Visualization uses emotionally charged mental images to trigger predetermined responses to specific thoughts or situations. Visualization empowers you to respond to life the way you want to. All action is motivated by emotion. By changing the underlying emotion, you will motivate a different action.
To understand how this works, you must first realize that your mind thinks in mental images all the time. You have been associating these mental images with thoughts and situations since you were a baby. Most of the associations you’ve been making have been happening outside your conscious awareness.
Visualization allows you to take conscious control of these associations and respond to life the way you want to. Not the way life has trained you to.
Let’s consider an example. Sue has just completed two successful high-profile projects that saved her company $24 million dollars. She’s worked hard and thinks she deserves a raise. She wants to confront her boss and negotiate a salary increase. She’s been thinking about it for months, but hasn’t done it. Even though she practices what she wants to say, when she sees her boss she doesn’t bring it up.
SO WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?
On some level, Sue has associated getting more money with some kind of PLEASURE. Maybe she sees it as a reward for doing a good job. Or maybe she wants the money to buy a new car. She feels she deserves it. Also intertwined in this though, Sue associates some kind of PAIN with confronting her boss. Maybe he’s a hothead and she wants to avoid his emotional outburst. Or maybe Sue has an underlying fear of rejection.
A psychiatrist might walk Sue through the process to identify the specific life event that caused her fear of rejection. Not to minimize the work that psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and other health professionals do, but does it really matter?
Who cares if Sue’s father didn’t give her money to buy ice cream when she was three-years-old? The important thing is that in her present life, Sue associates more PAIN with confronting her boss than the PLEASURE associated with getting the raise. In order for her to take the action she wants, she must visualize either:
- More PAIN with not getting the raise, or
- More PLEASURE with actually getting the raise and this PLEASURE must be greater than the PAIN of confronting her boss
Sue has a choice. She can continue doing what she has been doing and hope she finds the courage to confront her boss, or she can make a decision to do something different. Sue can do it and so can you!
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