Do you visualize your ideal life, job, partner, or vacation? Do you daydream about having the freedom you desire, the success you’d like to achieve or the difference you’d like to make in the world?Don’t let anyone tell you that this “habit” is a waste of your time. In fact, it’s enormously useful.
You can visualize your way to success in life—personally or professionally. You can creatively visualize what you desire and assist the realization of those dreams and goals.>
What is Creative Visualization?
In my new book, Creative Visualization for Writers, I discuss the concept of “creative visualization”:
I first heard the term creative visualization from Shakti Gawain, author of the best-selling book that bears the same name. Before that, I studied creative thought, also called conscious or deliberate creation, a principle based on the idea that your thoughts have a creative energy—the ability to manifest things in the physical world. If you focus your thoughts on what you want to create, you develop the ability to bring those things into physical reality.
Gawain’s book describes how to harness that mental and creative energy. She writes, “Creative visualization is the technique of using your imagination to create what you want in your life. … It’s your natural power of imagination, the basic creative energy of the universe, which you constantly use, whether or not you are aware of it.”
According to Gawain, “Imagination is the ability to create an idea, a mental picture, or a feeling sense of something. In creative visualization, you use your imagination to create a clear image, idea, or feeling of something you wish to manifest. Then you continue to focus on the idea, feeling, or picture regularly, giving it positive energy until it becomes objective reality … in other words, until you achieve what you have been imagining.”
Gawain wasn’t the first or only one to teach this principle. Playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and, at last, you create what you will.” And inspirational writer William Arthur Ward shared, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”
Sounds simple, right? Frequently imagine what you desire, and bring it to life. Use the power of your creative and mental energy to focus on a vision of your future and make it a reality. Become a visionary and, at the same time, a creator.
Indeed, the process is simple and effective but not always easy. Our minds tend to wander—often to what we don’t want to create rather than to what we do want to create.
Why Does Visualization Work?
To explain why visualization helps you create what you desire, here’s another excerpt from Creative Visualization for Writers:
Compelling scientific reasons propose that consciousness affects the outside world and you possess the ability to use your mind to manifest your ideas, goals, and dreams. Quantum physicians have shown that when you observe something, the object you observe is affected by the fact that you trained your attention on it. Plus, double split experiments performed in high school science labs demonstrate that how you observe matter and energy changes the way in which both behave.
Deliberate creation makes sense in light of recent brain imaging studies, too. Scientists found neurons in monkeys and in humans that mirror the behavior of someone being observed. When you observe someone’s action, the same pattern of brain activation that allows that person to do what they are doing (e.g., writing) is mirrored in your brain. Also, the regions of the brain that prepare the body for movement and attention are activated—even though you aren’t actively behaving in the same manner. The human brain mimics the actions of another person automatically.
This explains why you feel inspired and excited when you hear a successful author speak or see an author signing books. Your brain stimulates feelings that make you feel as if you are onstage speaking or signing your published book.
Keep in mind that your brain can’t distinguish between a physical or mental experience. That’s why athletes use visualization and conscious creation. For example, a runner might visualize herself running a race. She feels the ease with which she moves as well as the tiredness in her muscles when she gets to the halfway mark. She imagines pushing through fatigue, running faster, and crossing the finish line. She experiences the exhilaration and sense of accomplishment from completing—and winning—the race. As she imagines these things, her brain causes her muscles to react in a manner similar to physically running. The runner’s brain and body record the experience as if it was real. The mental and muscle memories help her bring that identical experience into physical reality the next time she runs a race.
As you visualize yourself moving through the stages of idea and career creation, your mind and body record these as real. When you set the intention to succeed—to win your race to a successful writing career or authorship—you activate the action centers in your brain. This supports your efforts to do something physical to make your vision real.
Don’t JUST Visualize to Create Success
You don’t have to be an aspiring author to use creative visualization. Yes, my book is directed at writers, but the principles within it apply to anyone and anything you want to create.However, you need to do something besides visualize to manifest your desires: Take action.
Like embodying an affirmation, you must begin doing something to help make your visualization real.
What three actions would help you bring your vision into reality? Of course, focusing on your vision regularly is an action, but write down three additional things you could do.
For instance, if visualize your dream job, to move toward that goal you could contact a headhunter, perfect the skill you need, or start working on your résumé.
When you combine focus on what you desire with action, you move yourself closer to your vision.
Have you used visualization to create success in your life?
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