So you have a goal in mind, and you really want to achieve it. It might be health related. It might be financial, or job related. It could be a home improvement goal, or something altruistic. But your goal just feels too far out of reach. Or you've tried to achieve it before, with no success.
When we set a goal, there's usually a very big implication attached to it: we have to change as a person. Reaching for, and getting our goal, fundamentally changes us in some way. And if you've read my other blog posts, or watched my videos on Facebook or YouTube, you know what I preach about change. Our brains fight us on it, simply because it takes precious energy, and it is not efficient, and efficiency is the end goal function of the brain.
The Power of Emotion
But there is an element that we can use to encourage the brain to accept change: emotion. When we create a feeling around change, it has a stronger affect on the brain. Think about it. If something doesn't really affect you, if you have just a ho-hum reaction to it (or none at all), it doesn't find a permanent home with you. You just don't care.
But when emotion is involved, things usually stick. The stick might be a positive or a negative, depending on the feeling created in your body about it, but it will stick around. It will either create the reality of failure, or the reality of success.
Your brain is always going to bring emotion into play when change is afoot. At first you might feel excitement, but then the feeling of fear or dread puts the brakes on. And there's not a thing wrong with this. Fear is OK. It's part of human existence. (Unless you have a calcified amygdala.) Your brain produces fear to help you stay alive on this planet. But if you're feeling fear in response to change, and you allow your brain to keep it there, change just isn't going to happen. So, what do we change to increase the chances of, er, change?
Accentuate the Positive
We create positive emotion about the change. We create a feeling of excitement, of wonder, of gratitude about the change. We purposefully cultivate these feelings.
The perfect way to create positive feelings around a future goal is to visualize yourself as having accomplished the goal, and generating the great feelings that come along with it. Excitement, accomplishment, pride, joy. When you're visualizing, close your eyes and SMILE while thinking about your accomplished goal. Prove to your brain that it's going to be a very, very good thing.
The more you do this, the more your brain will start to register the visualized pictures in your mind as reality. This might sound like a steaming pile of poo, but think about it this way. All day long, your are visualizing. If someone asks you the question "what does your house look like?" you immediately visualize your house in your head. This is a remembered image. You can also visualize imagined images, like your goal.
As far as your brain is concerned, images constitute reality. Fortunately most people have a mechanism to check this, so they don't believe the scary dream from last night is real. But if we present an image to our mind enough, and season it with feeling, our brain will actually start to move to find that image in reality, and this is how we start to create a concrete path that leads us to our goal, creating that new reality.
Here's a video that describes 12 steps to visualization. It's a powerful exercise that can create a new reality for you, in any area that you've set a goal.
I encourage you to try a visualization exercise daily. All it takes is 5 to 10 minutes of seeing what you want in your mind, imagining it accomplished, and feeling all the good feels that come along with it. Once you make it a regular practice, you'll look forward to it, because it feels so good to do. Please note: this is a long term practice. Even the fastest growing plants take time to bear fruit, persistence is key here. So treat yourself to some excitement and joy, and get to visualizing your future.
If you feel stuck, and like you need a helping hand in guiding you to the healthiest, most fulfilled life possible for you, I can help. Just fill in the form below to start a conversation.