The first time I ever heard about visualization was during the movie 'The Secret'. In it there is a scene where a little boy visualizes a bike and then it “magically” appears a few days later.
Back then I thought it was magic and to be honest, I still kinda think it is. Now, I simply understand it as the power of visualization and manifestation. These are two powerful mindset practices I use in my business and my personal life.
My first personal experience with using visualization came a few years after having my daughter. I had let my fitness slide and was feeling pretty out of shape. Before having my her, running and weight training were a big part of my life. Afterwards as a single Mom and full-time University student I let life get in the way of my fitness.
Then one day I was at work talking to a co-worker about our out of shape bods and how we were determined to get back in shape and start feeling better physically and mentally. It was decided we were to become running buddies. So, we planned an early morning run and that day I remember waking up super excited. I got on my new athletic gear, expensive new runners and met my running buddy outside. She was all dressed in new black running gear too. We looked GOOD!
When we started off running down my street it felt good. Really good!!! I felt like I was finally taking charge of my body. Then, suddenly about three minutes down the road my lungs felt like they were going to explode. My legs felt like a big bowl of jello and I was seriously contemplating calling a cab to take me home. I looked at my running buddy and her face was as red as a ripe cherry! Man we were in bad shape...literally! Yet, we continued running our planned twenty minutes. It was more like a run, stop, run, stop. But we did it!
Later on that night I put my coach hat on. I knew we had to have a goal to work towards to keep us motivated when the going got tough. I decided we should sign up for a 5K run. Being the achiever I am, about 5 minutes later I decided that doing a half marathon was a much better idea. (When I think back I must have been still high off the endorphins from our earlier run!)
Now this is where the visualization came in...
Training for a half marathon is a time consuming process. Especially for newbie runners who almost collapsed after a three minute run! But everyday when I ran I visualized myself crossing the finish line. And everyday I ran a little further and a little faster. Then, my visualization of crossing the finish line became more and more vivid: I could see the clothes I was wearing. I could hear the song I would be listening to. I saw how my body would be moving, I saw how the people would be cheering for me. I could feel the satisfaction of crossing the finish line.
My visualization made my goal a reality before it had even happened.
Then, the big day of my race finally came. My mother, my best friend and my daughter were camped out at the finish line waiting to film my great achievement.
As I set out on the 21.1 kilometer run the visualization of crossing the finish line was strong in my mind. Then when the going got tough around the 19 kilometer mark and I felt my legs getting heavy and my chest starting to burn, I went back to my visualization and knew I had to keep going. There was no other option!
I turned the corner and saw the finish line in the near future. I quickly switched the music on my i-pod to the song in my visualization. I stood up taller and began to run faster. My lungs were on fire but my body seemed to naturally match the form and speed of my visualization. Everything I had been picturing in my mind for three months was now appearing before my eyes. It was actually happening!
I crossed that finish line with one of the greatest feelings of satisfaction I have ever felt. They put the medal around my neck and I knew I had just done something magical. Could I have done it without visualizing the outcome everyday? I don’t know. Maybe. But I can tell you, it would not have been like that.
Now here are my top three tips to get you visualizing (and achieving) your dreams too:
- The more specific you goal is, the more powerful it will be. Your subconscious mind can’t tell the difference from something real and something you are visualizing. So the more specific you get the faster it will come to life. Think about colours, textures, sounds and most importantly the feelings associated with reaching the goal.
- The more you visualize your goals becoming a reality, the faster you will get there.
- If I stayed home and just visualized running a half marathon without getting out and actually running then it wouldn’t have happened. You must match your visualization with massive action. However, with visualization it makes taking massive action that much easier.
Lisa Jeffs is the founder and CEO of 'Lisa Jeffs Wellness'. She's a passionate writer, speaker and life and body success coach for women. Her passion is to not only teach, but also inspire highly driven conscious women to step into their power and create the life and body of their dreams. You can connect with her through her website at www.lisajeffs.com.