It’s all in my head: How visualization has helped me

February 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

I’ve been reading The Secret over the last couple of months.  It hasn’t taken me a couple of months to get through it, but I’ve been reading it over and over, letting it sink in, seeing if I could swallow what the author is saying or if I thought she was missing the ball.  I think, that like anything else, there is some truth to what she is saying, but there are important elements about myself that I have had to recognize to find a way to make what The Secret is about work for me.

Take, for instance, the idea of visualization.  If you visualize what you want, it will become reality.  The mind has a tough time differentiating between imagination and reality, so by visualizing what you want, it will come to pass because your mind already thinks it’s real. And to some degree, I think this does work, but, I’ve found that I’ve had to make a few modifications for it to be successful.  See, for me, I need to know where that difference is between reality and make believe.  I’m all too willing to believe that what’s in my mind is true today.  Except that half the time, this isn’t the case. And without recognizing that fact, I would never have believed that visualization could be a successful exercise in getting what I want. Because I wouldn’t have seen that sometimes, visualizing what you want isn’t enough, sometimes the stuff around me needs for me to be present in it and take action in it as well in order for this to work

I live the majority of my life in my own head. That sounds a bit absurd to write, if I wasn’t in my own head, who’s head would I be in? Well, nobody’s.  Just my own.  But what I’m getting at here is that I have always had an incredibly active imagination.  And in some cases, that imagination has gotten me through some tough times.  It’s been my cocoon from life’s events that may have otherwise taken me down. But it’s also kept me in a world entirely of my own.

I’ve had some very good relationships in my head. I’ve loved and I’ve lost.  I’ve overcome so many barriers… except that many of them never made it past the walls of my cocoon.  And that’s where I’ve found the greatest benefit for me with visualization. It’s helped me see where there’s a disconnect between what I see in my mind as true and what the situation around me actually is.  It’s reinforced the importance of balance in my life.  Balance of work, balance of friends, and balance in the amount of time I spend upstairs, and how much I’m out taking action, ensuring that what I find when I close my eyes is what I will find when I open them.

When they don’t match, that’s when I know I’ve got some work to do. But that’s the easiest place for me to get tripped up – when I think everything is going according to plan, but I’ve only checked in with myself, not with the situation around me.

I’m not sure how many people out there are like me, and how many are the opposite.  But I do know that living in either extreme does not get me any closer to having what I see internally and what I see externally mirroring one another.  How about you?  What kinds of things do you use to keep yourself in check and on track?

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§ 2 Responses to It’s all in my head: How visualization has helped me

  • John Tyler says:

    I am the same way. I have always been amazed at the conversations and events that I have played out in my mind. It truly is my own little world. It’s good that when I’m really busy I can use my imagination to pass the time away and keep me company, but it certainly gets lonely, there must be balance!

    Though I also see this ability as a powerful tool. I can be my own counsel. I can use my mind to separate out problems, isolate out root cause, and come to a solution I can accept on my own. Combine this with the ability to create scenarios, run them, change different variables on the fly, I believe makes for a strong leader. And being a leader means you take a vision, gather up available resources to turn your vision into reality. But that is only one way to make dreams come true. Every situation, work, friends, and family will require a different way to connect and make that reality come true- and that is the challenge and beauty that makes life interesting.

  • Tonya says:

    I believe there is some validity to visiualization (say that five times fast!) – IF you know when to stop visualizing and when to take action.

    Like you, I’ve won many battles in my head – and won them well! I’ve spoken up for myself, using the perfect words that struck the perfect chord. I have been my own hero – in my head. Some of these visualizations can be carried over into real life, to be acted upon. Others are just visualization, for the sake of positive fantasy – like marching into my boss’s office and telling him how rude he is and how I don’t appreciate it, and how he is quite fortunate to have me as an employee (as I said, positive fantasy)!

    As I get older, and gain experiences in different areas, I tend to spend more time in visualization that will actually help me in the “real” world, and less time, with the fantasies – although the positive fantasies can put me in a MUCH better mood! But I take an incident, such as the fantasy of speaking to my boss, to a more realistic visualization, of simply speaking up for myself, when I don’t care for his tone. I practiced the speech, in my head, and one day, I actually used it – or some version of it, and it actually brought about a positive result.

    So, yeah – its all in my head!

    Good post!

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