A tool to help you generate self believe, rewire your thought patterns and will yourself into action.
I have talked about why having clarity is super important in order to make progress. But having clarity is not enough.
You are limited only by our thoughts. What you think creates a certain belief about yourself. Most of the time you limit yourself by thinking that you can't achieve an ambitious goal. You need to convince yourself that you can achieve whatever you are seeking. Of course, there will be that part of your brain that will always raise self-doubt but that's what you have to tame.
What's the tool to tame self-doubt and give you the belief that you can achieve what you want?
It's called visualization.
I am sure this is not the first time you have heard about visualization, the law of attraction, and affirmations. To some extent, they do sound wishy-washy but I don't doubt that they are powerful. I will explain with a few examples from peak performers later in the post.
So, what is visualization?
Visualization is the act of forming vivid mental imagery about what you want with strong emotions of already having achieved it. There are many ways people practice it. The core of it all is sitting with closed eyes and imagining what exactly their success looks like and feeling (at an emotional level) what that success looks like. Some people use affirmations - by writing down a particular thing 15-20 times on a piece of paper every day.
But wait, why does visualization seem to work?
There is a whole neurological explanation on why it seems to work. But I won't touch that. Just from a mental perspective, it seems to work because
- You have to define EXACTLY what you want. Images can't be vague, it has to be specific and clear. Visualization forces you to be super specific in your desire.
It reminds me of this quote by Tim Ferris.
“Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask.” — Tim Ferriss pic.twitter.com/utqInys6lc— Visualize Value (@visualizevalue) August 14, 2021
The core reason I think visualizations work is because it demonstrates the strongest of desires. Its more than wishful thinking and when you have that you try to achieve it no matter what.
When you visualize something repeatedly you just start to believe it more. Strong belief begets motivation.
When you have strong emotions attached to a thought, it ceases to be mere wishful thinking. It makes your positive thoughts congruent with newer emotions of self believe and achievement, leaving behind your self-doubt.
Then there is the whole notion of subconscious activation and brain programming, which helps you suggest ideas on how to take the next steps to achieve the imagery.
Examples of people who have used visualization to their success
Scott Adams is the creator of a comic strip called Dilbert. In his conversation on a podcast with Tim Ferris he talked about how he used it to become a no. 1 bestselling author and more.
Connor Mcgregor is a mixed martial artist, who has been a UFC champion, and he says he visualized his way through to it.
There are tons of other high performers who have used it effectively.
Personally, I have used it to will many things into existence. Things that were far beyond my imagination when I started using it, hence I believe in it.
Visualization helps you generate self belief, motivation and potentially find steps to achieve the desired goal. Ultimately, it's the actions that get us the results and visualization is one of the tools to will yourself into action.