A dilemma you may encounter in the process of using affirmation as a tool for developing personal leadership is the difficulty experienced in accepting an affirmation as a statement of reality when you know that it is not – as of yet – true. At this point, the art of visualization enables you to move from the area of dreams into the light of reality. A large percentage of patterns of thought are geared to sight.
The simplest thought usually calls forth an image. If someone mentions a tree, you will “see” a tree, but mention of an abstract concept, such as justice, requires your mind to grapple with the idea until somehow you reduce the abstraction to a mental picture. If you are unable to form a picture, you may be confused and fail to understand.
If you hear the word “automobile,” you quickly picture one; but it is probably rather hazy. If you are then asked to describe the automobile you pictured, you must refocus your mental image because you did not know in the beginning what to expect. When you have focused your mental picture clearly enough to describe that car, it is probably your own. That is the way most of us respond to the little events in life. Visualization is restricted to what we already know to the familiar and common-place. We forget that we are free to use imagination, the spice that adds meaning and zest to visualization.
Visualization is used to the best advantage when you learn to use it in its highest form, that of relating the present to the future. When you can, through visualization, relate the “what is” to the “what can be,” you have developed visualization into a genuine art. Visualization proves that you can create anything you conceive. You learn by the process of visualization to move the future into the present to expand your own experience. You have the jump on tomorrow. You are prepared for it because you are already familiar with it. You have “seen” it through visualization.
When you free your imagination and visualize your goals with controlled attention and concentrated energy, you begin to see some startling results.
◆ Visualization changes a general idea into something more specific. Your mental camera is brought into focus. Your dream home takes shape and is transformed from a confused blur into a crystal clear image. It is so real that you can see the roses blooming in the garden. You can see the pictures on the walls, the view from the kitchen window. The power of visualization enables you to believe your affirmation and to dispel any apprehension or worry connected with the goal. The unknown becomes known and the indefinite becomes definite.
◆ Visualization enables you to see errors and incongruities in your plan and make corrections before mistakes become reality. If, while you repeat your affirmation “I enjoy sharing my dream home with my family,” you visualize that home in the minutest detail, you are already experiencing what it feels like to possess it. You can spot mistakes in the floor plan, the decorating scheme, or the size of the rooms. You may then adjust your plan, correct the mistakes, and proceed without serious consequences. Your ego experiences a big boost because you eliminate the embarrassment and the discomfort of actually making a mistake.
◆ Concentrated visualization enables you to refine details. As you begin to visualize your dream home, it will likely resemble some house you have seen. But as you practice the art of visualization, you will begin to separate the features you like from those you don’t really care for. Then when your dream home is a reality, it will have the distinctive touch that carries the flavor of your own family’s personality.
The old saying, “Seeing is believing,” was never more appropriate than when it is related to affirmation and visualization. When you set goals, aims, and desires, affirm your belief in your ability to achieve, and exercise the art of visualization to picture yourself already in possession of those goals, you develop an almost miraculous belief in yourself and your ability to succeed.
Willpower alone never produces success because determination and willpower do not foster belief. Unless you overcome and displace the negatives in your mind through the power of affirmation and see the results through visualization, you are forging ahead into the unknown. Remember, habits and attitudes are changed by displacement, that is, by substitution of a more satisfying mode of behavior for old habits. Determination must be added to affirmation and visualization. When you affirm your goals with belief and confidence and visualize them with clarity and accuracy, your goals are already in the process of becoming reality. You are on the way to success, and in a sense, have already pre-tasted the satisfaction of achievement.