Success & Goal Achievement

Visualization Techniques to Affirm Your Desired Outcomes: A Step-by-Step Guide

The daily practice of visualizing your dreams as already complete can rapidly accelerate your achievement of those dreams, goals, and ambitions.

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Visualization techniques have been used by successful people to visualize their desired outcomes for ages.

The practice has even given some high achievers what seems like super-powers, helping them create their dream lives by accomplishing one goal or task at a time with hyper focus and complete confidence.

In fact, we all have this awesome power, but most of us have never been taught to use it effectively.

Elite athletes use it. The super-rich use it. And peak performers in all fields now use it. That power is called visualization.

The daily practice of visualizing your dreams as already complete can rapidly accelerate your achievement of those dreams, goals, and ambitions.

Using visualization techniques to focus on your goals and desires yields four very important benefits.

1.) It activates your creative subconscious which will start generating creative ideas to achieve your goal.

2.) It programs your brain to more readily perceive and recognize the resources you will need to achieve your dreams.

3.) It activates the law of attraction, thereby drawing into your life the people, resources, and circumstances you will need to achieve your goals.

4.) It builds your internal motivation to take the necessary actions to achieve your dreams.

Visualization is really quite simple. You sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and imagine — in as vivid detail as you can — what you would be looking at if the dream you have were already realized. Imagine being inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes at the ideal result.

Visualize with the ‘Mental Rehearsal’ Technique

For athletes, visualization process is called “mental rehearsal,” and they have been using these exercises since the 1960s when we learned about it from the Russians.

All you have to do is set aside a few minutes a day. The best times are when you first wake up, after meditation or prayer, and right before you go to bed. These are the times you are most relaxed.

Go through the following three steps:

STEP 1. Imagine sitting in a movie theater, the lights dim, and then the movie starts. It is a movie of you doing perfectly whatever it is that you want to do better. See as much detail as you can create, including your clothing, the expression on your face, small body movements, the environment and any other people that might be around. Add in any sounds you would be hearing — traffic, music, other people talking, cheering. And finally, recreate in your body any feelings you think you would be experiencing as you engage in this activity.

STEP 2. Get out of your chair, walk up to the screen, open a door in the screen and enter into the movie. Now experience the whole thing again from inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes. This is called an “embodied image” rather than a “distant image.” It will deepen the impact of the experience. Again, see everything in vivid detail, hear the sounds you would hear, and feel the feelings you would feel.

STEP 3. Finally, walk back out of the screen that is still showing the picture of you performing perfectly, return to your seat in the theater, reach out and grab the screen and shrink it down to the size of a cracker. Then, bring this miniature screen up to your mouth, chew it up and swallow it. Imagine that each tiny piece — just like a hologram — contains the full picture of you performing well. Imagine all these little screens traveling down into your stomach and out through the bloodstream into every cell of your body. Then imagine that every cell of your body is lit up with a movie of you performing perfectly. It’s like one of those appliance store windows where 50 televisions are all tuned to the same channel.

When you have finished this process — it should take less than five minutes — you can open your eyes and go about your business. If you make this part of your daily routine, you will be amazed at how much improvement you will see in your life.

Create Goal Pictures

Another powerful visualization technique is to create a photograph or picture of yourself with your goal, as if it were already completed. If one of your goals is to own a new car, take your camera down to your local auto dealer and have a picture taken of yourself sitting behind the wheel of your dream car. If your goal is to visit Paris, find a picture or poster of the Eiffel Tower and cut out a picture of yourself and place it into the picture.

Create a Visual Picture and an Affirmation for Each Goal

We recommend that you find or create a picture of every aspect of your dream life. Create a picture or a visual representation for every goal you have — financial, career, recreation, new skills and abilities, things you want to purchase, and so on.

When we were writing the very first Chicken Soup for the Soul® book, we took a copy of the New York Times best seller list, scanned it into our computer, and using the same font as the newspaper, typed Chicken Soup for the Soul into the number one position in the “Paperback Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous” category. We printed several copies and hung them up around the office. Less than two years later, our book was the number one book in that category and stayed there for over a year. Now that’s a pretty solid example of a successful visualization technique!

You want to take your visualization to the next level, right?
Learn how to create an empowering vision board here!

Index Cards

We practice a similar discipline every day. We each have a list of about 30-40 goals we are currently working on. We write each goal on a 3×5 index card and keep those cards near our bed and take them with us when we travel. Each morning and each night we go through the stack of cards, one at a time, read the card, close our eyes, see the completion of that goal in its perfect desired state for about 15 seconds, open our eyes and repeat the process with the next card.

Use Affirmations to Support Your Visualization

An affirmation is a statement that evokes not only a picture, but the experience of already having what you want. Here’s an example of an affirmation:

I am happily vacationing 2 months out of the year in a tropical paradise, and working just four days a week owning my own business.

Repeating an affirmation several times a day keeps you focused on your goal, strengthens your motivation, and programs your subconscious by sending an order to your crew to do whatever it takes to make that goal happen.

Expect Results

Through writing down your goals, using the power of visualization and repeating your daily affirmations, you can achieve amazing results.

Visualization and affirmations allow you to change your beliefs, assumptions, and opinions about the most important person in your life — YOU! They allow you to harness the 18 billion brain cells in your brain and get them all working in a singular and purposeful direction.

Your subconscious will become engaged in a process that transforms you forever. The process is invisible and doesn’t take a long time. It just happens over time, as long as you put in the time to visualize and affirm, practice your techniques, surround yourself with positive people, read uplifting books and listen to audio programs that flood your mind with positive, life-affirming messages.

How to Spend the 10 Most Important Minutes of Your Day

Harness the Subconscious Mind with Visualization Techniques

Visualization – seeing the goal as already complete in your mind’s eye – is a core technique used by the world’s most successful people. Visualization is effective because it harnesses the power of our subconscious mind.

When we visualize goals as complete, it creates a conflict in our subconscious mind between what we are visualizing and what we currently have. Our minds are hard-wired to resolve such conflicts by working to create a current reality that matches the one we have envisioned.

Visualization activates the creative powers of the subconscious mind, motivating it to work harder at creating solutions. You’ll also notice new levels of motivation and find yourself doing things that normally you would avoid, but that will take you closer to success.

The third way visualization boosts success is by programming the Reticular Activating System (RAS), which serves as a mental filter for the 8 million bits of information that are streaming into our brains at any one time. (To learn more about the RAS, refer to Principle 11 in The Success Principles.)

The RAS thinks in pictures, not words. Daily visualization feeds the RAS the pictures it needs to start filtering information differently. As a result, your RAS will start to pay attention to anything that might help you achieve your goals – information that it otherwise might ignore.

Live in the Moment

Although a daily practice of visualization is vital, we don’t need to spend all day thinking about our goals for this technique to work. In fact, spending too much time in visualization can rob you of something essential – living in the moment.

Daily rituals help to establish the right balance between thinking about the future and living in the moment. Start by picking a time during which you’ll review your goals and visualize your success. Ideally, do this twice a day – first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. The process typically will take 10 minutes or less.

If you meditate, guided or not, do your visualizations immediately after your meditation. The deepened state reached during meditation heightens the impact of visualization.

For greatest effect, read your goals or affirmations out loud. After each one, close your eyes and create the visual image of the completed goal in your mind.

To multiply the effects, add sound, smells, and tastes. Most importantly, add the emotions and bodily sensations you would be feeling if you had already achieved your goal.

This is a powerful visualization technique.

Research has revealed that images or scenes that are accompanied by intense emotion will stay locked in our memory forever. The more passion, excitement and energy we muster during visualization, the more powerful the results will be.

Once you have visualized each goal as complete, it’s time to release. Let go of your goals, and spend the rest of your day being in the present moment.

Be Present Instantly

An easy way to instantly become present is to focus on your bodily sensations. It’s impossible to focus on our bodies and be in the past or the future at the same time.

Here are some examples. Focus on your left foot right now. What are you feeling? Pay attention to the sensation for a minute. Then notice what you’re feeling in your right foot, and spend a few moments really feeling the sensation. If you were able to pay attention to your feet, congratulations. You were absolutely present.

If you find your mind drifting to the future throughout the day, you can use one of the more basic visualization techniques. Just let go of any fears or worries that arise. Shift your thoughts to what you want the future to look like when you get there. Then bring your awareness back to the moment.

As the saying goes, “Today is a gift—that’s why it’s called the present.” Use visualization techniques to achieve your goals, but invest the majority of your time enjoying the gift of today.

Repeat your affirmations every morning and night for a month and they will become an automatic part of your thinking… woven into the very fabric of your being.

If you would like a step-by-step, comprehensive approach for defining your goals, creating affirmations for them and living the life of your dreams, take a look at my free Affirmations for Success Guide pdf.

Just add your dreams!

Related Reading:

Daily Affirmations for Positive Thinking

How to Use Tapping Therapy To Eliminate Fear & Achieve Your Goals

Meet Jack Canfield

For over 40 years, he has been teaching entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders, and people from all walks of life how to create the life they desire.

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul(r) series, he's taught millions of individuals his modernized formulas for success, and has trained and certified over 2,700 students to teach his content and methodology in 107 countries around the world.

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