You’ve heard a friend talk about it.
You’ve skimmed the articles in Forbes, Huff Po, and others. You may have even created a vision board hoping it will help you stay on track and meet your goals.
So what is visualization? And what can it do for you professionally and personally?
You’d be shocked.
We’re going to break it down in this new Think Tank of Three podcast.
[AF] = Audrea Fink
[JH] = Julie Holton
[KJ]= Kathryn Janicek
[00:00:00] [KJ] Today we’re talking about visualization professionally and personally. You’ve skimmed the articles maybe in Forbes, Huff-Po, and others; you may have created a vision board because they are everywhere nowadays, which for some helps them visualize their goals. So what is visualization and what can it do for you? We’re going to break it down.
[00:00:55] [KJ] Hi this is Kathryn. Audrea and Julie have you heard about this visualization?
[00:00:59] [AF] This is Audrea. I’m actually really curious and trying to be openly curious about this topic because why on one hand I really find it fascinating and on the other hand there’s the part of me that’s like this is way too “woo-woo” out there. So Kathryn can you please break this down a little bit for the listeners and for skeptical Audrea.
[00:01:21] [JH] I love that Audrea, so honest. So Julie here and I- yes, I use visualization. I don’t necessarily think about it in those terms all of the time but I will say that I am a big proponent of positive mental health and I see a counselor at least once a month and we talk through things and this has been something that in the last many years so I’ve really focused on in my life because for me it’s pushing out a lot of the negative and focusing on the positive and in the direction you want to move your life. And I’m so excited to talk about this today.
[00:01:57] [KJ] Okay awesome. So I was a little skeptical also when I first heard about this and here’s for our audience. Here’s just a quick some little-and also for Audrea-here’s a little background. So this visualization is something that’s come up over and over in my life the past few years and you may have been suggested to do it or you have a friend who swears by it. So what exactly is it? It’s the belief that what you focus on you attract you create images in your mind of having or doing whatever it is that you want. Then you visualize these images over and over again. Say for like five minutes a day during this time you use your imagination to see yourself being successful in whatever goal that you may have. Whether it’s personal or professional rather than hoping that you achieve it you actually live it and feel it as if it is happening to you right now. On one level you know this is just like this mental trick you’re doing. But the subconscious mind can’t distinguish between what’s real and what’s imagined. So this is very personal but recently it’s come up for me in trying to have children. My husband had cancer and so we for the last two years have been trying to have children through IVF. And for me as a professional woman; when I went in for an interview or when I wanted to get a job or went on a first date or just imagine any of the goals that we had in life I have always set myself up for you know what if this doesn’t happen. You know I’ve tried to kind of compartmentalize and make myself feel okay if this first date didn’t go well or you know I always had backup plans. You know I’ll go to my girlfriends tonight or it’s no big deal if this doesn’t go well because I know I wouldn’t need him. It’s no big deal or if I don’t get the job I’ll get the other one know this television station doesn’t want me I’ll get another. Well in trying to have a child. I have recently gone to a therapist and she has explained to me that this trying to protect ourselves by coming up with plan B C D E F G H whatever it is or thinking about like it’s okay if I if this doesn’t happen for me it’s okay if I don’t make more money. It’s OK if I don’t get this job that actually what she said to me was will. How’s that working for you? How’s it working for you going in with the plan? Well if I don’t have a baby to adopt, or if I don’t have a baby I’ll just be this awesome kurt woman that I’ve always been. She said you’re not really focusing and being positive in being in that moment and trying to focus on having that baby having that child. So think about you at home. You know you want to go out for that interview if you’re already going into that interview going in your head, “It’s OK if you don’t get it,” you know how is that really helping you? You know what the therapist looked at me and is like ‘how is that working for you?’ So she actually had me visualize the day that I give birth.
[00:04:56] [AF] Hold on. So she’s. So instead of worrying like creating a backup plan you’re gonna think about like like sitting on a table pushing out a baby?
[00:05:09] [KJ] Oh no. Not like the blood and the poop and all that, whatever! She’s not saying like think about all the gory details of giving birth like- I can’t even go there. But thank you- Sorry Audrea I’m not going to run you through that. But what- she was like, she was thinking about the people who are going to be in the room. Think about your husband holding your hand and cheering you on as you’re breathing through it. Think about all the happy stuff of you give birth and your child is there and she or he is happy and crying and everything’s good. The baby’s breathing and all the things are good. And then you encapsulate that like in a bubble and you just- that’s what you visualize so when you’re going to bed at night or when you wake up in the morning you’re thinking about you already having that goal that you already are there in the room with your husband giving birth to that live baby, that healthy baby. So imagine that, you know if you want to you’re going up for that job already walking in and visualizing you having that job.
[00:06:11] [JH] And the whole idea here, Kathryn, so some people might have heard of this. People who are listening and a couple other ways. So the idea of the law of attraction or you know big thanks to Oprah and the book the secret you know became really big, you know several years ago. So the whole idea is that you’re living your best life through this idea of attracting things to you. Others might look at this as energy and I will not pretend to be an expert on this. It’s something that I find really fascinating having positive energy in that every living thing has energy and gives off energy and the energy you give off you receive back. And so you know sometimes you know you guys know sometimes I’ll say it like you know Pam putting this out there in the universe because you know it’s like making that visualization a real tangible thing because you’re putting it out there you’re telling the world No. Often oftentimes when I have a goal that you know sometimes we have these like really big dreams but we hold them like deep inside us and we like we know them we think through them but we haven’t really put it out there yet. There are times that I will actually say even to you two okay, “Kathryn I’m putting this out there because I need to start putting this out there,” and part of that is just again the visualization like putting things out there into the world this law of attraction that you we’re not saying that you know some people might say that you know you’re gonna make millions because you put it out there but it’s really I think part of this is as you put it out there as you say it, as you visualize it you’re going to- your actions are going to follow and you’re going to start taking those steps that you need. You know take it from your subconscious to your conscious of what you need to be doing to actually make these things happen. And of course that’s not to say Kathryn with your example, you know as you and your husband are trying to have a baby here, that you’re not taking the right actions, you are, but part of that is visualizing that this is going to happen for you.
[00:08:04] [KJ] Exactly. And that coming up automatically with what’s going to be my plan B or C because that already is derailing your plan which is that you want to give birth or you want to give birth to this company that you’re creating or get a brand new job or make you know you want to double your gross income for your company. From last year to this year. So already thinking that way that this is going to happen. So what does my life look like right now? What do I need? You know. Should I have an assistant? Should I have this? Do I have to you know give up some of these things that are on my table right now in order to make this happen. You have to visualize your life. And I’ll say one thing else that’s that’s from like the personal realm is I remember this person getting dating advice that she says- she told me that a dating expert told her to start making room like in her bed for her future partner or making room in the closet. Because I know it sounds weird but like visualizing this partner that you’re going to have in your life-.
[00:09:05] [JH] I will say that I’m not willing to make room in my closet. I mean as the single one of our trio. I don’t think there are enough closets in the world to make room. I have every closet in my house for me.
[00:09:24] [AF] What I do like is: I like the idea because I do believe that sort of your attitude towards something dictates then your actions. Right. Like you have a thought and then that thought dictates your actions. So I think all of that’s related I guess for me the part that’s hard is like so maybe you could talk this through a little of an idea like a vision board. Right. So I’m getting ready to go to an interview. You know I’ve researched my company, I’ve researched this job, I know what I’m gonna wear to the interview, like how does this visualization help me as I’m walking into like the board room or walking into you know this job interview? Break that down for me.
[00:10:06] [KJ] I think the night before and you’re practicing the weeks ahead from the little bit that I’ve learned about it you’re actually visualizing while you’re laying in bed or you’re sitting at your desk you have to close your eyes and visualize you dressed in whatever you’re going to where like sitting at a desk in that office visualize it you’re reporting to that future boss visualize it. Your paycheck says from that company you just have to think that you’ve already got that job. Like walk in and be like ‘Hey boss’ you know it’s not that it’s visualizing that you’re good enough to get that job and that you already have it.
[00:10:44] [JH] It’s empowering, Kathryn. Exactly. So you walk in and you feel confident because you’ve prepared and part of that preparation is the best visualization you need to ask yourself what what can I do to prepare what’s going to get any closer to this job that I want. And so by the time you walk in you’re just fully prepared because you can already see yourself sitting at that desk for reporting to that supervisor or leading the company. And so for me I think like that visualization Kathryn nailed it it’s it’s that preparation that you do before you even walk in the door for that interview.
[00:11:19] [AF] So we use something sort of like this in sales I guess, I would have never called this visualization. So maybe like what I’m getting stuck on this is like sort of “woo-woo” term. Right? But like when I think about coaching an attorney to pitch for work right that we do research on the client we figure out exactly what our sweet spot is right. How we’re different from our competitors. And then we go through like what the objections could be. But instead of coming up with responses for the objections, right, it’s proactive ways of like not having those issues. So if money is going to be an issue for example we don’t talk about like why you can afford us, right. We talk about value because at the end of the day, people are willing to pay for value. It’s not necessarily a dollar sign or if someone says you know I’m just not ready to start this project, right. We don’t talk about like how to get them ready for the project today. We talk about like okay so when are you going to be ready for this project? How do we help get you there? And instead of overcoming objections it’s really like future if we’re doing- if we’re already hired, how do we work through these together as a team vs. responding to objections?
[00:12:31] [JH] That’s exactly it. I mean you’re doing you know, you’re going through the action items without using the term visualization and so maybe even for people in our audience. You know that’s a term that doesn’t you know fit in that box, you know but that’s exactly what I think you’re doing Audrea is you’re preparing, you’re looking ahead, you’re forecasting, you’re putting yourself in the position of already landing that client to foresee you know what those obstacles or challenges might be in making that pitch. I think many of us are using visualization without even knowing it. And here’s the catch. I think the problem sometimes is that you might be visualizing all of the things you don’t want in your life. We talked about this a little bit in our last podcast with negativity. So the issue here is if you’re visualizing what you don’t want you know, Kathryn I’m going to use your very personal example. Okay you’re working to have a baby, if you visualize, “Oh I don’t want to only have my career, I don’t want-” you know if you visualize all the things you don’t want are you then attracting those things instead of the things you do want? And whether you believe in energy or whether you just believe in an action. Are your actions going to reflect those negative thoughts that you’re having? I mean think about this: have you ever worried about something so much worried about something happening and then it actually happened? You know. Are you focusing on the wrong things? I think it’s so important that we turn our thoughts around, we focus on the positives, focus on the things we want instead of the things that we don’t want, or the things that we can do to get what we want. So here’s what one technique that I’ve learned and Audrea I’m just, you’re going to call it “woo-woo,” so just bear with me here because it is. I fully admit. But I’m going to share it anyway because it is so hard for me. And this is a technique that works alongside visualization. So this you know as I was talking with a counselor and when I was getting ready to launch my business and when things were going so well you know it’s continued to go well for my business but leading up to you know taking this new company full time. You know I just kept thinking I said to my counselor one day okay things are. And by the way comes a counselor. She’s like really turned into kind of this job coach and business advisor. So one day I said to her okay things are going so great. I’m waiting for the next shoe to drop. I’m waiting for some- I just feel like things have been going so well for so long something- It’s time for something bad to happen. And she said well if you are thinking that way then something bad is going to happen. You know, you need to turn that around and just keep focusing on the positives; keep bringing in you know those positive things that are happening. And so here’s the technique that she said for me to do: for every negative thought that you have, replace it with positive ones.
[00:15:24] [KJ] That’s great.
[00:15:25] [JH] And it’s so hard. OK. I’m telling you I left her office and I got my car and turn turned the parking lot and a car immediately cuts me off. So what am I thinking right? Like who does this person think they are? Like yeah jerk you know, it’s like it’s so surprising because I tend to think I’m a pretty positive person, most of the time, but then I’m like I find myself having all of these judgmental thoughts and I’m not even five minutes down the road yet and I’m thinking well why are they driving that car? Why did they pick that color? It was like this bright orange color, I’m like What is that? I was like oh shoot. OK. Well she has a car, that’s positive, it’s taking her where she needs to go, that’s positive. And you know and the wheels are working, you know. So it’s like so the positive thoughts are kind of you know so yes it’s kind of “woo-woo” but then the more you ingrain in yourself- the point is like you’re not going to do that. Really for every negative thought you have you’re not going to come up with three parts of that. I mean we’ve been all our time just do this technique. But the concept is that you’re turning your thoughts around so that you’re turning that negativity into positivity and that you’re not focusing on all of the things and how they don’t work or why they’re wrong and you’re turning that around.
[00:16:40] [AF] So I actually don’t think that’s too “woo-woo.” Two things. One, I just went through, I’m still going through it, this challenge. It’s 21 days of no complaining challenge. And you wear like a wristband. Sort of like a little strong but it’s purple. And every time you complain you have to move the wristband from one wrist to the other. The idea is that you train yourself to sort of reframe, whenever you start to complain out loud. It’s all about out loud too it’s not just negative thoughts but, when you start to complain out loud, can you flip that into like instead of a focus on the negative focus on the positive? Or can you instead have that conversation about whatever that issue is with the person who’s creating it? So say I was frustrated with you Julie because I just couldn’t get you to call me back, right. If I am complaining to Kathryn because I can’t figure out why Julie won’t call me back, then I’m just perpetuating this negative sort of energy and environment, right? Whereas if I go directly to you Julie and I sent you a note saying hey I’m really frustrated because I can’t get you to call me back. Can we talk about what’s going on why is there a lack of communication? You know that’s not complaining it’s going directly to the source and dealing with it. So I actually love this idea of turning your thoughts around. It also reminded me of this life coach named Brooke Castille and she talks about how to like perpetuate a life that you want. And so what she says is she creates her top 25 list and it’s 25 things she wants out of life and she puts on it things that she already has. So she wants a good marriage. So it’s like number one, I want a good marriage in my life. Look I have that, right? I want a new car. I don’t have that yet but that’s OK because I’m coming from a place of positivity. I want healthy relationships my kids. And so you build out the top 25 things that you want out of your life and you fill as much of it in with what you already have so that you come to wanting things with an attitude of being able to have them and gratitude for what you have in a way to sort of build that better life. I’ll have to look up. I think this was in a podcast have to look up where it was and I’ll make sure we stick it in the comments or the notes of this podcast. You can check it out.
[00:18:50] [JH] I love that. That is awesome.
[00:18:52] [KJ] That’s great. So let’s recap quickly: the visualization. The visualisation is actually thinking that you’re in that spot right now. It’s not wanting it not streaming it about it but you’re actually creating images in your mind of having or doing whatever it is that you actually want. You then repeat those images over and over your head you’re picturing you in that new job you’re picturing you with that new car because you’ve got that raise that you’ve been looking for you. Picture your company being able to hire three or four more people because all of a sudden you’re grossing 200 or 300 thousand dollars more per year. You’re picturing that new husband or wife that you’ve been looking for; that child, whatever it is, you’re picturing it daily for about five minutes a day in your five minute practice. Use your imagination to actually see yourself being successful in whatever that goal is that you may have.
[00:19:58] [JH] Number one, know what you want. I mean we have to know what we want before we can start visualizing it. Then once you know what you want, number two, visualize it in detail as Kathryn said, repeat it over and over those images daily about five minutes a day. Hey if it helps create a vision board, whatever helps you. Then number three, start visualizing it with positive emotions. See it, see yourself go through it. Number four: take action! Ask yourself each day, what can I do to get there? And it might be that all you can do is keep visualizing it and that’s OK. But keep doing that because number five is don’t give up. There are going to be challenges, there are going to be setbacks. This isn’t magic. It’s real life. But don’t give up.
[00:20:42] [KJ] So see if you can try to manifest what you are looking to land at work or in your personal life. You can try this. I mean at the very least you can try it, right? Make sure to comment on this blog or on social media wherever you see or hearing this podcast. We would love to hear how you’ve used visualization or will use it to help you achieve something that you want in your life.
[00:21:04] [JH] Join us as we continue this conversation online ThinkTankofThree.com, we blog each week. Subscribe on our website and you’ll get a first alert email on when that new blog comes out and then as Kathryn said find us on social media. We want to hear from you. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And be sure to join our private group on Facebook where we can all give and get advice freely in this private group. Just look for it in the community section on our Facebook page.
[00:21:30] [AF] And stay tuned for our next podcast: knowing your worth and setting healthy boundaries. I’m really excited to talk about this. If you have questions or topics you want us to discuss send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking to hear from you on what is affecting you personally and professionally. We want to chat about it here. Let us know if you want to guest blog or if you want to join us as a guest on the podcast. We’re looking to hear from our tribe.
[00:21:56] [KJ] Even the “woo-woo” ideas.
[00:21:58] [AF] Even the “woo-woo.”