Powerful Affirmations & Creative Visualisation
Affirmations and creative visualisation are two extremely powerful tools for putting us in the right frame of mind to make our goals happen. I think of them as ‘mind techniques’ but there’s nothing strange or mystical about them. They just tap into the way the brain works.
Again, it’s a bit like doing a search on the internet. You need to tell the search engine what to look out for – what to ‘capture’ as it scans the ’net. Your brain does the same thing. When you focus your thoughts on something, the ‘noticing’ part of your brain (the Reticular Activating System) scans for it as you go about your life so that’s what you see. That’s why optimistic people seem to attract good fortune and pessimistic people seem to attract bad luck. So in a sense, by focusing our thoughts on something we are bringing it into our lives!
Affirmations are one way of programming your mind to look out for and so help to bring about the positive outcomes you want. They help to keep you focused and positive.
Here are some hints for coming up with effective, positive affirmations:
• Use the present tense. If you want a new house, affirm that: ‘I’m living in my new house.’ Don’t waste brain space saying, ‘I will be living in my new house’ or ‘I’ll try to get my new house’ or ‘I would like to live in a new house.’ Say it as if it has already happened.
• Be specific. Don’t use vague affirmations like ‘I will be successful’ (or even ‘I am successful’). What does that mean, exactly? It doesn’t give your brain much to go on.
• Use positive affirmations. The most positive affirmation is a loving, harmonious, peaceful one. If our goals are tied up with anger, guilt, jealousy or other negative emotions, it is harder to make effective (rational) decisions.
Here are some examples of general affirmations you might use any time:
‘Everything I touch is a success.’
‘I am moving into the winners’ circle.’
‘I am blessed beyond my fondest dreams.’
‘Riches of every sort are drawn to me.’
An example of specific affirmations might be:
‘We are living in our new house.’
‘I am enjoying my four-day weekends.’
‘I am having a great time driving my new car.’
The point of affirmations is to repeatedly say them to yourself, in your head or out loud. That’s how the message sinks from the conscious mind to the subconscious where it becomes powerful. Repeat your affirmations whenever you review your goals. Say them in the morning when you get up, in the evening before you sleep and before you tackle difficult tasks in pursuit of your goals.
You may be feeling this really isn’t ‘your sort of thing.’ That’s fine. But I urge you to give it a try – just while you’re doing this program. Test it and see. Norman Vincent Peale, author of the classic The Power of Positive Thinking, acknowledged that the only people who don’t have problems are dead. We’re not promising you a perfect, trouble-free existence. But we’re saying don’t focus on the problems, the negativity, and the doubts. Choose to focus on the positive, and you’ll begin to experience it more often.
Visualisation is an incredibly powerful tool. You’ve probably heard it said that one of the key qualities of great leaders is that they have ‘vision.’ It’s not something they’re born with; it’s just something they do, so visualize!
You need to see the end results of your efforts ‘in your mind’s eye.’ Don’t worry about how you’re going to get there (yet): just see the end result.
An effective visualization:
• Focuses on desired results (the goal, the achievement, the enjoyment) experienced as if they were happening in the immediate present – as if you were there right now
• involves sights, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes as complete and as vivid as you can imagine
• includes benefits to others – people who are dear to you enjoying and celebrating the fruits of your achievements.
When I was visualizing my dream house, I wasn’t thinking about how I was going to find or build it, let alone pay for it! I was visualizing myself moving into my 150-square house and living in it. I could see myself walking round the property, putting the key in the front door and opening it, putting my bare feet on the marble and feeling how cold it was, entering the library and smelling the timber, hearing the kids laughing on the deck; sitting down on the couch and feeling how comfortable it was. And smiling, because it felt so good to have achieved my goal. (And I did.)
Tiger Woods visualizes every shot he makes before he makes it, seeing the ball going into the hole on that last putt. Many other successful sports people and business people do the same thing. So can you.
Some people who attend my seminars say to me that ‘they’re just no good at visualizing.’ Sorry, but that doesn’t work. The truth is:
• They often haven’t tried or haven’t been shown how
• It’s something every kid can do – and adults but they just forget sometimes
• Someone may not be very ‘visual’ in their imagination but that’s not all there is to it
• Such excuses are just plain negative! No wonder some people aren’t willing to give positive visualization a go.
If it doesn’t work for you, that’s fine but give it a try and preferably more than once then see how you feel.
Affirmations and visualizations won’t be sustainable or effective unless you get into the habit of more positive, responsible, proactive thinking.
If there’s one thing that will make a difference here, it’s the people who you spend time with. You know who they are – the individuals or groups who leave you feeling good about yourself and your plans, energized, supported, challenged, resourceful and positive: the ones who say, ‘Go for it! You can do this!’ And you know who the others are: the individuals and groups who leave you feeling a bit doubtful, helpless, tired, inadequate, regretful and resigned – in a word, negative.
While you’re making resolutions to cut down on the poisonous substances in your body, go one step further. Cut down on the poisonous people because they drain your positive energy every bit as much.
And while you’re making resolutions to get more healthful stuff into your life, go one step further. Get more healthful people into your week because they add to your positive energy as well.