Do you continually struggle with achieving the kind of lifestyle you observe others enjoying? Do you wish you were healthier, stronger and able to lose that excess weight you've been carrying for years even though you've adhered to the most stringent of diets and attended fitness classes?
If you resonate with those words, then it's time to look deeper inside for a solution rather than continuing your outside pursuit. If you've tried every task possible and remain in the same position in life, it's time to examine your thought patterns and what they are creating for you. It's time to understand and use the power of visualisation.
Visualisation is a mental technique or process, that is, without doubt, the most powerful creative tool at our disposal. And, the best part about it is, everyone – rich, poor, healthy or not - has equal access to this creative tool because it is not acquired from without but something we develop and hone within ourselves.
Although visualisation is the most common term used for this creative tool, in the end, it is the act of mental practice – using and developing the power of imagination.
Why is this important? Because thought patterns are the creative juice that begin the process of manifesting in form.
Everything that is created in form, no matter what end of the "good or bad" scale it lies on, begins life in the intangible realm of spirit or thought (the imagination) as a pattern or vision.
This pattern or vision then seeks its completion in a form where it can be consciously experienced. From intangible to tangible or incorporeal to corporeal. This applies to every created thing, animate or inanimate.
Why do some things we imagine come to life and others seem to fade without ever being manifest?
The power lies with intensity in focus/feeling and repetition, the amount of details filled in and ultimately the action that follows.
How detailed is the picture in the mind? The more details added and felt (good or bad), the greater the chances of seeing this "picture" come to life. Unfortunately, the imagination has become stagnant in so many as they simply allow themselves to follow preprogrammed "not so healthy" subconscious patterns.
Take for example, the chair at your computer desk, the car you drive in or the home you live in. It was first an imagined thought or idea in someone's mind.
This imaginative idea was focused on and filled with details becoming a pattern. This detailed picture or pattern that is focused on with intention (and repetition) and combined with action steps (no chair, car or house or any manifest thing can be created without action because action is what moves energy, it is the connective tissue between thought and form) is empowered to complete the creative process and bring the desired "imagined in" pattern into form.
Successful people in all walks of life use imagery/ mind/ imagination effectively to build on their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses to manifest the life of their dreams.
They learn early on how powerful this technique is and take time before performing to "create and see the success picture" in their mental mind. They create a detailed pattern for energy to fill in, imagining their coming scenario and seeing themselves at peak performance for any given action before it even happens.
Athletes are often coached on how to use the power of imagery to stay mentally tough and achieve their desired end goal. Visualising helps them stay confident and relieves much of the anxiety that comes with competitive sports, propelling them to their end goal – the success they've envisioned.
Imagery is the tool that develops the mental blueprint. It is a self-regulation skill that an athlete (or anyone seeking success) calls upon. It is the "dress rehearsal" that, when used diligently, programmes the central nervous system for continued success.
In other words, practice makes perfect because repetition and new neural wiring allows changes to become automatic as our subconscious is programmed with new "success" imagery replacing the previous defeatist pattern.
When using your imagination, don't limit yourself to just mental imagery. If you are preparing for a speech or presentation, don't just see your audience, but hear the crowd and the applause, feel the euphoria that results, just as an athlete would do. All these things contribute to the programme or pattern of success you are creating.
If you are looking to boost your own imagery skills here's a few tips that will help:
• Start with what you already do well and slowly increase the complexity of your imagery by devoting 15 minutes daily to your mind training. Don't place limits on your imagination but fill in as many details as possible in your new vision.
• Tune into and focus on something you've already performed optimally and recreate that feeling. Invite your senses in, sight, sound, smell, taste, touch – those are the details you are after that bring your pattern to life. If you can do it for one vision, practising will empower your imagination to work for all your desires.
• Create a goal and imagine yourself poised, confident and in total control. In other words, "Be the scenario you want to see" in your mind first for nothing is created in form that is not first created in the mind.
Imagination is powerful and can do amazing things. When soaked with emotion (your senses) it becomes alive. It is your personal Genie, fulfilling your greatest wishes and desires or your worst enemy.
It's how you've created the world you currently live in, so, if you are not happy with this "world" then it's time to hone and use your imagery skills to change it to what you want to see.
But you must be patient. Your life reflects what your imagery via your thought patterns is telling it to create. Your new life will take shape if you refuse to give in.
Once the pattern is firmly set in your imagination, visit it often, take the appropriate action steps as they reveal themselves to you in the moment and watch as your life begins to transform itself following the pattern/blueprint you've created on your imagination screen!
The famous quote by Gandhi tells us we must "be what we want to see" and this quote can be reversed to read: "We must see what we want to be." It's time to consciously take hold of and use to your advantage, your greatest creative tool, your imagination!
• Carolyn Hansen is co-owner of Anytime Fitness.