Visualisation for Confidence

Written by Karl Perera MA, DipLC.

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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.

Visualisation 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 confidence building in so many areas of our lives. It is very effective and can be a useful skill when meditating or 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 confidence and how it works.

Photo by Clint McKoy

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 affect 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.

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, 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.

I have also used visualisation to go over what happened when I acted in a certain way and to relive an experience. This can be a form of feedback and you might ask yourself how you could of 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 a interesting article Blackwell and Holmes recount how visualisation and focus on positive outcomes can be used to help treat depression. This is indeed good news and shows the power of visualisation.

Enjoy the excitement of an amazing new journey to unstoppable self-confidence.

Finally, understand the steps you can take to build your confidence.

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How to Use Visualisation For 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 visualisation for your 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.

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!


  • Blackwell, S. E. (2019). Mental imagery: From basic research to clinical practice. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration29(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 psychology73(5), 579-589.

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 since 1997 since suffering from low self esteem for more than 25 years overcoming it in his thirties.