Visualisation, the Ultimate Mind Power Tool
Visualisation is an activity of the imagination. It's a picture or movie you create in your mind which includes sounds and the sensations of touch and feel. Where smell and taste can be imagined, these may be part of the image too.
Imagery is the first language of the unconscious and is an immediate way of communicating with that greater part of the mind. You can use visualisation to build self confidence with great effect.
Can it work for me?
Your powers of imagination will be perfectly adequate. How do I know this? Well, your negative mental images are powerful enough to undermine your confidence. It follows that you must have the imagination to support positive visualisation. Let me explain.....
You are not confident about a forthcoming job interview. When you think of sitting in front of the interviewer, you feel yourself trembling inside. You picture every scenario where things go wrong, you make a fool of yourself, can't answer the questions or get tongue-tied and so on....
If you can imagine a worst case scenario this clearly, you will be perfectly able to use visualisation in a positive way to increase your confidence. Imagine feeling steady and confident in front of the interviewer, answering questions with ease, and picture a positive experience and outcome. This way you become more confident about the forthcoming event and can perform better on the day.
Let's try it
Before any visualisation make yourself comfortable first, either seated or lying down. Close your eyes and relax your body.
Let's make a start by creating some positive feelings of relaxation and wellbeing.
Imagine you are lying on a warm sandy beach (if the beach is not conducive to your relaxation, pick a different scene). Spend a few minutes feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin.... maybe you can feel a slight warm breeze stirring your hair.... Notice the brightness of the sun and the pattern of light through your closed eyelids.... Listen to the peaceful murmur of the sea as it ebbs and flows on the shore.... and feel the comfort of your body as it melts into the soft sand.... Feel yourself drifting pleasantly down into complete relaxation............then come back gently, open your eyes, and reorientate yourself to the time and where you are.
If you actually did this visualisation you will be feeling more relaxed now than before you started. Your unconscious mind knew exactly how to respond to the movie script you gave it. It went straight to work on giving you the relaxation you asked for. You may have noticed that there was virtually no visual imagery in that particular scene.
Think of one person or fictional character whom you like, who represents the qualities of confidence you desire for yourself. Once you've got yourself into a relaxed state, visualise this person or character in detail. What is it about them that you would enjoy having or being yourself? Is it the way they stand, how they look at you, the things they say or do, that connote confidence? Keep focussed on their desirable qualities until you feel you thoroughly know what these are.
Think of a situation that you need to deal with. Visualise your person or character in that situation and observe how they handle it. If they speak, note their tone of voice, the words they use, the stance they adopt. Ask yourself if what you see is acceptable to you. Would it be ok if you expressed your self confidence in this way? If so, mentally step into this figure and feel his/her qualities from the inside. Now act in the situation as if you are them. Notice how it feels.
If there are aspects of character that do not sit comfortably with you, you may modify the traits so they become wholly acceptable to you. Do not accept anything that you feel goes against your core values. If there is too much disparity, start again by picking a more suitable model for your self confidence. You could even blend the best of two models to get nearer to your ideal.
Visualisation is a really useful tool when you are unsure how to act in a given situation. It enables you to try out a number of different approaches and refine the one you like best.
Let's say that you want your friend to come round to your house less often and stop intruding on your life. You don't want to hurt or offend but you really want them to visit only once a week and to telephone you first.
You can use visualisation to test out when and where might be best to make your communication, what words to use, tone of voice etc. You can also anticipate any objections your friend might raise and practise your responses.
Once you have clarified the details, visualise the whole scenario, communicating in a confident and adult-to-adult way. See your friend responding positively to your message. Feel the friendship still strong between you. You might represent this by shaking hands or hugging. Allow yourself to feel satisfied and proud of the confident way you handled this problem.
When you have rehearsed the scenario several times (once or twice a day) and it feels familiar and comfortable, try it out for real.
In the visualisations mentioned on this site, imagine yourself embodied, rather than as an observer watching yourself. In the early stage of the Confidence Builder you are outside the scene and not embodied, until you step into the model in the scene.
Visualisation is a skill which improves with practice. As you progress through the site you will see that it has many applications. If you find it a little strange at first, don't worry. You will come to love it and all that it can do.
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