Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ten Surefire Ways to Fail at Visualization

Man thinking on a train journey.Image via WikipediaBy Linda Boertjens

So here you are, you have created your very own Vision Board with fantastic goals and dreams on it. You are excited about it, however it's been a while since you put it together and none of your goals have actually made it into your reality yet.

You may be feeling like you are doing everything right, but just can not seem to get ahead. You wonder "is this whole visualization thing not working after all? Are all those top motivational speakers, magazines and books wrong when they say visualization is a very important- if not crucial- element when it comes to goal achievement and creating the life of my dreams?

It all makes sense though what they explain about visualization and how it can help you attract what you desire, by Law of Attraction. Why do I not seem to get it right?"

So WHY is your visualization not working for you?

Well, first of all, let me reassure that the concept of visualization is as valid as could be and one of the most powerful ways to stay inspired and achieve your goals. There is more to it then you first may have thought though, so let me explain the most important reasons why your visualization may not be effective and how to turn this around so your Vision Board will indeed coming to fruition in incredible ways you never thought possible.

1. You don't have clarity on your vision and goals

If you are not clear on your goals, your vision will stay too general and will therefore not inspire you. Whenever life gets touch, you won't be motivated enough to stay in action as your "why" is not clear enough. You will also be much more easily influenced by others around you who think they know what is good for you and tell you what to do. So when visualizing your goals, it is important to be crystal clear on your Vision.

The more clear and detailed you are the more effective and inspired you can visualize. So just relax, sit down and really brainstorm about what is important to you. The achievement of which items or events would truly make a difference in your life. Losing weight? Changing your career and become a writer? What would make you fulfilled and happy? Take some time to think about this.

You know, most people take more time to plan their holidays than to plan their life! It is worth spending some time on though, right? When you are clear on the things you wish to achieve in the future, write them down and also note why these goals are important to you; how would you feel when you achieve them? If needed, get some professional guidance to support you in this process.

2. You are visualizing the dreams of everyone else but your own

Sadly, we often tend to focus on dreams that are created for us by someone around us. This could be your parents, partner, friends or children. The challenge is that you visualize the things you think you SHOULD be visualizing instead of what you really want in your heart of hearts. Visualizing these kinds of goals won't work very well, as you don't have the emotions of true desire attached to them.

Besides that, it is not going to fulfill you anyway when you do achieve them, it will only fulfill others around you. So make sure you only visualize YOUR true desires. The ones that make your heart sing just thinking about them!

3. Your self-limiting beliefs hold you back

Another important aspect in the process of manifesting your dream life is your beliefs. If you spend valuable time visualizing your goals but at the same time your true inner feelings are negative and of disbelief, then "it ain't going to happen". You know, we tend to build up a lot of limiting beliefs in our lifetime that keep us from actually creating the life of our dreams. Have a quick look at that and be really honest with yourself.

What are the feelings or thoughts YOU have that keep you from reaching your full potential? What beliefs do you currently have that hold you back from taking the actions necessary to make your goals a reality? You might, for instance, feel like you don't deserve them, or are not good or smart enough to make them happen.

It is very important for you to address these self-limiting beliefs and replace them with positive empowering affirmations. Affirmations help you to reprogram your subconscious mind by telling it how you would like things to be. Make sure to include these affirmations on your Vision Board! (one of my other articles explains how to formulate affirmations in a powerful, successful way).

4. You just don't know HOW to create an effective VB

Our experience as the leading provider of Visualization and goal setting systems is that many people just don't know where to start. Especially when you have never heard of Vision Boards, or even the concept of visualization, it can be hard to get your head around this; we recommend getting some professional guidance if that is the case.

You see, when creating your Vision Board, there are a few important key elements you need to take into account and some crucial processes to follow for it to be effective and successful. Before you actually start putting your Vision Board together, you need to work on your vision, goals in different areas, limiting beliefs, affirmations etc. Then once you start assembling, it is for instance important where possible to use images that have you in it.

This reinforces the idea and feeling of you already having achieved that goal, it is precisely this feeling that will attract it into your reality. I would recommend to educate yourself about this so you increase your chances of success.

5. You are thinking OF your goals, not FROM your goals

When you think OF your goals, it creates a certain distance between you and your goals. Your emotions around your goals won't be as strong and subsequently your visualization will be less effective. So rather than thinking of your future home when you visualize, (and how nice it will be to have it in the future), think from it.

Imagine yourself already living in that dream house, so as if you have already attracted it. Imagine walking through that house, what do you see? What do you smell? What does the kitchen look like, how about your living room? This "acting as if" is crucial in the whole process of goal setting. By feeling as if you have already achieved it, you are basically placing an order with the universe.

What you see in your imagination, is what you will eventually see for real with your eyes! This method is called "vivid visualization" and is extremely powerful. By practicing it, you will find that your self-image begins to conform to these new images in your mind. You are literally growing into the new successful person you intent to become!

This will help to attract the goals you have set for yourself. By using moving images on a dynamic kind of Vision Board, for instance one on your computer, you can facilitate this vivid visualization in a very powerful way.

6. There is no consistency in your visualization regime


Creating your Vision Board is the first step to take. Once finished, you need to keep focusing on your Vision Board with intention and eager anticipation as often as possible. If you passionately visualize your goals on some days, and totally forget about it on other days you water down the effect.

Your Vision Board will make sure you keep an inspired, positive mindset as much as possible. The more consistent and frequent your visualization practice is, the stronger and faster the result. So I recommend to create a structure to make sure you focus on your goals and dreams at least twice a day with intent. You could create a reminder in outlook or make it a habit of focusing on your goals as soon as you wake up and go to bed.

The challenge many people report to us though, is that they don't have the time or just forget to look at their Vision Board. If that is the case for you too, then we recommend having an automatic Vision Board system in place on your computer that pops up pro actively, to help you keep focused and reminded of your goals as much as possible.

7. You don't have enough exposure to your Vision Board

As mentioned before, the more you put your energy and focus on the display of all your amazing goals on your Vision Board, the quicker and easier you will make those goals a reality in your life. So it is valuable to have a look at ways to increase the exposure to your Vision Board. You could, for instance, hang your Vision Board on your office wall, in the kitchen or any other place you are often.

The challenge when creating a "traditional" cardboard Vision Board, is that you only have one board to display when finished. As a suggestion, you could take photos of your Vision Board and hang these around your home, or create mini cardboard Vision Boards. An excellent alternative is to use computerized Vision Board systems that will allow you to create multiple Vision Boards and expose them in many different ways.

8. Your plan of action is not clear enough

How often have you made a decision to set a goal to really lose that weight this time, go to the gym a couple of times a week, start that business or take some more time off for yourself? You know how it goes: in one of those "aha" moments you realize you are "not going to keep going like this" and "really will take action to improve this area of your life" and you set a fantastic goal for yourself. You might even take some action for a week or so.

But one day you really need to finish a project at work. Or you feel too tired to go to the gym. Then what happens....? Sadly, your brilliant resolution ever so often gets pushed out of sight on your priority list as soon as other commitments kick in or the automatic pilot of life takes over. Nothing happens really. You didn't do it consistently in the first place, and unless you really make the effort to do things different, nothing will structurally happen ever. It will be the story of your life; "Yeah, I wanted to do it, but....". You will live your life by default.

Unless you create a plan around it to stay inspired. This is crucial! Create a clear plan of "attack" and -just as important- then put a system in place to keep you motivate to achieve your goal. A Vision Board is one of the key ingredients, as well as some proper coaching to create an effective plan of action and ongoing inspiration.

9. You see your visualization as a burden, a "must-do-in-order-to"

You may be one of many who feel that visualizing is kind of a burden, another thing on your to-do list in order to achieve your goals. So each day you look at your Vision Board, see the different goals, maybe dream away a little, only to get impatient, jump up and quickly "get on with life".

In today's fast paced world it can feel like a challenge to take time to relax and focus on your Vision Board with intent, excitement and anticipation for what is coming your way. The trouble however, is that your visualization won't work unless you do it with conviction.

The key is to really relax and properly sink into your goals and dreams in the most wonderful, magical way. Put the phone off the hook, get comfortable and dream away while watching your Vision Board with all the incredible things you would like to do, have or become. One thing that can truly enhance this experience is to make sure your Vision Board is interesting and dynamic to look at and really makes you FEEL your dreams.

If possible, have it playing on your iPod so you can even look at it on a truly inspiring place such as the beach or near a stream. You can also have a poster print out next to your bed, so you can look at it first thing in the morning with fresh eyes; the perfect day to set you up powerfully for your day!

10. You don't have a supportive enough environment

When you have big goals and dreams to achieve, one of the things to be aware of is the influence of people you surround yourself with. You see, some people demand a lot of energy by complaining about everything and by doubting your chances of achieving these goals. Spending a lot of time with these kind of people can therefore really influence your positive mindset and actions and could sabotage the achievement of your goals.

On the other hand you will find people who seem to emanate a wonderful force of positive energy which makes you sparkle and empowered. These people are interested and support you in your goals. Make an effort to surround yourself with uplifting people like that within your circle of friends and family and via networks, hobby clubs, online communities, etc. They will have big dreams too, so you can keep each other motivated and inspired.

Can you see how important an empowering environment like that is if you wish to keep a positive mindset? I realize that you can't always "escape" the negative people in your life, so to counteract their negative vibrations, make sure to have an inspiring Vision Board all around.

So there you have it! Ten important reasons why your visualization may not have worked as well as you thought it would. At the same time, you have now also learned about some of the most important techniques of successful, effective visualization.

Here is my proven recipe for success: Create a fun, dynamic Vision Board of all the goals that are clear and important to YOU, focus on it with consistency, genuine excitement while thinking from your goals. Add powerful affirmations to counteract any self limiting beliefs you have, put in place a solid plan of action, create massive exposure in various ways and top it off with some powerful people around you. I promise you will be on your way to the stars straight away!

Linda Boertjens is Co Founder of OrangePeel Systems, an innovative company focused on helping you to achieve your goals in life. Their unique Vision Board software tool called "Vision Board Studio", enables you to create a Vision Board on the computer, combining your own dream images with your chosen text and audio and display it in dynamic and diverse ways on your computer and other devices.

Vision Board Studio is the unparalleled leader in visualization systems. Using the latest IT technology, it is a purpose built computer application, developed and created by a team of experts, based on time-proven motivational principles and academically sound cognitive psychology. For more information please visit: VisualizeYourGoals.com NOW! Linda can be reached via email at linda@orangepeelsystems.com

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