Welcome to Visualization 101. When I introduce people to how mental training can make them stronger, more fit, and achieve the body they want, I’ll often hear one of two things:
“I can’t visualize.”
“I suck at visualizing.”
If you think you’re in either of the above cases, then this series of posts will be a big help to you.
Let’s tackle the first statement.
It’s simply not true, but instead a mental block of a belief, that will only serve to keep you from visualizing.
Short of being born blind, or perhaps brain damage to the visual cortex, EVERYONE visualizes. And I’ll prove it to you.
First though, it is important to note that some people are naturally better at visualizing than others.
And by this I mean seeing things visually.
If that’s not you, that means you’re better at listening (the auditory sense), movement and/or feelings (both lumped into the kinesthetic sense), or even smelling and tasting (olfactory and gustatory sense).
Here’s the second important thing.
Visualization is a SKILL
As a skill it can be improved whether you’re starting off strong or you suck at it.
Now here’s the third important thing. Many people assume that if they can’t see something with HD-TV full three dimensional completely realistic vision inside their head than they’re not visualizing.
The fact is I don’t know anyone that visualizes like that. I certainly don’t.
Your visuals might be a still picture that flashes by super quickly. It might be a small movie that is quite dim and hard to see.
That’s still visualizing!
Now that we’ve covered those three important points, let’s prove that you can visualize.
Think about your mother (if you don’t know your mother, substitute a mother figure).
What color is her hair?
In order to answer that question, you have to be able to SEE her.
Color cannot be sorted by sound, touch, smell or taste.
(Unless you have a synesthesia going on or are on LSD, but that’s beside the point.)
What is her body shape? What length is her hair? What color are her eyes? What expression does she have on her face?
Seeing is the best way to answer all of these.
Once again, it could be a picture or a movie. It might be from a memory or it might be imagination. Either way you are visualizing!
Here’s another question.
What does it look like when you set foot into your childhood home? What sort of room are you in?
Great! So now you know that you can visualize, we’ll move onto some drills that can help you become better. These include:
- Mapping Across the Senses
- Inside and Outside Your Body
- Angles and Size
These hypnotic tracks include visualization. The good news is that in a trance state visualization typically becomes easier. And here you’ll gain results from the hypnosis AND get to practice your visualization too. Practice makes you better at visualization, and then you’ll be able to get even better results.
Mapping Across the Senses in Reality and Imagination
Here is a useful drill that really helps you get started in visualizing.
Last time, I mentioned that if you’re not a “visual” person you’d have your other senses being more dominant. So in this drill we utilize that to help us.
Pick up a small object like a pen.
Go ahead and hold that in your hand. Feel it’s texture and weight. Move it around so that your tactile sense is awakened as you focus on it.
Now, as you continue to feel it, look at it. Notice that you can feel the texture and you can also see it. You can feel its size and you can also see it. You can also notice other things like its colors and writing, or the lack of it, that is printed on.
Good. Now set the pen down.
And close your eyes. Recreate the feeling of that pen in your hand. Vividly imagine those sensations.
As you do so, see the pen as well. Notice the colors once again. Does light reflect off of it? Notice the texture, feeling it as well.
Go ahead and do that now…
How well did that go?
Even if the imagination wasn’t strong, chances are you got SOMETHING while doing this.
Remember, few people are going to have it feel and look as real as in real life, but you might have “felt” it briefly and “saw” flashes of it too.
That’s a good start and that’s why we’re practicing.
Okay, pick up the pen again, physically now in real life.
See it. Feel it. Now tap it against something like a table and listen to the noise it makes.
Tap harder and hear how that changes. Tap lighter. Tap in a rhythm. Tap with different parts of the pen. Once again notice what you see as you do so. Notice the feeling in your hand as well.
Great. Set the pen down and do the same thing with your eyes closed.
In your imagination pick up the pen. See it in your hand. Now feel it as you move it to hit that table. Imagine, once again, the sound you just previously heard. Continue to do so in a few different ways.
Do that right now…
How was that?
Of the three senses which do you find easiest? Feeling? Seeing? Hearing?
There’s a good chance that whichever one it was, that that is your dominant sense.
For your continued practice do this with a number of objects.
To take it to the next level do it with objects without first interacting with them in “reality” and doing it simply in your imagination. For instance, you could see, feel and hear and apple right now.
An aspect that some people have issues with is colors, and that will be our next drill. For now, imagine that pen once again but see it in a different color…
Visualization of Colors
This drill is even simpler than the last one, where we are focused on one and only one thing, colors.
A lot of people find that when they visualize everything is darker than in regular life.
This is actually quite normal. Do you know why? I’ll tell you at the end of this if you do the drill.
Some people even see in black and white (which can be useful in some instances).
Go ahead and read through the instructions, then try the drill. Or if you have someone that can help you they can read this to you.
Close your eyes and you’ll see black.
Imagine it’s like a blank black screen in front of you but now make it entirely blue.
Now turn that to red.
Open your eyes. How was that? Easy? Were some colors harder than others?
Okay, let’s do it a little differently.
Close your eyes and see black.
Can you make the black even blacker?
Now lighten it up. Turn it to a medium gray.
Now a light gray.
Keep turning it up until you see pure white.
Can you make it so bright its almost blinding?
Awesome. Did you actually start squinting and moving away a little bit? If so, that’s a good sign that your body is responding to your imagination.
Once more, close your eyes and see black.
Now put a rainbow in front of you. Can you see all seven colors?
Open your eyes. Now see the rainbow in front of you with eyes open.
You see, practicing visualization can be this simple, and you’ll get better over time. This then means your visualization become more “real” to your nervous system and thus you’ll be able to gain real life results with it.
So why are things darker for most people when they visualize? Simply because when they close their eyes things go black, or close to it. This background tends to make things darker, at least until you realize that you can internally “turn up the lights.”
I’ve found just doing that can often add more “juice” to doing exercises.
Our next piece covers something VERY important for visualization, and it’s something great to know about yourself. Stay tuned…