The Importance of Visualisation/Affirmation
What do you want from life? What is your ultimate goal, wish, or dream? Does it keep you awake at night? Do you wake up wishing for it? Well you should, according to scientists and established psychologists.
Mind training is not a new concept.
What is it?
Buddhists have long believed in the idea of karma: what goes around comes around. Proverb 23:7 reads “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” While some compare it to energy vibrations, your thoughts have a powerful influence on your life. Visualisation and positive affirmations have been proven with the Law of Attraction to train your subconscious into adopting new beliefs and practices. By activating the creative subconscious, you motivate it to work harder, to both seek and create solutions, to craft your desired reality.
Mental imagery, also known as visual mental rehearsal, has been adopted by many of the world’s greatest professionals. Take world-class actor Jim Carrey for example, once upon a time, he dabbled in stand-up comedy shows, but dreamt of fame and fortune. So what did he do? He wrote a cheque for $10 million, payable to himself, and carried it around with him every day occasionally looking at it. On top of that (and this bit we really recommend), he used to go to a secluded place and shout as loud as he could: “I am now earning 10 million dollars a year!” And he did!
Fact not Fiction
The subconscious mind is influenced by words as well as pictures, and scientists are calling this “outcome visualisation” (the initial part), and “process visualisation” (the method of getting there). Outcome visualisation starts with simply envisioning yourself achieving a goal: Start by creating a detailed mental image of your desired outcome using all of your senses. Now hold that for as long as you can and really imagine what it feels like. Discover who is there with you and then materialise this image by drawing it, creating a collection of photographs that represent it, or collaging it using old pictures — whatever the medium, do what it takes to create a vivid mental and physical image.
This initial part of visualisation is done best when you are fully relaxed and free of external thought. Take a hot bath, go for a walk or listen to instrumental music — it can take a fair bit of practice to truly visualise something that is not right in front of you, and many people find it easier to do while in a meditative state. Try first thing in the morning and late at night; this daily practice of visualisation activates the creative subconscious, which generates ideas to achieve your goal. It programs your brain to more readily perceive and recognise the resources needed to reach said goals, and by activating the law of attraction, people, resources, and opportunities magnetise toward you.
Outcome visualisation programs the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in our brains, which works similar a mental filtration system through images, not words. Daily visualisation feeds the RAS and you instinctively start paying attention and noticing things that might help you toward your goal. For example, you might visualise being a Michelin-Star chef, and while in the supermarket one day shopping for ingredients, you notice an unfamiliar spice that could later be the secret agent to your winning sauce.
Psychology Today reports that the brain patterns activated when weightlifters lift heavy weights is similar to when they simply visualise them lifting the weight; and as the popular book The Secret claims: “The law of attraction is forming your entire life experience and it is doing that through your thoughts. When you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe.”
Say it Out Loud
To tie both outcome and process visualisations together, positive affirmations play a crucial role because our subconscious is affected by the words we hear and say. These repeated statements not only evoke a picture but an experience of already having what you want. Muhammad Ali famously said, “I am the greatest” before and after every fight, and we all know where that got him. By repeating the same affirmation several times a day, it programmes your subconscious to change your beliefs, assumptions and opinions.
As a child, Oprah Winfrey watched her grandmother slowly deteriorate. She told herself, insistently: “My life won’t be like this. My life won’t be like this; it will be better.” She also created her own vision board to visualise her dream before she even knew what it was. She is now a millionaire American media proprietor, a former talk show host, actress, and producer, preaching to all those who will listen, to “create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.”
So sit down and imagine what it would be like to be a bestselling author or to inhale the salty sea air of a sailor and envision your preferred future. Put emotion, desire, and faith into your affirmations and visualisations to harness the 18 billion brain cells you have, and get them working toward your ultimate goal. “Life is a blank canvass of possibility; you are in control of what the finished picture could look like.”