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How to improve your visualisation

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Visualisation is a method of imagining something in your mind that you want to achieve or create in your reality. It conditions the mind to see, hear and feel a desired situation or outcome in advance.

As powerful as our minds are, they can't tell the difference between imagination and reality so visualising is a great tool to attract more of what you do want into your life. When something is visualised fully, the mind believes it is already a reality and so works to create more of that experience in your life. If you visualise yourself as a happy and successful person, your mind will seek out events and experiences in alignment with this vision because that's what it believes is already true.

Until recently, I hadn’t managed to get to grips with visualisation. It sounds powerful, I'd heard so many people talk about how it helped them, and I understood the basic purpose behind it but I wasn’t really clear what to do or how to do it.

After some research, here’s the advice helping me get to grips with it.

Hand holding a blank sheet of paper propped up on a table

Don’t overthink it

Visualising is personal and there isn’t a right way to do it. If you’re trying to picture a blue square, some people will see it larger and others smaller. It could be dark blue or light blue, 2D or 3D. Let the images, experiences or feelings come to you, rather than trying to seek out the specifics.

Think about how you process memories

Visualisation is a way of processing your vision for the future that works the same way you would think about a memory.

Bring up a memory from the past. How do you know that it happened? Some people can literally see what happened in their mind, some hear the conversations or other sounds, some can get into the feeling of being there. Notice how you process the memory and which sense is most dominant then focus on that when visualising.

It can involve all your senses

I thought it should only be a visual process but incorporating all the senses helps create a more vivid picture. Start with the sense that comes most naturally (see the point above) and go from there. These questions are a good place to start.

  • Visual

If your vision were true, what would you see in your life?

  • Auditory

  1. If it were true, what would I hear people say about me?

  2. What would I be saying to myself?

  • Kinesthetic

If it were true, what would I be feeling?

Connect with the emotion

The most powerful visualisations are those that seem most real so think about how you would feel in the scenario you’re envisioning. I used to tried and force the feeling but, again, the advice not to overthink proved helpful here. Allow whatever feelings and emotions arise to come naturally and when they do, relax and observe how they develop.

Repeat the process regularly

There’s no shortcut to it and the more you practice the techniques, the better the results. The more time we spend focusing on what we do want, the less emphasis we place on our current situation or what we don’t want. Visualising briefly but regularly - 10 minutes a day was the recommendation - gives a greater chance of success.

Ultimately, everyone will visualise differently so there’s no definite rules but these pointers can help you get started and you can evolve the process as you go.

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