I have always been a daydreamer. Ever since I was little – my parents often told me to get my head out of the clouds. When I got older I had a boyfriend that told me I lived in a fictional world inside my head – we didn’t work out. Turns out I am a visualizer. Visualization is basically imagining what you would like in your future.
Of course, as a child and young adult that wasn’t exactly what I was intending to do. However, it was exactly what I was doing. It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I even realized that visualization was a thing, a defined thing, that people actually practiced, coached on, and firmly believed in.
The first time I heard the term it completely resonated with me and I wanted to learn everything I could about it.
What Is Visualization?
Visualization really is just what it sounds like. You visualize something that you would like to come to fruition. Often, visualization is used to direct your life into your future. Meaning, you imagine what you want your future to be and continue to focus on it over time – mentally visualizing it.
I tend to think of visualization as the next step to writing affirmations. I like to use a combination of both affirmations and visualization when I’m intently focusing on something I would like to see happen in my life. More on how to write affirmations here.
Visualizing can take place at any time. I like to do it in a quiet setting, or when I am laying in bed for the night. I prefer my last thoughts before falling asleep to be something I’d like to accomplish or direct my life towards.
I get a warm feeling in my chest, an equal amount of contentedness and excitement. Sometimes, it can be quite overwhelming and makes me feel a bit giddy. When that’s the case and I’m trying to fall asleep I have to dial it back some, but overall I embrace and love the feeling.
Be Aware of What You Accomplish by Practicing Visualization
Just like affirmations, you can accomplish whatever you’d like if you do it regularly and with feeling and emotion behind it.
It also provides a peacefulness as you spend time focusing on what you’d like to be in your future. At times when I feel confused or lost I refocus back on what my life goals are. Sometimes we can get so jumbled or off the path we want to be on, that’s when visualization can bring us back.
It helps to take notes or at least think back to previous visualizations that you have accomplished or have come to fruition as you continue on your journey. We can be so eager to keep moving forward that we don’t notice subtle changes that are actually progress in the direction we are giving to our life. It makes sense to look back sometimes.
Remember where you were when you first started visualizing something in particular. Think about what you wanted to accomplish and appreciate the progress that you have made. It’s so easy to start living the life that once was a visualization and not recognize the progress and successes.
Take moments to appreciate those things. This will also help you build confidence as you continue to visualize.
A Few Ideas to Get You Started With Visualization
The most basic and easiest way to visualize is to just think of your future. In a quiet space, conjure in your mind how you will feel, what you will do or say, what your environment and surroundings will be like in the place in the future you want to be. This is what I always considered to be daydreaming.
I’ll admit there were times when fairies and witches were involved in my daydreaming, so I wasn’t always visualizing my future. But many times I was. I was thinking of what I wanted to be when I grew up, where I wanted to go to school or vacation, and how I wanted to spend my days.
As I got older and more in tune with actually visualizing, I realized I needed to narrow things down, focus on what I wanted my reality to be, and visualize the steps to take to achieve the future I wanted to live.
Guided meditations can assist you as you look to your future. I currently use the Unplug guided meditations that help me visualize my future when I am in need of assistance. Some of the techniques in their meditations are unique and help you get to the heart of what you need at any particular moment.
I would also suggest future self-journaling. You can free-write about your future, write a letter to your future self, or put your visualizations on paper.
It’s Time to Visualize
As you visualize, pay attention to how it makes you feel. While this comes easy to me, I know for others it may not.
At first, my husband found it to make him anxious. He felt as though his to-do list became extremely long and he had so many things he needed to get started on in order to accomplish some of his goals.
Remember, that is not the intended goal, and you should never feel that way when practicing visualization. If that is happening, then chunk out the steps smaller. Don’t look as far into the future. The idea is to set yourself up for success, not stress yourself out.
Find a time during your day when you have a few minutes to yourself. Use that time to think about your future and mentally see yourself. Enjoy the process and keep growing your visualization practice.
I find it to be like a muscle you keep training – it gets stronger and stronger over time. Keep visualizing. Don’t give up when it seems hard or you aren’t making progress. Reflect back to see the progress you make, even if it’s small steps. Each step toward your future self counts.
Enjoy the process and say hello to your future self!