. Do you want to feel in command, at peace, strong, etc?
What’s important to you about feeling that way?
What calls this feeling up inside you? Is it speaking at a summit? Is it running a race? Is it growing your team?
As you’re doing that, what do you see? What are you doing? Where are you?
Allow your imagination to run wild based on the feeling you get.
After you call up the feeling and seeing yourself in that place, write down any pictures you saw, details of what you were doing, and so on.
If it’s hard, you may be trying to imagine something too big. Sometimes it might be a clue that it’s a limiting belief that you’re holding, like you don’t actually believe you deserve that experience or that it’s physically possible for you. Set it aside and try again later
You could also break down your intention to something smaller that you can see. Dialing it back gives you a smaller frame to color in.
If you’re doing a specific visualization, sit and allow images to come to you as you go through the motions of whatever it is you want. If you’re just setting the stage and doing some “planning” for what you want, you can just sit and allow what wants to come in to come in. Either can happen and both are great ways to get into the power of envisioning!
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