Visualization performed correctly can be extremely powerful in achieving your goals.

Do you see yourself already in possession of your personal goal(s) for your health?

Or, do you see yourself only in the struggle of trying to achieve the goal(s) for your health?

What do you feel when you consider those two options?

Now clear your mind, close your eyes (well finish reading this first then close them!), focus, and then see and “feel” yourself with the healthy body you desire.

What is it you can now do that you could not before?

How do you spend your time as you could not before?

How do you look at the rest of your life compared to how you look at it in the present?

Many may think this type of exercise is “out there”, but it is an exercise that the highest performers in every arena – sports, entertainment, business – use to condition their bodies to follow that created in the mind. You cannot achieve anything in your “outer world”, or body until you first see it in your “inner world”, or mind.

A mentor of mine says everything is created twice.

Once in your mind and then in your body and the actions that follow.

Is There Truly Power in Visualization?

In one of the most well-known studies on creative visualization in sports, Russian scientists compared four groups of Olympic athletes in terms of their training schedules:

  • Group 1 had 100% physical training
  • Group 2 had 75% physical training with 25% mental training
  • Group 3 had 50% physical training with 50% mental training
  • Group 4 had 25% physical training with 75% mental training.

The results showed that Group 4, with 75% of their time devoted to mental training, performed the best. “They discovered that mental images can act as a prelude to muscular impulses, helping to achieve peak muscular output and performance for the physical activity that followed.”[1]

What is the difference between visualizing and dreaming?:

  • Creative visualization is done in the first person and the present tense – as if the visualized scene were unfolding all around you. It conditions you to then think about the actions that must follow to achieve what you visualize.
  • Normal dreaming is done in the third person and the future tense. It involves hope that something will bring the desired outcome.

There is probably not a single Olympic athlete who has not dreamed about standing on the podium with a gold medal around their neck, but the tool that most use to actualize that outcome is visualization.

When you mentally rehearse exactly what you have to do to “win” it is also more likely that greater success will be achieved. Sports psychologists say that visualization boosts athletes’ confidence and performance by already executing the action in their mind. By achieving the desired outcome in their mind, rehearsing the actions flawlessly over and over in the mind, it “pre-wires” the body to follow through the mind-body connection. It also helps push away the distractions around them during the actual physical competition. [2]

This is the opposite of what many “low performers” rehearse in their mind – past failure, past hurt, past blame, that they are not good enough, and that they will never achieve their goals or dreams.

And what do you think follows in their actions?

Visualize to Actualize

If you remember nothing else from reading this post, remember that all things are created twice – first in the mind, and then in your physical world.

The law of auto-suggestion, through which any person may rise to altitudes of achievement which stagger the imagination, is well described in the following verse from Napoleon Hill’s famous book, Think & Grow Rich:

“If you think you are beaten, you are.

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you like to win, but you think you can’t,

It is almost certain you won’t.

“If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.

For out of the world we find,

success begins with a fellow’s will—

It’s all in the state of mind.

“If you think you are outclassed, you are.

You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

you can ever win a prize.

“Life’s battles don’t always go

to the stronger or faster man.

But sooner or later the man who wins

is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”

Observe the words which have been emphasized, and you will catch the deep meaning which the author had in mind.  Somewhere in your makeup there lies, sleeping, the seed of achievement, which if aroused and put into action, would carry you to heights such as you may never have hoped to attain.

Just as a master musician may cause the most beautiful music to pour forth from their instrument, so may you arouse the genius who lies asleep in your brain and elevate you upward to whatever goal you may wish to achieve.

5 Steps to Create Actualization Through Visualization:

  1. Visualize your future health and future not as you want but how you WILL be
  1. Create an affirmation statement that is meaningful to you and you alone. Then use it to trigger the actions you must take to achieve what you have visualized.
  1. Place your affirmation statement in places you will see often – on your phone, on your computer desktop, a card in your wallet, etc.
  2. Use your affirmation statement to re-orient and kickstart action (or a needed change in your actions) when life throws curves in your path
  1. Visualize yourself with your goal achieved

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[1] Robert Scaglione, William Cummins, Karate of Okinawa: Building Warrior Spirit, Tuttle Publishing

[2] Fiona McCormack, “Mind games,” Scholastic Scope, Vol. 54, Iss. 10, New York: Jan 23, 2006


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