Does visualization really work? Can it really produce the change you want to see? You might be skeptical at first. So let me share a story with you about how visualization can literally change your life. It’ll give you a good idea whether visualization works or not. And it wouldn’t have been possible for me to share these stories with you, if I had not written them in my journal.
Everything you’re about to read right now is coming right from my journal and also backed with science. In my journal, I pour my goals and raw emotions. Apply what you see fit. There’s a lot to be learned.
Now let’s move on.
I’m a chess professional. I compete in chess tournaments, like Beth Harmon does. Back in 2017, there was a tournament I wanted to perform extremely well in. What did I do?
First, I wrote down my goal for the tournament. It was a SMART goal and well within my capacity to achieve it. Here are the goals I wrote in my journal.
- Finish in the top 4 spots in the Pune rating tournament.
- Increase more than 30 elo rating in the tournament.
- Cross 2000 elo mark in the May 2017 FIDE rating list.
Every night before bed time, I’d do the mental movie visualization. It was a trick I had learned from the book – The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy.
You can try it too. Here’s how you can start positive visualization.
- First, close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
Focus on breathing for 5 minutes until you feel you’re relaxed. This is meant to relax your body. It’s extremely important that you relax your body. This way your subconscious mind is more accepting of the ideas you suggest to it.
- Once you’re in a relaxed state, visualize the ideal outcome.
What does the ideal outcome look like to you? Imagine as if you’ve already achieved the desired goal.
Let me give you context from my own experience. For me, I wanted to finish in the top four spots. The 4th spot had a prize of Rs. 20,000. So my mental movie was seeing Rs. 20,000 being deposited in my bank account. I visualized the prize ceremony – standing on the stage, being congratulated and receiving the cash prize.
Initially, you’ll find it difficult to visualize a mental movie. But with practice, it’ll become easier.
You can’t achieve your goal without visualizing the process. When you visualize the process, what does it look like? In my case that process was visualizing playing the game, thinking and moving the pieces.
Let’s say you want to lose weight. The two common processes to lose weight are exercising and eating healthy food. So visualize that, if you want to lose some weight. Visualizing the process will make the entire experience feel more real. This way, it’s easier for your subconscious to believe that you can actually achieve your goals.