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How You Visualize Matters

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Many mindset experts and wellness gurus use visualization techniques to help people boost energetic states, uncover deep-seated desires, and focus on what they want to acheive. However, how you visualize may actually make or break your ability to turn your vision into reality. A study featured in American Psychologist* on "harnessing the imagination" concluded that simply visualizing the “successful completion of a goal or resolution of a stressor” did not produce progress in achieving the goal.

This study indicated that what is more likely to help you produce progress is visualizing the process of achieving your goals, including visualizing completing each required step, overcoming obstacles, and managing difficult emotions and problems that pop up along the way.

While there is no harm in activities like vision board creation, guided visualizations, and intention-setting, and these activities can certainly draw out desires that can anchor you and motivate you in taking action, adding the practice of breaking down the milestones and imagining yourself doing what it takes to reach your goals can make success all that more likely. Instead of investing time fantasizing about reaching your ultimate success, you can use the power of your mind to visualize the completion of each thing on your to-do list every morning - especially the hardest tasks you resist the most - as well as envisioning yourself successfully navigating any anticipated roadblocks throughout the day. This practice of visualizing the process helps you expect to succeed and creates momentum for exponential progress.

Progress begets more progress and as you make progress, you can keep upleveling your goals and surpass anything you can imagine today! Success is a journey that never really ends.

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Andrea MacKenzie, Founder of Lead With Harmony, is an MBA, multi-certified coach, Kolbe-Certified consultant, and leadership and team-building expert with over 20 years of combined experience in corporate roles and business consulting. Andrea enjoys working with growth-oriented business owners and executives who advocate for the advancement and well-being of the people they serve, hire, and inspire.

*Study referenced above: Taylor, S., Pham, L., Rivkin, I., & Armor, D. (1998). Harnessing the imagination: Mental simulation, self-regulation, and coping. American Psychologist, 53(4), 429–439.

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