It’s no secret that successful people attract success. The power of visualization is undeniable.
It sounds good, but there’s also proof in the science of visualization.
Visualization techniques and exercises can rapidly accelerate goal achievement. For example, “research has revealed that mental practices are almost [as] effective as true physical practice, and that doing both is more effective than either alone.”
The key to achieving what you want—whether it’s more customers or increased business confidence—may lie in your ability to visualize it.
The power of visualization
People use mental imagery to become stronger, happier, and more effective. But you’re probably wondering, “Will it work for me?”
Tell me, “What is your big goal for this year? Do you want to land a high-value client, international speaking gig, or condition your body to run your first marathon?”
There are practical steps you’ll have to take to get there. However, those steps, coupled with mental practice, are more effective. Visualization is simply mental rehearsal. And it will get you where you want to go much faster.
Back to that goal.
What will accomplishing it look like? Imagine the end result as a scene and picture it in your mind. Maybe you’re:
on stage, speaking to an audience that is hanging onto your every word.
seated at your favorite restaurant table with your new client, as you both sign the contract.
crossing the finish line, arms raised in excitement as your family cheers you on.
Visualization goes a long way toward getting what you want. In fact, it was Einstein who said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Imagine your success
Sport psychologists and high-performance athletes use visualization to achieve their goals. So why shouldn’t you?
Visualization isn’t just a matter of athletes imagining themselves receiving a medal. They actually visualize their entire performance.
Baseball pitchers imagine throwing the baseball from the mound toward the catcher. Golfers visualize every hole on the golf course. Soccer players imagine every pass, kick, and block they’ll make in a game. Even ballerinas, like Misty Copeland, visualize success. Copeland explains, “Before every performance I take a moment to myself. Being able to visualize the best way to do something keeps me calm and prepared.”
Creating a crystal clear vision
When I talk to clients about visualization, I frame it as being very clear about the kind of life you want to live. What do you want your average day to look like? What specifically will you do throughout your day?
Spanx founder, Sara Blakely credits visualization to her success. In a SUCCESS magazine interview Blakely says, “The reason I believe I took the idea and ran with it was because of all of the prework I had done.” Blakely was “referring to the in-depth visualization she had done for an idea—the idea—to come into her life. ‘I knew I wanted my life to be different than it currently was, so I took inventory of my strengths and weaknesses.'”
However, most people don’t have a crystal clear vision. This is why they float along with nothing to focus on, or work toward. As Lewis Carroll said in Alice In Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”
Use visualization to get what you want
When you go to a restaurant, you don’t say, “I think I want a little meat and a little rice.” You have to be specific. The more specific you are, the clearer your vision becomes and the better your “meal” will be.
If you want to use visualization to get what you want, be explicitly clear. Write down as much detail as possible. What type of life do you want to create? What will your business look like 3 months from now? What will your average day look like?
If you can be clear, and visualize that ideal scenario, repeatedly — not just the end result — your vision will pull you forward. Eventually, you will find yourself in the place where you’re ready to make it happen.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Nancy Da Costa is the ‘Believe, Do, and Thrive’ Mindset Coach and speaker who helps women stretch their money goals and create an amount of wealth and income that is over and beyond their wildest dreams. Nancy worked at a mid-sized accounting firm, boutique Wall Street hedge fund, and Goldman Sachs before leaving her old rat-race life behind to follow her heart to Sydney, Australia. As the CEO of Believe, Do, and Thrive, Nancy coaches clients to permanently transform their money mindsets and create real, true wealth; as she travels the world sharing her message at live events. Nancy currently lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband Harold Bear. Connect with @nancydacosta on Twitter.