Visualization: the tool that allows us to see what we want to become and guide us to our goal. Athletes use it before a big game, businessmen use it before a presentation, actors use it before a big show and so do we. Those that visualize their success do so to have a better chance at achieving their success.
My first experience with visualization was as a teenager. I was a member of my high school drama club and we were putting on Aida. Our director was very adamant in making sure that every cast member, whatever their part, felt like an integral piece of the show and asked everyone to create a backstory for their characters. As a member of the ensemble, I was also asked to do this; my character name was Meka, a Nubian slave, who offered herself up as a slave in exchange for the freedom of her family.
One night, while doing warm ups before the show, we did a visualization exercise. We all sat on the floor as our director pulled us back through time to explore our backstories, to truly become our characters. I can still remember the look of my character’s home on the shore of the Nile River, the look of the boat that took her away from her family, and the lands she passed on her journey to Egypt. That night I truly became my character because I was able to visualize her life. That visualization exercise improved our performance because we had become our characters rather than just pretending to be them.
My experience with visualization for a high school theatre production years ago is not that different from you using it to visualize your own success today. The purpose remains the same; that purpose is to ultimately help us succeed in whatever we choose as our ultimate success.
Trying to visualize your success before you achieve it can be hard sometimes. I struggle with it on my own but here are a few simple things that can help:
Find Your Spot
Location is important when attempting visualization. You want to feel calm, relaxed, and ready to take time for yourself. Find your own special place where you feel comfortable. Maybe that’s down in the basement of your own home or a bench at the local nature park. It doesn’t matter where your spot is as long as you feel calm and comfortable enough to perform your visualization.
It’s important to be consistent when we do our visualizations. Set a time everyday where you will visualize success for yourself. As much as we wish things could change overnight, they just don’t. That is why it is so important to be consistent and not lose sight of our goal before we make it. The more often you visualize success, the closer you will be to reaching that success. Try it for a few weeks at the same time everyday and watch what happens.
Pay Attention to the Details
In order to have the best visualization possible, you need to pay attention to the details. Picture where you’ll place that framed photo of your family on your big new desk, picture the exact color of the sky when you reach that mountain peak, or picture the outfit you’ll be wearing as you receive that great award. Picture the big things and the little things; every detail is important as you continue to visualize success.
Remember the Time
Taking time to picture the details is important but that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours and hours visualizing one success. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by taking up too much time in the visualization session and not enough time moving towards your goal. Start with a 20 minute ‘session’ once a day and if you would like, 2 ‘sessions’ a day.
Sometimes, when visualizing, it’s possible for us to become so focused on the positive success we want to have, that we can forget or underestimate the obstacles that will be in our way. However, having a negative attitude can cause us to overestimate the obstacles in our path. Both of these can lead to discouragement as we try to find success. If we want to be successful in our visualization, we just need to keep perspective. Keep a positive attitude and create a plan to get past those obstacles in your way; then, visualizing success will lead to obtaining success.