Visualization of the future -- useful or evasion technique?

11 replies
In some of the success/self-improvement books I have read, they always (well, almost all the time) say that one has to visualize oneself being successful.

You have to feel it as if it were real.

I have tried this many times, but it doesn't help me very much. Actually, it increases my frustration.

I picture myself where I want to be in the future, but instead of helping me achieve my goals, it pisses me off!

Why? It makes me angry because I notice a huge gap from where I am right now and where I want to be. The distance between the real and the ideal seems to be huge in my mind, and I desperately want to attain the ideal.

Another problem is that sometimes I spend so much time visualizing and imagining that I live in my own sort of little dream world.

I am beginning to think that this is an evasion from reality, and that it prevents me from living in the now.

I have achieved a lot more when I just focus on the present, without giving a damn about the future.

I no longer visualize myself achieving my goals: I just take action now without even caring what will happen tomorrow because who knows if I will be alive tomorrow?

What have been your experiences with visualization? Has it helped you? Has it been detrimental?
#evasion #future #technique #visualization
  • Profile picture of the author Trey Walter
    I think the real purpose of this visualization technique is to create a desire within yourself. And this visualization is not meant to be daydreaming, you should set realistic goals.

    You said you notice a huge gap between you and your goals. Why don't you just divide your goals into smaller steps? That's the way you go for the big ones.

    I myself have made some different experiences with visualization. It helped me to increase my motivation but sometimes I feel that it takes my focus away from the present to the future.
    But that's also a general problem I'm facing at the moment. I didn't find the right balance yet. Enjoying life and having success sometimes seem to be two seperated paths.
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  • Profile picture of the author francisjoubert
    Dear Iotor,

    This is one of my favourite topics and here is my take on what you have said.

    Thought is the compelling force which causes the creative power to act.
    But you cannot rely on thoughts alone. You have to connect thought with personal action.
    By thought you can cause what you want to be impelled towards you but those things cannot come rolling towards you without any action on your part.

    Form a clear and distinct mental image of what you want and hold it constantly in your mind. And have complete faith that you will get what you want.

    HOWEVER, you have to allow and believe that the creative forces will be set in motion and will work through their regular channels to direct to you what you want.
    It is not your job to guide or supervise the creative process. All you have to do is retain your vision, stick to your purpose and maintain your faith that you WILL receive what you want.

    By thought the things you want are brought to you but only by action you can receive it.

    Once you have set forth your desires DO NOT try and make plans for them to become real. Leave it up to the formless substance (Universe or whatever you want to call it.)

    The way that you can take action is as follows: Be GRATEFUL and ACCEPT where you are right now. If you do not accept your current situation you cannot accept any further progression.
    There is never any time but now. If you want to get ready for what you have asked for you have to get ready now. You cannot act where you are not or where you are going to be in the future.

    Just concentrate on today. Use your current situation (work and personal) as a means to getting to a better position or situation.

    You will see that opportunities will slowly start to come your way and if you can then accept that this is the beginning of your dreams being realized, and express GRATITUDE and hold your faith and purpose, it will cause the Supreme Power to move things toward you and you will be amazed at how quickly things start to materialize.
    Please also just bear in mind that things should be obtained through creation and not competition. There is an invisible limitless supply of everything in this world and we do not have to compete with anyone to get what we want. We can create what we want through thought.

    This is such a short summary and if I really had to tell you how I have progressed I would write a book. (Which incidentally, I have started).

    If you want further reading on this subject for FREE just go to my signature. It is mind blowing stuff.

    Kind regards


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    • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
      The trouble with just taking action is that you have to make sure it is in the right direction.

      Visualisation/goal setting helps focus this.

      If the gap between the current situation and the ideal situation pisses you off, you could try visualising something less "unreal" but add in a time frame to achieve it.

      Then you can repeat the process.

      Sort of a visualisation step by step approach.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Chua
    I do visualize my dreams in life but I don't overdo it or make so much hope in it without making some actions towards it. I think it will depend on how the person take the visual picture and the reality.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianFanslau
    I think visualization can be a very powerful tool but it is when you stop placing action behind creating the vision and when your belief does not equal action does this idea of visualization stop dead and become a useless and trivial practice.
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    • Profile picture of the author kevin jackson
      I have been on both sides of the coin so I can feel what you are talking about.

      It's an excellent habit to visualize on huge gigantic dreams like making millions or exotic islands or whatever. The problem is the huge gap from poverty to ridiculous wealth. I call it a consciousness jump.

      My entire life has been in one consciousness and it is all I know. It usually takes some type of emotional burst to jump up a level in consciousness if your current subconscious cannot relate to that level of consciousness. It has no frame of reference so it resists and sometimes rejects or rebels at the very dream you have been visualizing.

      The other problem is not to stay too long in that future world role playing and acting as if you are living in a mansion with butlers and chauffeurs. You still have to live on a day to day basis struggling to pay bills mired deep in poverty.

      Visualization is a great tool to use on everyday financial goals while you are still in poverty. You don't have to restrict your visualization to million dollar mansions. That is why you can accomplish your goals fine just by doing it. You don't have to jump consciousness.

      Now you can stretch your existing consciousness and your subconscious will allow it to some degree because it can actually beleve it and relate to it. Consistent focused action can make that jump but intermediate goal visualization can give strength and mental focus to your efforts. It becomes a habit throughout your day and not just a pipe dream reserved only for buying palatial mansions.

      Try it out on smaller reasonable goals. Author after author mentions it because it is real and it works. It's not a vast conspiracy. Everyone's life, childhood and circumstances are not the same but natural principles are a constant and have been for centuries long before there were any self help gurus. The trick is learning how to use it on smaller goals and not just daydreaming for years until your mansion finally shows up.
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  • Profile picture of the author affmrktng
    The visualization helps you feel it. Just like when you look in the mirror and its a great hair day and you think you look good, then you go out in public and you feel you are the hottest thing around. You see it, then you feel it.
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    • Profile picture of the author achivement84
      I share you the same , dreaming with what i want to be in the future increases my frustration and give me unsatisfaction feelings.
      When i was in the school , college and during the exam times i was wasting much time in thinking how i will spend my holiday , and after that at work i always think about what after i finish those tasks and what i should be in tomorrow.I always try to concentrate on what i do ,but unfortunately i miss that many times.

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      • Profile picture of the author Absinthe
        Your frustration at the gap between reality and your ideal is a good thing, if you use it as fuel for practical action.

        Peter Senge calls it 'creative tension' - a rubber band stretched across the gap between current reality and our vision.

        You will either be pulled toward your vision, or the pull will fade away as you give up and remind yourself how 'unattainable' your goal is.

        The point of visualization, as I see it, is to get your conscious mind identifying so strongly with a vision that your subconscious mind 'reverse-engineers' that vision and the path toward it becomes clear.

        Whether you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices - in leisure time, or whatever - to actually walk that path once it becomes apparent, is a different question.

        But if obstacles before you ever seem too big, try breaking them down into small chunks, completing a few of them, then stepping back once more to look at the big picture.

        Visualization plus discipline and the will to act will take you anywhere you want to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author wwgroup
    Just as anything worthwhile such as learning to ride a bike or muscle building, visualization is a good thing, however it takes energy and practice to get into the flow of it before you will stop feeling the frustration and start feeling the benefit and feeling good about it. Visualization is a useful technique to pratice because it helps your energy to start flowing more out of the box of your life that you have created and more into what your possibilities are. If practiced more and more, it starts harnessing the inner abilities and resources you never knew you had. You have to get over the frustration and just do it just as you have to force yourself to keep doing an exercise program before you start feeling the benefits of it. To understand the benefits of visualization, I recommend you watch a video of Tony Robbins coaching John Reese and Frank kern. John Reese and Frank kern are two of the most successful internet marketers and they were asking Tony Robbins why do people buy courses and not do anything with them? Why don't they change their lives? The answer that Tony Robbins gave is the best video I have ever seen in internet marketing and he proved the power of visualization at the end of the video, how even very simple visualization is able to dramatically shift your abilities to perform stuff. Watch this video and you will also learn how simple visualization can be. It doesn't need to be complex at all. This video should be required viewing for all internet marketers and everyone even considering a home business. Interview with Frank Kern and John Reese
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeW001
    Visualisation is an enormously powerful tool with which to bring about necessary behavioural changes that you need to make in order to succeed.

    Unfortunately though, visualisation has been treated with a certain amount of scepticism over the years and rightly so if you consider how it has often been taught. For example, one 'self-development' trainer recommended that if your goal was to own a red Porsche before the end of the year you should stick a picture of one on your bathroom mirror and stare at it several times daily while shaving and cleaning your teeth. His 'wisdom' being that if you stare at it enough you have more chance of one appearing in your garage. In reality all that actually happens is that at the end of the year all you have is toothpaste and shaving foam all over the picture and the same old car in the garage.

    Visualisation is a behaviour modification tool but no amount of staring into a mirror or at a picture will produce the correct brain state. Your conscious mind, which is your rational, analytical mind is not at rest and it will take over and analyse the situation logically based on past experiences something like this; "I have never owned a smart car before and neither have any of my friends or family so why should I suddenly get one now"? In other words it will settle for negative mediocrity.

    Your visualisations need to be firmly embedded into your subconscious mind, which accepts everything that it is fed to it without question and acts on it. In order to do that you need to learn how to switch off your conscious mind by learning deep relaxation techniques.

    However before you even start to do that you need to set proper goals for your future. There have been volumes written about goal setting but still most people try to take short cuts and get it all wrong. You need know what you want and where you are going and how you are going to get there.

    Once your goals are correctly set then you need to learn how to relax deeply so your subconscious mind will receive your visaulisations without interference from your conscious mind.

    The bottom line is, if you haven't got proper goals then you do not have any sort of plan for success and you will never progress and succeed.

    And even when you have properly constucted goals you will never achieve them unless you can actually see yourself as having got there.

    Sorry to be so blunt about it but there are no short cuts to success.
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