A painter I met long ago told me he didn’t visualize his works beforehand. That he couldn’t visualize. That was helpful to me as an artist because I also felt I couldn’t conceive a visual image solidly in my head before creating it. I could dimly construct some elements of the image, but not a totally preconceived finished work. Yet, I could produce an image that was my intention.
On the other hand I’ve know people who tell me they had the facility to absolutely visualize an image in their head and hold the image as necessary. To me that is an incredible gift.
Can you visualize a red apple on green grass, with a bluejay standing next to it, for 10 seconds? If you can, excellent! You may be able to apply that in many personal and professional situations in life.
A visualization exercise I know involves gazing at a candle flame for a little while, then closing your eyes, and see how long you can sustain the image of the flame clearly. It is an easy way to begin that sort of training, because of something called “retinal memory” that will sustain the image in your head for at least a few seconds. Try it with a flower, a crystal, any memorable or attractive object. That is one type of visualization.
The visualization I’ll refer to is more about feelings than images. Can you visualize happiness, danger, triumph?
Those images may not be as fixed as a two dimensional picture. And the visual part of the exercise is not as important as the feeling or emotion it generates.
Visualizing is a personal and private activity. It is our secret tool on the way to achievement. As athletes, when we visualize for the sake of our performance, we may start with images of ourselves performing our feats, at their best, in top form, winning, and victorious. What we want out of it is confidence and a high baseline of success. We are trying to support our activities with feeling and drive. We want to create a sense of success, prophecy it, re-create it, and draw it by our creation of it in our minds.
I must mention that it doesn’t work, if you are not in the process of practice and development of the performance you seek. I’ve heard otherwise but don’t believe it. It’s highly improbably to be great at anything you don’t invest hands on time in. If you train competitive sports or martial arts and add regular short sessions of visualization you’ll increase the probability of performing at the level you want.
Visualization in this manner invigorates your intention to succeed, which is already given firm root by your activity in the field. Involving the law of attraction, you are familiarizing yourself with excellence and success to the point of intimacy, that they not be strangers to you. When you visualize, your breathing may undergo changes from calm and steady to deep, strong and excited. Your body may twitch in accordance with the activity you are performing. Your facial expressions may change from focused, to angry, to smiling or laughing, to peaceful, and peaceful is usually where we want to end up. Even after the triumph, peace is the true prize.
But, if you’re a couch potato or armchair quarterback, then go out “cold” and expect to succeed because you “visualized,” you’ll probably fail.
There are many books, videos, classes, and seminars on visualization. Honestly I don’t think it’s that complicated, we’ve probably been doing it all our lives, just that doing it consciously, on purpose, with intention, makes it a tool as opposed to an accident. It’s free, and you can have as much of it as you want. Add it to your life.