Here are four different ways to visualize. You can experiment with all of them, although I would pick just the one that makes you feel most comfortable and go with that. From athletes to those in business, visualization is proven as the key to living your dreams!
1. Future/Past Programming
This is a visualization technique that has a definitive time limit to it. Let's say your goal is to be a general manager by a certain date. Visualize your attainment of that goal by a specific date. Begin your visualization with emotional intensity. How would you feel with your appointment as a general manager? Whatever the feelings are, allow your emotional intensity to become the background music of your imagery.
Now imagine reading, or possibly touching, a memo that appoints you as the general manager. Hear the soft rustle of the paper and bring in all five senses. Program that image with enthusiasm for about 30 seconds.
Then go back into your past and recreate events that would shape the accomplishment of your goal. Go back in time and visualize yourself preparing for that end result by joining Toastmasters or taking a course in public speaking so you can become a more effective communicator. In other words, recreate a past that would be compatible with your desired future.
Then, project yourself into the future maybe six months or so after you have become the general manager. Imagine in great detail what it will be like having 30, 40, or 50 people working for you, from production, the business office, programming development, and sales. What about the extra income that you would receive from your promotion? Vividly detail this in your mind over and over again in that setting of a relaxed state for a half-hour. Go over it again until it becomes reality.
2. Multiple-Space Programming
While the future/past programming technique involves time programming, multiple-space programming starts with the emotional feelings, the intensity of achieving your goal. Sense your desired outcome through the camera lenses of your eyes. Imagine being inside your new office. Amplify the details of your office: the objects on your desk, the awards on your credenza. Feel the new captain's chair against your body and see the photographs on your desk. Stitch in every detail you can imagine.
Now to the space part of the visualization. Drift outside of your body and look at yourself from a different perspective, perhaps from behind or above your desk. Change the angle and your perspective above and to the side of your body by 30 to 40 degrees. Keep changing the angles and then come back into your body and look through your eyes.
What you are doing is activating different neuropathways in the brain to reintroduce the perception and depth and realness of your total being. Again, be proactive with emotion and enthusiasm, but limit each of these approaches, future/past and multiple-space, to approximately 30 seconds.
After one of my seminars, an account executive from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, came up to me and said, "This is really deep stuff!" It is! And it works. She called back three months later and said she just set a billing record for new business at her company. I guess the deeper the stuff, the better the imagery. Keep at it. Those two techniques take practice. Success doesn't come by accident.
3. Multiple - Energy Programming
This one happens to be my favorite and you would catch me doing it lying on the mat in the gym. It has been described in early Tibetan and yoga texts as one of the most unique imagery techniques that, if mastered, is a very powerful method.
As with other imagery, select your end desire or goal. Start with the background tones of your feelings, which always intensify the mental picture. Now, project a beam of energy from the middle of your forehead six to eight feet in front of you. Project a second beam of energy from your solar plexus, that area we define as your "Ki" or your gut (one-and-a-half inches down from your navel). Intensify all three beams of energy. The end-goal picture now will become a highly compressed holographic 3D image for 30 seconds. What you are doing is programming from your mind, your heart, and your solar plexus, which is your body's energy source.
4. Still-Shot Imagery
Select a scenario or scene of what you want. Keep it simple and decide whether you want it to be like a still photo or an action sequence that you would shoot with a video camera. Once you decide, do not change the image. Start with your vivid emotions of success, joy, and happiness. Stitch in the details and surge them into your subconscious for approximately 30 seconds. As you pour them in, you again are laying new neurological tracks, creating new expectations, and mobilizing the resources of your subconscious to bring that image to fruition.
You can even take pictures and hang them in your bathroom like some of my successful sales reps have done over the years. Look at them in the morning and before you go to bed and lock them into your subconscious mind.
Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick cites his wisdom on Still Imagery: "Hold that picture of yourself long and steadily your mind's eye and you will be drawn toward it," says Dr. Fosdick. "Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success."
In other words, visualization leads to success and it is no accident. What we create in our minds we create in our lives. One of the best examples of visualizing came from someone most of us have heard of before: Helen Keller.
Helen was born perfectly healthy, but she suffered an illness at the age of 18 months and was left completely blind and deaf. For more than five years she was isolated from the world, alone in darkness. Then, with the help of a special teacher, Anne Sullivan, she fought back from her handicap.
Helen learned to communicate and graduated from Radcliffe University. She went on to be extolled as one of the great women of our time. Howard E. Ferguson quotes her in his book The Edge: "The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse."
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at Sean@luceperformancegroup.com or www.luceperformancegroup.com.