A few years ago, I lost a considerable amount of body fat in a relatively short period of time. For a couple of months every day, I would come back from work and would jump on the treadmill for 40 minutes or so and run my heart out.
I would make it a point to check my weight every week to see how I was doing. It didn’t take long for me to have momentum on my side. I was seeing positive results week after week until I reached my goal. Of course, the downside was that I needed a brand-new wardrobe as the clothes I owned ceased to fit. Before embarking on this journey, I remember having a few suits tailor-made for my work, which I no longer had use for.
Truth be told, I had no prior intention of losing weight. No plans whatsoever. It just so happened during the time I had this new job, I looked at myself in the mirror one day and couldn’t bear to see the extra fat. For some reason, it became more difficult to live with what I saw than to change it. Something had to give.
Prior to this, I had never exercised in my life; I may have been shy of 30 years old then. That said, one thing that might have motivated me to focus on this goal at the time was that I didn’t particularly enjoy the work I was doing, so this was the only thing I would look forward to all day.
During my daily exercise, I would visualize how I would look and feel with all that extra fat removed from my body. I became obsessed with becoming that person. In my mind, I had already become that person who lost the extra weight. The hard part was over. Now it was only a matter of time before I reached my ideal weight. I can’t recollect ever being so determined to change my life as I was in this instance.
Contrary to what most people believe, the main challenge for me wasn’t figuring out HOW I was going to lose the extra fat, but WHY I wanted to lose it. When you know your WHY, you will figure out the HOWs that will take you there.
When you know your destination, you will figure out a way to get there one way or another, but most of us do the reverse—we make our decisions based on what’s “possible” and then we decide the outcome we want to reach. We keep ourselves from playing a much bigger game.
Creative visualization is a practice most used by athletes around the world to improve their performance. Put simply, it is the process of imagining what we want to manifest in our lives and then mentally practicing what we need to do to make that happen.
We visualize so we can live the life we want. It helps us reach our goals quickly. We have to be able to expect things of ourselves before we can do them. We have to be able to see them in our mind’s eye. Everything is created twice—first in our minds, then in reality. It’s great to overcome self-limiting habits. When we start to live in accordance with our vision, we are better able to bring it to life.
Come to think of it, we visualize things in our lives all the time. In order to make anything happen, we need to visualize it in our head first before we can manifest it in reality. For instance, imagine we are having guests over for dinner. Our mind will naturally visualize what that evening might look and feel like. Thereafter, you will figure out ways of making it happen.
In my case, I happened to visualize my results after deciding I wanted to change something about myself; I think of visualization as a HOW, not a WHY. Others may think of it as both a WHY and a HOW in a two-step exercise. Figure out what you want in your mind, imagine it in vivid detail, and then see yourself becoming that person by doing the thing.
To start with, you can begin by visualizing your morning routine or even your ideal day. You have to be able to see yourself doing that thing before you can do it. You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.
The key is to visualize how you’re going to handle a situation before it happens. You could think of yourself as killing that job interview, nailing the presentation, or even kicking the winning goal.
That said, it isn’t uncommmon for many to feel some discomfort with visualizing success—whatever that means to them—while others might be hesitant to proceed.
I believe there is tremendous power in visualizing things to make them happen. You are imagining a state of future in such vivid detail that you’ve already become that person in your mind. Now you just have to do the thing to get there, which is relatively easier.