Goal Setting

How to practice visualisation

Until recently, I’ve found it difficult to get to grips with visualisation. I understood the basic purpose behind it and heard so many people talk about how it helped them but wasn’t clear how to do it.

I did some research and here’s some advice that’s helping me get to grips with it.

Don’t overthink it

There isn’t one way to do it so don’t overanalyse whether you’re getting it right. If you’re trying to picture a blue square, some might see it larger and some smaller. It could be dark blue or light blue, 2D or 3D. Let the images, experiences or feelings come to you, rather than trying to see what you think it should look like.

Think about how you process memories

Visualisation is a way of processing your vision for the future in the same way you would think about a memory.

Bring up a memory from the past. How do you know that it happened? Some people literally see what happened in their mind, some hear the conversations or other sounds in the room, some get into the feeling of being there. Notice how you process a memory and which sense is most dominant.

It can involve all your senses

I used to think it should only be a visual process but incorporating all the senses helps create a more vivid picture. Start with the sense that comes most naturally (see the point above) and go from there. These questions are a good place to start.

Visual

If what you want to achieve was true, what would you see in your life?

Auditory
  1. If it were true, what would you hear people say about you?
  2. What would you be saying to yourself?
Kinaesthetic

If it were true, what would you be feeling?

Connect with the emotion

The most powerful visualisations are those that seem most real so think about how you would feel in the scenario you’re envisioning. I used to tried and force the feeling but, again, the advice not to overthink proved helpful here. Allow whatever feelings and emotions arise to come naturally and when they do, relax and observe how they develop.

Repeat the process regularly

Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix and the more you practice the techniques, the better the results. The more time we spend focusing on what we do want, the less emphasis we place on our current situation or what we don’t want. Regularly set aside a small amount of visualisation time each day (10 minutes is enough) to build the habit.

Ultimately, visualisation is different for everyone so there’s no definitive rules but these pointers can help you get started and evolve the process as you go.