Last week a good friend and I were chatting about where I see my business life going in the next year or so. I’ve got plenty of goals after all, including starting a couple of new businesses. I can’t remember the exact conversation but at one point I said something to the effect of, “I’ve never had a problem visualizing success…”
It sounded a bit egotistical when it came out, and rather matter-of-fact. Visualizing success has never been a problem for me.
That’s not the case for everyone. Sometimes, when you’re “very deep into something” you think of it as obvious or straightforward. But for many others, you can be sure that’s not true. You might think writing a great blog is a no-brainer, but others struggle with it. You might think making sales calls is easy, others shudder at the thought. You might think it’s plain as the nose on your face that you have to network in order to build a successful business. Others haven’t realized that yet.
Your expertise is not obvious. What you excel at isn’t common.
Visualizing success is important. My belief in my own success, my vision of that, has propelled me through lots of difficult times. And I see 3 types of visualization that have helped me.
- Daily Visualization. Visualization is an active process. Not something you do once and forget about. Isabel Isidro shares an interesting technique at 10 Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs:
“… when climbing stairs, recite your goal with every step you take. So if you want more money, say ‘I will have money’ in every step of the stairs. This technique will reinforce your goal and keep it fresh in your consciousness.”
I use similar techniques regularly. Very often driving home from work, reviewing the day in my head, I’ll mentally repeat my goals, visualizing success. And, I’m often tackling short-term goals. Visualizing short-term goals and success is easier to do; it feels more realistic, and because of that you can use daily visualization of short-term goals as a building block for something grander.
- Long-Term Visualization. To me, this means visualizing longer-term goals, big things that you want to achieve. It’s harder to visualize success in these cases; the successes seem so far off. But mix in a bit of dreamer, egotist, and fearlessness and long-term visualization becomes a reality.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Success at Trizle notes that the brain actually starts to believe things have happened the more you think about them. So the more you visualize big-time success, the more your brain thinks it’s true. That creates a sense of comfort with achieving your goals, helping to remove fear.
I can attest to this phenomenon, which leads to my third mode of visualization…
- Constant Visualization. Think something long enough and it becomes reality. Some might call this an over-developed ego, and I do think you can overdo it by lying to yourself. Visualization is only the first step to success, not the last. People who do nothing but visualize success are just dreamers, and entrepreneurs are more than that. We’re the best combination of dreamers and doers.
Constant visualization isn’t something you consciously do. It evolves over time. If I really look back, I’d say my own constant visualization has a lot to do with my parents; they instilled a healthy, positive ego in me, and that’s led me to always believing in my own success. Daily and long-term visualization can turn into constant visualization. You’ll know you’re there when something bad happens and you recover faster than you used to. Instead of getting overly frustrated, depressed and negative, your response will turn positive more quickly. You’ll be naturally buoyed by something inside of you. That’s your ego talking. That’s constant visualization buffering your brain against crap.
The most successful visualization comes from the right combination of short-term, long-term and constant visualization. Skewed in any one direction, or if any of the three are absent, you’re not arming yourself enough to achieve your goals. I haven’t achieved a perfect balance yet. I lean mostly towards long-term visualization, which in my experience has resulted in being less-than-active on a daily basis in ensuring my own success. I lacked short-term goals and daily visualization techniques to remind myself, “Success doesn’t come to you, you’ve got to go grab it…”
So let me ask you…
Do You Visualize Your Success? How? Does it Work?
Photo by Goldschleife.