Written by Karl Perera, MA, DipLC
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Visualization exercises are one of the most powerful and easy to implement tools that everyone should use. They can help you with achieving your goals, deal with stressful situations, and even change your life.
Visualization exercises are a powerful tool for self-awareness and understanding. They can help you understand your feelings, desires, and insecurities. Visualizing a successful outcome in a difficult situation you fear can help you to perform better and reduce anxiety.
Visualization exercises are easy to do because they require no special equipment or materials. You just have to spend some time alone and create a mental picture of what you want to achieve.
How Does Visualisation Work?
Visualisation is a technique widely used to reduce stress, fear and negative thoughts about any challenge or situation you face. According to Longhurst (2003), visualisation can be used to build confidence and is particularly helpful in areas such as sports or in teaching.
This study published in 2015 in the International Journal of Sports Sciences and Fitness, shows how visualisation techniques helped reduce anxiety and build confidence in female cricket players. The fact that visualisation has been studied widely in various situations suggests that it could also be highly effective for the promotion of self confidence in general.
We actually use visualisation when we remember things, as we see in our minds what happened and may even use our imagination to fill in the gaps. This visualisation may help us to understand what happened, although mental imagery of past events or future events can have a negative effect also. In fact, as Blackwell (2019) explains, mental imagery is used in therapy and can have an effect on emotions and behaviour. It should be possible then to use this technique to boost self-confidence in any area of life.
Self-hypnosis is one area where visualisation can be very helpful, if you haven’t tried it you should. Click here to check out audio downloads that can help you to use visualisation to change behaviour in any challenging situation where you need more confidence: Try self hypnosis audio downloads now!
Let’s now look at how visualisation works and how you can use it to build your confidence and reduce anxiety.
Basically, you can use the power of your imagination and your mind to visualise the situation you find difficult and see yourself succeeding. The richer the imagery you use, the more successful you will be at building your confidence and preparing yourself to meet the challenge. If you imagine smells, sounds and feelings the visualisation becomes much stronger and can affect your subconscious. If the technique successfully penetrates your subconscious, the next time you are in the situation you have visualised you will feel confident and more relaxed. This improves your performance.
Blackwell (2019) also mentions how mental imagery can be used to help make decisions about how to behave in certain situations that face a person. You can use visualisation to play out something in your mind and rehearse different actions and see what happens. This is all based on imagination, but it works. There is a lot of evidence that, as Blackwell also states, suggests that experiencing all the senses of a situation in your mind is close to actually experiencing them in reality.
My Personal Experience of Visualisation – Did It Work for Me?
I have also used visualisation to go over what happened when I acted in a certain way and to relive an experience. This was extremely helpful to me when I was suffering from shyness. Visualization exercises can be a kind of feedback and you might ask yourself how you could have behaved or reacted differently and imagine what would have happened. This can be an effective way to learn from experience and decide what you can improve for the next time you face that challenge.
I myself have in the past suffered from depression and know how seriously it can impact confidence and motivation. In an interesting article Blackwell and Holmes (2017) recount how positive visualization focusing on successful outcomes can be used to help treat depression. This is indeed good news and shows the power of visualisation techniques.
Enjoy the excitement of an amazing new journey to unstoppable self-confidence.
Finally, understand the steps you can take to build your confidence.
Believe in yourself more.
Experience the motivation of setting goals that matter to you.
How to Use Visualisation for Anxiety and Confidence
What is the challenge that you fear? In what situations do you need more confidence? Would your performance improve if you could reduce anxiety and be more relaxed?
Let’s say you have to give an important presentation and you fear talking in public, or you need to talk to someone about a difficult subject and are avoiding it, or perhaps you have a job interview coming up and are nervous. Any situation could be suitable for visualisation, this includes social challenges, self improvement or physical activity.
Here is a quick description of how you can use visualization to reduce anxiety and boost confidence:
Imagine a movie and you are the star of that movie. Create the scenes in your head and see yourself being successful and achieving your goal. For example, if your goal was to find a loving partner you could imagine being on a balcony overlooking the sea holding a drink in one hand and your arm around your future partner. Imagine laughing and being relaxed and happy. How does it feel? What are the details? You create the movie with all its sounds and feelings and visuals – the more real the better. This will create the right attitude and mindset that will help you succeed. It is one positive tool and also a piece of magic if you use it often and re-run that movie every day.
Or imagine doing what you fear and the feelings you get when you do it well. Visualise the positive feelings, the sounds and the positive comments and reactions of others and enjoy the feeling of success when you perform well. This is how you do positive visualisation, focus on feeling and looking confident.
Visualisation is not magic though. You need to do it right so take a look here for more about how to use the right kind of visualisation to achieve what you want.
Lack of confidence can strike at the worst of times! Even worse, you might suffer from self-doubt most of the time which is kind of like running a marathon with a heavy anchor tied around your neck. If lack of self confidence is a problem in your life and you’re looking for a way to build your level of self-belief, then I share your pain! So let’s go on a journey together to understand this problem and look at solutions that will work for you.
If you want to improve your self esteem then working actively to achieve the things that matter to you most is extremely important. Goals also keep you motivated and give you something to aim for. As you take steps towards completing your goals this will increase your self esteem and confidence.
Visualization is a tool that you can use to help yourself build self confidence. Visualising yourself rising to the challenge, and enjoying the feeling of achievement and success will propel you towards renewed confidence.
Visualisation can be used for anxiety and confidence-building in so many areas of our lives. It is very effective and can be a useful skill in meditation or when using self-hypnosis. Having written extensively about the topic of self confidence and self esteem and having helped others with this problem, I know how useful visualisation can be. I personally used it to overcome shyness and social phobia whilst I suffered from low self esteem during my younger years. Let me explain how you can use visualisation for anxiety and confidence and how it works.
Use The Technique of Visualization to Boost Your Self Confidence
If visualization is a technique that you don’t use, then now is the time to start. Visualization can help you boost your self-confidence and have positive thoughts.
Visualizing yourself accomplishing your goals will make you feel more confident and therefore more likely to succeed. It can also help you see what the future might look like if you take certain risks or make changes in your life.
This technique is not just for professional athletes who are trying to improve their skills, but it has many other uses too. For example, if an individual wants to learn a new skill or start a new business venture, they can use this technique to see themselves as an expert in that field or successfully running that business.
Examples of Visualization Exercises You Can Try Right Now
Visualization exercises are a great way to build up creativity and to help you see new opportunities.
It is important for marketers to visualize themselves as successful, so they can get the motivation and inspiration that they need. The following are some visualization exercises you can try out:
-Focusing on how you want your life to be in 10 years: Think about the things you want, what your job is like, what relationships do you have with your family?
-Visualizing a day in the life of someone who has all of the things that you want: What is their morning routine like? What does their work day look like? How do they spend time with friends or family? What do they do for fun?
-Visualizing yourself as someone who has accomplished everything that you set
Using Visualisation to Overcome Fear
One of the biggest obstacles that can stop you from achieving your goals is fear. This emotion feeds any negative thoughts you have such as self doubts. Fear can cause you to give up before you have even started or it can cause you to give in to the slightest setback. If you do give up like this your confidence will take a big hit.
Fear will also make it more likely that you will listen to those who tell you negative things and even yourself. Maybe others will say “That is too difficult” or “you can’t do that”. Just remember that all the most successful people have gone through this and refused to listen to the negativity of others. To overcome your fear you need to challenge it. Question it. Face it and beat it. Prove it wrong. I have found that it is very rare that things turn out as bad as I first imagined them. So many times when I faced something new and scary I imagined all kinds of problems, (negative visualisation), but the reality was completely different when I actually did what I feared.
Using visualisation works because it starts your brain thinking more positively. If you use different senses it becomes even more powerful as a tool for change. As we’ve seen above fear can start an avalanche of negative thinking so positive imagery can help reverse this. Furthermore, it can remove anxiety and fear and give you strength to overcome the urge to run away or avoid what you fear but know you need to do. To change for the positive and go beyond your comfort zone you need bravery.
Rather than imagine what failure would feel like focus on how success would feel. What if you could….? How would life be different if you succeeded?
Fear often means that you worry about what others will say or think. Why give the power to others? You are actually letting others decide what you should do. Start using the power of visualisation to help yourself. You might try mindfulness meditation is something that can help you to calm yourself down and ease your fears and anxiety whilst also focusing on your feelings and visualising improvement.
Don’t let fear stop you. Really, fear and failure are ideas in your head and do not really exist until you give them the power to exist. Your imagination creates them and feeds them. Start visualising success and the positive possibilities and you will kill the fear inside you.
If you have any fears or phobias that affect you – download this self hypnosis program and beat your fears now!
How to Use Visualization Exercises for Increased Productivity
Visualization exercises have been proven to help increase productivity. Visualization exercises are often used by athletes to improve their performance in a competition, but they can also be applied to other areas of life.
The first step is being able to visualize the end goal. A clear understanding of what is being aimed for will create a better path for how to achieve it. It can also stimulate the senses and reduce anxiety and stress.
The next step would be getting into the right mindset. The mind has a huge impact on how we feel and perform, and visualization exercises can help train your brain so that you will have more positive thoughts going forward- which will result in increased productivity on your part.
Visualize Process Goals While Working on Tasks
Effective goal visualization is a key to success. Visualizing the goals while working on tasks allows the individual to have a better understanding of their progress and also focus more on the task at hand.
The visualized goals can be anything that the individual is working towards, but it is most effective when it focuses on one specific goal. This will allow for greater focus and less distraction as the individual will know exactly what they need to do in order to achieve their goal.
Design The Perfect Moment for Yourself
Designing the perfect moment is what every individual desires. Sometimes, it may be difficult to find the perfect moment for oneself. In this section, I would like to explore how we can design a perfect moment using visualization techniques and explore its effect on oneself.
Visualization techniques are a set of exercises that help people imagine things vividly in detail. There are many ways to do visualization exercises, such as using your imagination or drawing pictures. This is because visualizing something makes it seem more real than just thinking about it or talking about it.
The benefits of designing your perfect moment include:
– Finding time for yourself
– Enjoying the present moment
– Feeling less anxious and stressed
Visualize a Successful Relationship with a Current or Future Partner
The idea of marriage has evolved in the 21st century. Rather than expecting to date for a long period of time and then decide if you want to get married, more people are choosing to get married earlier on in their relationship.
Successful relationships are based on two things – finding the right person to spend their life with and also having open communication between partners. Open communication is not about being emotionally vulnerable but rather being honest about what you want out of your relationship. Click here to improve your self esteem and communication skills.
Using Visualization Techniques to Improve Your Career Aspirations
Visualization is a technique in which you imagine that you have attained the goal or desire. This technique has been proven to be really effective in achieving goals and bettering one’s life.
The visualization technique can be used to achieve anything, whether that is finding your perfect job or achieving your desired level of health and fitness. The process of visualization allows you to create a future for yourself as if it was already achieved.
Is Using a Visualization Board a Good Idea?
Visualization boards allow individuals to better visualize their goals and organize them in order to achieve them. Visualization boards are a great way to develop a plan of action for your dreams.
What exactly is a visualisation board? It is a collection of images and statements you place together in a kind of collage. The created imageboard represents your goals and ambitions for the future. It can be used to visualize your ideal future. Read more about image boards here.
Visualization boards have been used by people for centuries, but they have only recently been introduced to the digital world. There are plenty of studies that show that visualization boards can make a difference in one’s life. One study found that visualization boards can lead to increased happiness and decreased anxiety, which is why many people turn to them as an outlet for personal issues or barriers.
The concept behind visualization boards is fairly simple: the goal is to create your dream life and then plan out the steps it will take for you to get there-just like you would with any other goal or project you are working on.
- Blackwell, S. E. (2019). Mental imagery: From basic research to clinical practice. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 29(3), 235.
- Blackwell, S. E., & Holmes, E. A. (2017). Brightening the day with flashes of positive mental imagery: a case study of an individual with depression. Journal of clinical psychology, 73(5), 579-589.
- Longhurst, C. (2003). “VISUALISATION, MIND MAPS, RELAXATION, CONFIDENCE AND THE OUTSIDE SCHOOL TUTOR: A CASE STUDY.
- Shweta, C., & Deepak, M. (2015). THE USE OF MENTAL IMAGERY AND CONCENTRATION IN THE ELIMINATION OF ANXIETY AND BUILDING OF SELF CONFIDENCE OF FEMALE CRICKET PLAYERS PARTICIPATING AT NATIONAL LEVEL. International Journal of Sports Sciences & Fitness, 5(1).
Website Author and Your Guide
Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA), and author of the book Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 since suffering from low self esteem for more than 25 years overcoming it in his thirties.