How to visualize? Is it learnable?

23 replies
I'm NOT a visual person. I was shocked to discover that other people actually "see" things in their minds. When asked to, say, picture a house, I think of the word house and a wide variety of things associated with that word - but I don't actually see a house. I guess that other people do! Interesting.

It might be useful to add visuals to my mind. For someone who doesn't think this way, is it learnable?

Thanks.
#learnable #visualize
  • Profile picture of the author ryanman
    Ok think of your front door. If you see an image of it in your mind then you can visualize. It's as simple as that.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Rowe
    What color is your car?

    If you can answer that while it's not in front
    of you, then you can visualize just fine.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Chung
      'Visualization' is kind of misleading. Some people have the rare ability to see with their mind's eye as clearly as they do with their physical eyes, but usually most people would do better to work with the term 'imagination'.

      Try walking through your kitchen, remembering little details and features as you walk through. Then sit down and imagine walking through your kitchen all over again.

      That's 'visualization'.

      If you want to really practice and improve upon it, you could always take a pencil, stare at it for a while, then close your eyes and try to recreate it. Over time, you'll be able to recreate it with more and more detail. Then you can move on to larger and more detailed things.
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  • Originally Posted by Pat Blank View Post

    I'm NOT a visual person. I was shocked to discover that other people actually "see" things in their minds. When asked to, say, picture a house, I think of the word house and a wide variety of things associated with that word - but I don't actually see a house. I guess that other people do! Interesting.

    It might be useful to add visuals to my mind. For someone who doesn't think this way, is it learnable?

    Thanks.

    You're obviously an intelligent and capable human being, so the fact is that 'visualization' may not be as important to your achievement as you may think.

    What's most important to your fulfilling more of your mental potential is to analyze your personal cognitive recipe for handling information in your mind (in your Working (or 'short term') Memory).

    You may not be - and most likely are not - a VISUAL learner. It may be that you tend more toward hearing something or perhaps you repeat it to yourself so that your Audiospatial (hearing) Working Memory does most of the work; perhaps you're a Kinesthetic learner and master things more through some form of movement, action, or repetition. In any case, it is best to capitalize on your strength.

    Look briefly at the following set of alphanumerics and memorize as much of what you see as you can within a two second time frame, then CLOSE YOUR EYES after two seconds to recall what you observed:



    L72HG354R


    When you recalled, did you rely more on images in your mind's eye, or did you repeat what you remember to yourself, or did you simply 'hear' it in your thoughts?

    However you recalled the information, that may be the manner of Working Memory that you tend to access, and learning to master a DIFFERENT form of Working Memory simply takes time, practice, and patient, relentless effort - and it may sound dull, but it's almost like learning how to operate a part of your own body that you've seldom ever used.

    Therefore, if you have not been an especially prolific Visual Memory user, and wish to be, the only path is practice.

    You should know this, as well, that there will be a limit to your expansion into Visual Working Memory skill. Everyone has a natural limit to the number of objects they can hold in their mind's attention at one time (usually 3 to 4 objects, plus or minus 2). Anything more than that means that your brain will begin to form combinations of objects (stacking, or chunking), and you'll be able to hold or recall many items, but they'll be in 3 to 4 stacks (plus or minus 2).

    In your image visualization practice, you might try an even simpler image, like:

    - a WHITE DOT against a BLACK BACKGROUND, and simply hold it
    - a DOT against a WHITE BACKGROUND, and simply hold it
    - Allow your black background to form, and hold your attention there, with no other action than to stay there and explore that void. Note if any thoughts or images begin to form on their own - if they do, try to re-establish the black background. Spend plenty of time in that visual void, until you become comfortable enough to try and form a simple image. If it quickly fades, NO PROBLEM! Give it a moment to get comfortable again, and form it a second time. In this approach, make THE NUMBER OF TIMES YOU ATTEMPT TO FORM THE IMAGE your 'objective'. Attempt 10 times, then 20 times, etc. Eventually, you'll find yourself able to form the image faster, hold it longer, and forge larger and more complex imagery.

    ***Keep in mind that you are making adjustments to the physical structure of your BRAIN! Patience is key.***

    I realize of course that what you'd like is to gain 'clarity' in your visuals as well as 'complexity' and 'endurance' in holding the imagery. That will come in time, but for now, you might consider:

    1. Determine what method you use to hold any information on the stage of your attention past a few seconds or minutes
    2. Use that method to hold an object for as long as you can without your attention beginning to wander
    3. Practice breaking past that barrier, and keep track of your times to note your progress

    Example:

    Let's say I was to try a mental visualization exercise wherein I try to visualize a yellow triangle, but find myself unable to form it clearly, or it fades in short order, or other thoughts continually interfere with my effort.

    If I hold information better be repeating it to myself, I might choose the WORDS "Yellow Triangle" and say it clearly in my thoughts, repeatedly, for five or six minutes, concentrating on the sound and feel of the repetition, fighting off every competing thought or urge so that the only thing that matters is to complete the objective. In this way, I would be improving my concentration, even using a more Audio/Kinesthetic approach.

    As for yourself, try an exercise of doing mental math by the sound of your voice -in other words, see if you can solve the problem with your eyes closed while TALKING or DESCRIBING the math operations to yourself, like calling the play-by-play as a sports announcer.

    You see, it's NOT VISUALIZATION that wins the day in Concentration, but ATTENTION CONTROL that wins the day.

    Plenty of people are able to achieve a great deal without being masterful visualizers, because they have OTHER ways that their brain uses to maintain their attention consistently onto a specific target, keeping them from veering right or left of course. When such a person is involved in performance-related activities such as sports, they often 'talk' themselves through their visualization as opposed to relying strictly on mental movies and the like.

    Hope this information shed some light.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    read the master key, not only read though, practice the exercises at the end of each chapter.

    I use to have the same problem but not anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author Drizlek
    There is a old method I have heard of called the "Candle and the Flame" From what I have read all it requires is quiet, a candle and yourself. Supposedly just sit in a comfortable position and look at the candle flame. Once you believe you have it clearly in you mind close your eyes and visualize it. Any time you need to refresh the image simply open your eyes.

    To be honest you can probably do this exercise with any object. The trick is once you can see it clearly then you can start adding elements. If you were using a orange to focus on, you could add things in like the way it smells when you peel off the skin, or the way it taste's in your mouth. You could do the same with the "Candle and the Flame" technique, but simply see the flame change shape, color, intensity, etc.

    Fortunately it's something that you get better at over time.

    Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author polleo
    When people see images in their mind, they are usually closely asssociated to a memory of an image they have seen before. It takes someone special to completely create an image from nothing. Even the work of artists is based on memories they have.

    Just learn to practice revisiting your memories using images and sounds, rather than words. You will gradually start to think of things in terms of images rather than words and descriptions
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  • Profile picture of the author azlanhussain
    Interesting.. the ability to think without be able to visualize is like having a hot-dog without a mustard..

    heheh hope that could help you visualize it for a while..
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    • Profile picture of the author michellegreen
      I have a close friend who is the same. She can't see the pictures, but she can experience the feelings, and kind of sense what it is she is visualising, but not actually see it.

      In my opinion (and the opinions of many others) and my experience, feeling the feelings associated with achieving your goal is much more important than actually seeing it.

      Just seeing what you want won't get you into the right "vibration" - you need to experience the joy of achieving whatever it is to help you get there!

      I have plenty of personal stories that will agree!
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    You can learn it. It's easiest if you learn it in a way that helps you direct energy waves at the same time.

    If you are thinking in words, try to see the word "color" -- see it in red. Then let it blink off and blink the word back on in orange - then yellow - green - blue - and violet. Important -- LIGHT purple not dark purple. If you visualize dark purple you are conjuring a wave that will put you to sleep. Great for insomnia but not much else.

    Once you get into seeing the word "color" and can change the color of the word you are ready to start seeing a light bulb with the colors instead. Try to change the word "color" into a light bulb when you are seeing the word in blue or violet first as you are closer to a subconscious level when you create those color waves and it will make it easier to make the transformation between conscious and subconscious. Once you can see a light bulb instead of the words, you can move to different images.
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  • most people can visualise it's figuring out where in your mind to look.
    I for example can close my eyes and see darkness but if I think of someone I know I see them but not in the darkness.The image is not what you'd call clear but I see them.
    Try meditating for 10-20 mins a day,listen to a guided meditation that takes you to a tropical island you'll soon learn the knack.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    I think that anyone can learn to visualize. It just take practice. Actually, Tony Robbin's Personal Power tape set teaches people the art of visualization. If you can get your hands on that, I think it would be a powerful tool to help you learn.

    Also, you might want to try guided meditations to start. Then, once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to do it effortlessly all by yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vincelog
    Visualization is a technique that we can learn. For example if you want to visualize a house, grab a picture and have the word "house" beside it. Look at the word and see the picture for a couple of times and whenever you think about house, you will automatically have the picture of the house in your mind.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers
    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

    Originally Posted by Pat Blank View Post

    I'm NOT a visual person. I was shocked to discover that other people actually "see" things in their minds. When asked to, say, picture a house, I think of the word house and a wide variety of things associated with that word - but I don't actually see a house. I guess that other people do! Interesting.

    It might be useful to add visuals to my mind. For someone who doesn't think this way, is it learnable?

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickGueli
    Originally Posted by Pat Blank View Post

    I'm NOT a visual person. I was shocked to discover that other people actually "see" things in their minds. When asked to, say, picture a house, I think of the word house and a wide variety of things associated with that word - but I don't actually see a house. I guess that other people do! Interesting.

    It might be useful to add visuals to my mind. For someone who doesn't think this way, is it learnable?

    Thanks.
    Absolutely, visualization is a skill that can be learned like any other. Though, you do not need to wait for your skill to reach a certain level before finally beginning to incorporate your MIND into helping you attain your goals.

    If you a kinesthetic person, then project yourself into a "future" where you FEEL people's pats on your shoulders for jobs well-done, goals well-attained, etc. FEEL ecstatic hugs from loved ones as though it is happening this very moment. FEEL the waters of the sea hit your skin, your toes, your shin, etc. at the beach of a favourite resort where you spend worriless hours totally content that you've succeeded spectacularly enough to earn spending the time there and having the time of your life.

    If you are an auditory person, then do the same - except in the form of sounds inside your mind.

    In time, when your visualization skills improve too, then incorporate THAT into the "theatre of your mind" (to borrow Maltz Maxwell's terminology) and you will be unstoppable

    Of course, when synchronicities and opportunities that start springing up in your life as a result, then learning to take ACTION on them will not depend on how well you visualize them. You will need fore-sight, courage, drive and motivation to take action on them and grab them. For that, my recommendation would be that you incorporate "Sexual Transmutation" or even "Love Transmutation" into your practice, and you will develop the necessary DRIVE to take action.

    Cheers.

    Rick
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricky Martin
    We all visualize , some better than others. Get a good course on visualization

    ( Tony Robbins is Good as mentioned above) And just give yourself time to learn.

    Good luck..................................Ricky
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    " As we think......so we are"

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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    There's an often repeated method that I first read in a Jose Silva book some 20 years ago that is useful:

    You're going to visualize a LEMON.

    Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking into your kitchen. On your countertop is a plump, ripe, bright yellow lemon.

    Look at the lemon on the counter. Notice the shine on the skin, this small pits and bumps, it's oval shape.

    Now, pick up the lemon in your hand... Feel the smooth texture of the skin and the bumps on the ends. Touch the rough spot where the stem was when it was plucked from the tree. Feel how firm the lemon is...

    Now put the lemon on a cutting board and slice it in half. Pick up one of the halves and examine it carefully. Notice the glistening juices as the run down over the tender surface of the fruit. Notice the bright white ring of pith surrounding and protecting the tender yellow flesh of the lemon.

    Now hold the lemon right under your nose. Inhale the fresh, clean scent of that freshly sliced lemon... Take that wonderful citrus smell deep into your nostrils. It smells DIVINE!

    Now pull it back a little and look at it one more time. The juicy lemon is in your hand...

    Now, take a big BITE of the lemon....

    If your mouth starts watering when you do, you've just demonstrated the power of visualization. If it didn't... Just keep practicing, it will...

    Best,

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author performr
    visualization just implies the way you think. i mean whatever you think more you can visualize it mor easily compared to other things.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Lee
    Here's what I learned from a good friend who is a visualization enthusiast.

    1. If you visualize, you have to be in the picture. Example, you visualize a car, its type, model, color, etc. BUT What you should be doing is to visualize yourself riding or driving the car of your dreams.

    She said before, she used to visualize a silver suv; what happens is that she sees so many silver suvs passing by, without her in it!

    2. It helps if you do visualization at a specific time and do it regularly. DON'T do it just once in a while, then easily give up.

    3. Don't be shy in making a request from the universe. Don't think you can't ask for more if you have so many blessings already.
    We are encouraged to dream big, and everything that we need is already within us.

    4. You can also inject fun in doing visualizations. She says, "My seatmate sees herself jumping up and down while doing the task she is thinking of. Injecting an element of fun encourages you to do it repetitively."

    5. Think pictures. She says, "I have been affirming that 'I am a friendly person' but I cannot picture it out in my mind. So I have to create an image that relates to that like I am smiling and shaking hands with a person I just met."

    "Like if you say 'I am rich' you have to 'materialize' it. What does being rich mean to you? Is it seeing in the computer so many people ordering your products? Encashing checks? It should be an activity."

    6. You have to really desire, believe, and accept. You desire the thing or activity with passion, you believe that it will be yours (that this or something better will be given), and accept it. Your belief is an extremely important prerequisite to a successful visualization session.

    Don't be afraid. Acceptance is being prepared for all the attachments and responsibilities that goes with what you asked for.

    7. Visualization must be done repeatedly. Initially, you may doubt that it is impossible for you to get what you ask for. But as you do it repeatedly, you tend to "hypnotize" yourself and believe what you are saying. Repetition causes you to focus on your goal.

    8. You can do it with your eyes open! You don't have to do meditations (like you need to hear gongs, go through the colors of the rainbow, or say "ommm") first to be able to go into the alpha state. You just need to be relaxed and just have the image in your mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mikhail Jon
    I don't think you ever have to ask somebody to learn how to visualize. Because Everyone at some point in their lives visualize something. Either when you visualized you want to take a crap cuz you badly need it. Somehow in your mind you can visualize yourself sitting in that toilet bowl and releasing some forces.

    Goal setting is just like that, and just like the visualization you were wanting to ask everybody. but instead of thinking of the toilet bowl, think of you're goal - that desire that you want to achieve like say , a house. It doesn't have to be in full color as long as you got the idea its ok.

    Well that's about it, as long as in your mind you felt like you found a road that goal...then you have succesfully visualized something
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  • Profile picture of the author Joschu
    WEll, I donĀ“t want to rewind everything that has been already written in this blog to your question, but visualisation is simply the way your subconcious is talking to and with you.
    Just imagine your dreams at night.
    Even if you cannot remember them, they are like movies, right?!
    thats true visualisation in exactly THAT way, which will attract things into your life, if you use it as a technique with your concious mind.
    Imagine the things like you want them to look and be like.
    Then start to feel, how you would feel, if you already have achieve your dreamed goal.
    As more emotional you get with it, as more energy you load into its arrival in the real world.
    Thats how true visualisation works.
    An image, a movie, a wanted situation, loaded with positive emotions and then finish the visualisation with the feeling of extreme thankfulness.
    And boom life is granting you what you want.
    Sound to good to be true?!
    But thats exactly how life works. It always answers your requests.
    But be aware, it also answer your negative ones, so try to keep your mind "clean"!
    God bless,

    Joschu
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  • Profile picture of the author genieofwealth
    hi pat,

    some people are more visual than others.

    other prefer to use their other senses as they are a bit sharper but as the advice on here is great - this is something that you can learn and sharpen if needed.

    start with meditation and just let it flow only about 15 minutes a day.

    practice images and then colours make them vibrant etc.....

    another tip is if anything negative is in your mind simply reduce down the image and make it smaller then make it black and white this discourages us from imprinting it and reduces emotion from it which drives most of our sharper images.

    good luck
    stephen doyle
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    • Profile picture of the author KampungBoy
      I accept with your opinion.....and really2 help you to learn it
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