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How Visualization Creates New Behaviors for Success

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Have you ever read a book and started to think of something completely different? For example, what you ate for dinner last night, that conversation you need to have with your significant other, or remembering that you need to finish a task for work.

You’re reading the words in the book physically with your eyes, but it’s almost like your mind goes somewhere else entirely.

If someone were to walk into the room and see you, they would see your eyes scanning across the page of the book, but your mind was elsewhere.

The words in the book were in front of you, but a picture of what you ate last night or that task you need to complete was displayed right in front of the words you were trying to read.

And because of that, you had to go back and reread the same paragraph several times. Trust me; I’ve been there.

How does this happen? It’s because we think in pictures. When humans think, we literally think in pictures. If I were to ask you to think of your kitchen – your entire kitchen would pop up on the screen of your mind as if you were actually there.

This is an amazing mental factuality, but many of us allow it to unconsciously influence us in negative ways. As we climb the ladder to success in our lives – many of us allow our minds to focus on the worst possible outcome in our businesses, health, and goals.

We catastrophize forgetting our words while preparing for a speaking engagement. As business owners, we worry about finding our next customers. As professionals, we feel the feelings of the infamous imposter syndrome – fearing our coworkers or boss will somehow find out you’re somehow a “fraud.”

If our thoughts are the gateway and path that lead us toward our destiny, we must picture positive outcomes for our goals, problems, and dreams.

As Bob Proctor would say, “We think in pictures. Therefore, whatever you visualize, you attract.”

From a scientific perspective, we know that our thoughts directly influence our nervous system and the behaviors and actions we don’t and do take in life. This is because when we think, we install the neural pathway that the brain will use when the actual event occurs.

In other words, your brain is your supercomputer, and your thoughts or mental imagery is the program it will run.

So if you picture the worst possible outcome of your goals, your behaviors will be in alignment with what you believe about the goal.

Here’s a perfect example. Let’s say you have an upcoming speaking engagement and continue to worry or visualize yourself forgetting your words. When this happens, you unconsciously install the software to your mental framework that will make your behaviors and speaking posture less confident, making you more likely to forget your words when the actual event occurs.

We must visualize the goals and outcomes we intend to have in our experience. This is why every self-help author and speaker has continued to impress the importance of visualization.

Setting time aside to consciously visualize the desired outcome of your goals is like a superpower that will advance your life more rapidly. It’s just like daydreaming but consciously imagining the best sort of outcome to happen.

This concept isn’t new either. Athletes, artists, and performers have been visualization success for many years. For example, 23-time gold medalist Michael Phelps, Walt Disney, Oprah, Will Smith, and Jim Carrey have all used some form of visualization or mental imagery to achieve their extraordinary success.

Michael Jordan is quoted as saying, “every time I feel tired while exercising and training, I close my eyes to see that picture, to see that list with my name. This usually motivates me to work again.”

Let’s dissect this. Jordan visualized his ideal picture of success, in this case, seeing his name on the list letting him know he made his high school varsity basketball team. After seeing his image clearly in his mind’s eye, this undoubtedly installed the mental framework or mindset that yielded him the behaviors that were conducive to his desired outcome. Thus, eventually achieving his goal.

Whatever you visualize in your mind, your behaviors reflect that. Good or bad. It’s your choice, so you might as well visualize your desired outcomes if you want results in your life.

Here’s an activity for you:

Each morning before rising out of bed, close your eyes and visualize your future success. See yourself winning the award. Picture your family and friends calling you and congratulating you on your success. Feel all of the emotions as if you have already achieved your goal. The more you do this, the better you get at it. Eventually, you will notice a shift in your mindset – thus yielding you the behaviors that help you achieve your desired outcomes.

Chazz Scott is a keynote speaker and mindset expert. He trains entrepreneurs, leaders, and professionals to achieve their potential personally and professionally. Chazz is also the Executive Director & Chief Creative Optimist of Positively Caviar, Inc., a grassroots 501(c)(3) nonprofit, focused on using optimism and positive thinking to build mental resilience and disrupt mental health stigmas in underserved communities. For more info, check out his weekly blog at: www.chazzscott.com or download his latest workbook designed to help you build good habits and break bad ones to achieve your goals faster: download here.

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