Visualization is a proven technique used to help you change habits or achieve your goals.
The idea behind this technique is to visualize what you want. It involves relaxation techniques combined with positive imaging.
Research has shown that visualization works, whether or not you believe that it will.
Importance of visualization:
- Visualization can help boost your self-confidence by improving your own self-image.
- If you see yourself as meek or helpless you can use visualization to visualize yourself as strong and capable.
- If you think of yourself as unworthy or undeserving, you will use visualizations that show you as a worthy person making valuable contributions.
- If you feel you are often depressed you will use visualization that you are happy. Whatever your issues are there is a visualization you can use to help build your confidence in that area.
- Another way you can use visualization is to help change how you interact with others.
- If you are meek and shy you will use visualize yourself in situations with others where you are more outgoing.
- You may have issues with assertiveness in which case you will visualize yourself being more assertive with others.
- This technique can be used for many relationships that you have issues with. The key is to imagine yourself acting in a situation as you wish you acted.
- You can also use visualization to reach specific goals. Think about the goal you want to obtain, and then visualize yourself already having obtained the goal. You picture yourself being what you want, doing what you want and achieving what you want.
Reality versus visualization:
Visualization works because our mind experiences reality and visualization in the same way. The mind does not differentiate whether what we are seeing is real or not.
It is as if we are watching our life through a television screen. The mind and the body react much the same way whether we are in the real situation or are just imagining it.
Here’s an example. Suppose that you have trouble talking with people in a group situation. You can visualize that you are going to a party. You arrive at the party and are confident and happy.
You have no anxiety. At the party you are able to talk to everyone and feel good about yourself. This visualization gives your self-confidence a giant boost, as much as actually going to a party but without the added anxiety.
Visualization is a skill that, once learned, can help in many ways in your life. Right now, you probably play negative scenarios in your head. You may create scenes where you are inadequate or unworthy.
You also probably play out scenes that actually happened in real life but interpret it your own way such as editing out compliments.
Instead of playing out scenes where you are seen in a negative way, visualize new scenes where you are the hero.
It is a way of reprogramming the mind to think positively. It replaces negative thoughts with positive ones that help build self-confidence.
Visualization is something you already do; however, if you have low self-confidence you are doing it negatively.
You now need to train yourself to swap any negative thoughts for positive ones. With practice, you can train yourself to use your mental energy towards positive visualizations.
Things to remember while using visualization:
- Visualize what you consider to be your biggest issues. Start with the larger issues, and as you become better at the process you can incorporate smaller issues.
- Choose visualizations that directly tie into your self-esteem. If you want to be more assertive, choose a situation where you are assertive to visualize.
- In your visualizations, picture yourself as having the quality you desire and show yourself positive consequences of the behaviors.
- When you visualize yourself make sure you are using assertive body language in the scene.
- Look at self-confidence as something you already have but just need to get back in tune with.
- Picture you liking yourself more.
How to visualize?
Visualization is something that takes practice. After performing few times you should be able to do complete visualizations. Some people use guided visualizations to help them, which are visualizations that are led by instructor or on tape.
Find a quiet room to sit and relax in. Try to eliminate any distractions. Allow yourself 15 – 20 minutes to complete this exercise.
Think of a recent situation which you felt low self-esteem. It may have to do with work or home or maybe a situation with friends or family. Whatever the situation, think back to it and re-write the encounter.
Play the situation like a movie in your head, only this time you are in control and say and do all the right things. Go through the entire situation until the end, and picture the best outcome. Now praise yourself for handling the situation in a new way.
The more often you run visuals the better you will become at playing out scenes in real life. Even the visualization gives you a boost to your self-confidence. Scrapbook or any oversize book with thick pages
Visualization with a collage:
- Scrapbook or any oversize book with thick pages
- Glue Stick
- Magazines, Newspapers, greeting cards
First, gather old magazines and anything with pictures and sayings in them.
Visualize in your mind the type of life you picture for yourself. This should relate to the goal you are working towards (for example, if your goal is to become more organized, think of the ideal ways your home would be organized, your closets, your living space, your bathroom, your laundry room, etc.).
Choose visuals that stimulate you and make you feel good.
Spend one to two hours gathering pictures for your book. Choose pictures or words that represent the ideal in your visualization. For the example above, you would choose pictures of organized homes.
These pictures do not need to be exactly what your home looks like; these are an IDEAL of general thoughts. This is putting your visualization into real-life pictures. Cut these images out, in sizes to fit into your book.
Now, be creative. Glue your images into the book any way you want to. Include words if you want to.
If you can’t find the images or words you can draw or write them into the book. You can embellish the book with glitter, ribbons, scraps of paper, etc. Make it as creative as you can.
Now, use the book to help remind you of what you really want. You can add to the book any time you find something that fits in.
For a variation of this exercise, use a large piece of poster board instead of the book. Then when you are done, hang it in a place that you will see it often.