It’s impossible to create something without imagining it first. Every big idea was just a little thought before. Over time that thought was nurtured by the owner. It was given time and consideration before it grew bigger and it became the next big thing.

This is how everything starts!

If you look around, you will notice that everything human-made, including the biggest inventions of humankind, started as an image in someone’s mind. Psychologists have been using visual imagery for years, as a way to help people enhance performance, create desired emotional states, and achieve goals. Simply visualising yourself doing something you always wanted to do but never had a chance, will improve your ability to do it. This is because your brain is constantly using visualisation in the process of simulating future experiences. This process happens so naturally that you aren’t aware of it. Anyone can learn to use visualisation to actively create future simulations that can help you achieve your goals. So how do you do it??

Picture and Describe

The more details you have in a visualisation the more real it will feel. This is where your brain starts to develop neural connections that result from the repeated visual image along with motivation that increases the likelihood of you taking an action towards your goal. For example, if you think about wanting a new handbag but immediately dismiss the thought, you quickly forget about it. However if you close your eyes and imagine the details of it, the colour, how it compliments your look and how confident and happy it makes you feel, your drive to get it would increase dramatically. At this point, your brain’s natural problem-solving process will go to work helping you develop a plan for how to obtain what you want. You might start to think about stopping at a shopping mall on the way home from work to look at handbags. The best way to create detail and enhance the quality of your simulation is to picture and describe it using all of your senses. Keep adding in more detail until the process starts to feel as real as if you were actually experiencing it.

Emotional Intensity

Emotion is a type of sensory-based representation in the brain. Emotion is preceded by thought. When you feel something deeply, you have achieved a level of belief associated with it. You don’t feel upset by something that you know is unreal or true. However, the more real you believe something is, the more emotional impact it has on you. To really enhance a simulation you want to create as much detail around it as you can so that you begin to feel the experience of it as if it were real. Once you have begun to feel it you have passed the threshold that leads to action.

Exposure

It can be quite difficult to imagine something that has not already happened to you. Sometimes to create a more detailed and realistic visual simulation in your mind, you have to expose yourself to more detail in the outside world. For example, if you really dream of doing something you’ve never tried before, you may have a difficult time simulating a detailed experience because you don’t have much to draw on. You will need to expose yourself to the experience. You may need to read books, watch videos, and speak to people who have done it already. The more information you gather about it, the more your simulation will feel like part of your reality. You will begin to feel that you are taking steps in the right direction to reach your desired goal.

The key to success

Anticipating a positive future is the key to your wellbeing. Yet when people think of the future, most of them will experience anxiety, fear and self-doubt. Unaware of how to change their future, most people are trapped in a cycle of re-creating their past. But your past does not have to define who you are or where you are going.