How are you today?

This week’s dose of mental sunshine is all about visualising and I’d like to start with this quote:

“Picture yourself vividly as defeated and that alone will make victory impossible. Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone with contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be.”

– Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick

It’s not only positive words or phrases that will turn your life around. It’s also about the mental pictures you form in your mind when you see, hear, recite or write those positive words or phrases.

If you’re trying to “think positive” with your words, and you’re not feeling a shift in how you feel (or seeing positive results in your life) then the chances are that you are unconsciously and unintentionally picturing the opposite.

If you’re feeling down, take a moment to think about what you are picturing and seeing in your mind’s eye that is causing this feeling.

You’ll discover it’s NOT the words in your head that cause you problems; it’s the images that come along with those words.

If you can change your negative mental pictures to images that are more positive, your emotional state can completely shift – automatically, and almost regardless of the words you’re using.

What does this look like in practice?

Let’s say you’re being interviewed for a new job. Rather than just saying to yourself “I’m going to get this job,” imagine yourself in the new job. Imagine yourself walking into that new building each morning, saying hi to your new colleagues, sitting at your new desk…

If you’re hankering after a new car, don’t just walk around saying “I’m going to have that car” – imagine yourself driving it! Not just being in a new car, but driving it – where is the indicator? Where is the handbrake? Is it manual or do you need to use the gearstick? Really pay attention to detail and allow yourself to daydream about it.

If you have a positive mental picture of what you want from a place of it already being a fact in your mind, you can often express yourself with negative self-talk and that will be virtually irrelevant – because you can see the thing you want.

If you say to yourself, I’m going to flunk this exam but in your mind you’re picturing yourself getting an A, your negative words can be cancelled out by the imagery.

If a boxer says I’m going to win this fight but in his head he’s picturing himself getting beaten, he will probably lose.

Everything starts in your imagination…

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should pay no attention to your words – they are important too and can make a difference.

But not if your mental imagery doesn’t line up.

It’s how you imagine things that makes a difference here.

Give it a go, and see how it makes a difference to your life.