Imagery Is Everything - How
To Achieve Future Success By Hara Estroff Marano
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
Its time to start practicing the skills that
will help you create the life, health and love that you really want. Now get
ready to start bringing it closer to reality by visualizing it.
Visualizing the life you want does four
- First, it gives you direction. If
you dont know where you are going, you will probably wind up someplace
- It is literally the source of
motivation so you can do what is needed to create what you want. As Einstein
said, What you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.
- It provides clarity about what
changes you need to make in your life.
- And it illuminates the roadblocks
that have held you back from getting what you want until now.
These may be doubts about your ability to
get what you want or beliefs that you really dont deserve good things in
life, like a flower believing it doesn't deserve the sun. Maybe its fears
that the changes you want wont happen because perhaps youve tried
20 or 30 times before.
Once you identify the obstacles in your
path, you can fix them. So as you go through the following future-visualization
exercises, note your doubts, fears, and disbeliefs. Maybe its some variation of
I want to be healthy, trim and have a great life, but I dont think I deserve
it. The next installment in this series on Lasting Change will help you
overcome the roadblocks.
Every wisdom tradition holds that we can
create our own fate and encourages us to use our imagination to create it. And
in the last 40 years, the power of visualization has been proven to literally
change physical reality. Medical studies show that visualization can create an
increase in specific types of blood cell. High-caliber athletes consistently
use visualization as a form of mental rehearsal to give them the winning edge.
Visualization accesses powers you already have inside you.
Visualizing is as natural as breathing,
contends Ti Caine, a certified hypnotherapist and life coach in Sherman Oaks,
California. It consists of pictures and feelings -- the brains primary
And yet, Caine says he cant count the
number of people who insist I am not creative, I cant visualize, I
cant meditate. He says we're already visualizing every moment of
every day. And the belief that we are powerless and life has to be a struggle
is just a culturally-induced hypnotic suggestion that can be changed. Such
people are using the very skills they say they don't have to convince
themselves that they don't have them!
Some people resist visualizing, afraid of
accessing dark scary stuff in their subconscious. But of course theres
scary stuff there, says Caine; everything we've ever seen, felt or imagined is
stored there, like a huge video library. But theyre just movies, and
visualization is like taking back control of the remote.
His FutureVisioning process helps you
create new movies of the life, love and success you really want. Consider this.
Studies show that it takes about 12 to 18 months for people who lose weight
quickly to change their mental image of themselves to that of a thinner person.
The failure to change their mental image may be a major reason so many dieters
subsequently undo their own success. Changing your mental image first, by
visualizing that future, paves the way for success.
Step-by-step Guidance in Mentally
Rehearsing Your Own Bright Future
- Decide to enjoy this process and
create a time and space of 5 to 20 minutes where you will not be disturbed, and
where you can explore your own imagination.
- Remind yourself that you can't fail
at this. The skills you need are already built into your brain. Your job is
just to get to know what's already going on in your head so you can direct it.
- Knowing that you are going on a fun
journey to visit a wonderful future, let yourself relax. Take three deep
breaths, making it easy by inhaling and exhaling through your mouth. Imagine a
relaxing summer day and you're sitting in a comfortable chair in a beautiful
place. Inhale, filling your chest and your belly, then just let the exhale
simply fall out, and let go.
- Recognize that about 70 percent of
your brains capacity is consumed in processing the visual information
that comes in through your eyes. By closing your eyes you can free up
brainpower for imagining, so gently close your eyes and take three more full
- Imagine or pretend that you are in
a beautiful spot in nature looking out over a vast horizon where a wonderful
future awaits you. Let yourself enjoy the feeling of just imagining a great
future out there. Is it closing in or a long way off? Clear of fuzzy? If all
you sense is darkness or fog, then just pretend that what you want is on the
other side of it, like the sun behind the clouds, and imagine leapfrogging to
the bright future behind the clouds.
- Let your bright future come in
closer, close enough for you to see yourself in it living a wonderful life. How
does that feel? What do you sense? What do you see? Now imagine you got pulled
by the fun and love right into that future, and, as emotionally and
enthusiastically as you can, let yourself experience how it feels to live the
wonderful life that you really want.
- As you do this, choose one moment
in the future that is filled with the feeling of joy and love that you want.
Keep it in mind so that when you finish the exercise, you can write about that
moment. Keep those notes to refer to as you move ahead in your life.
Give yourself the gift of doing this
visualization each day for the next two weeks, and watch what happens.
For specific information to enhance this
visualization, and for a free downloadable guided journey into your future, you
can go to www.ticaine.com.
Hara Estroff Marano is Editor-At-Large of
Psychology Today magazine and Editor-In-Chief of Psychology Today's
Blues Buster, a newsletter about depression. An award-winning writer on
human behavior, Haras articles have appeared in publications including the
New York Times, Smithsonian, Family Circle and The
Ladies Home Journal. She lives in New York City.