“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
One day, I'd had enough.
I heated up my yoga studio, rolled out my mat, and prepared to change this voice that I am embarrassed to admit torments me every day.
I stood at the top of my mat, closed my eyes, and tuned into my inner voice.
“I am tired.”
“I should exercise tomorrow.”
“I have too much work to take time from my schedule.”
As my inner voice continued on and on, I began to visualize another mat rolled out next to me.
On this other mat was an exact replica of myself. She was also standing still with her eyes closed, except there was one very big difference: this person was still, silent, relaxed, calm, and ready.
For the next hour, I moved through my typical yoga practice with my new my imaginary friend.
We lifted our arms up in the air as we moved into the first pose. I watched her in my mind’s eye and moved with her. She was the perfect role model. She remained composed, graceful, and poised throughout the entire hour.
I, on the other hand, was working hard not to make audible groans. However, each time I started to feel like I was filling up with negativity, I turned my attention to my new friend and I imitated her movements, energy, and attitude.
Within moments, I was able to transform my attitude with a simple shift of focus away from myself and onto her.
Why did I create this alter ego?
I want to be in shape. I want to feel strong. I want to feel that awesome post-exercise glow from a great workout.
If I want all these awesome benefits from exercise, why does it have to be so hard some days to make it happen?
And by hard I don’t mean that exercise is too hard on my muscles, that they won’t fire. If I was just too sore from the previous day, it would be understandable to miss a day of exercise.
It’s not my lack of physical strength that stands between me and my goals—it’s the endless whining, complaining, excuse-giving voice in my head.
Maybe you don’t struggle with complaints. Maybe you just hate on yourself enough until you feel motivated. Either way, it is enough negativity to ruin anything!
What if there was a way to reach your goals and feel good, even happy, at the same time?
Why Does Visualization Work?
Visualization works because you are using yourself as your role model. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the value of other people as role models. Sometimes we need advice, other opinions, or just a good listener.
But most of the time we need to get out of own way. We are the problem. The voice in our head is the problem.
When I use other people as role models in certain situations, I just feel worse. Here is why: I use them for inspiration.
The very moment that I use someone else as my inspiration, I place myself in a space of not being good enough because they are the ones accomplishing the goal I desire.
I visualize the other person. I don’t see myself as successful. I don’t see my own face. I see the other person. I see myself as not good enough relative to someone else’s success. Visualize yourself and you will believe you already have everything you need to accomplish your goals.
What do you wish you were doing more of?
- Visualize yourself doing it. Really, create a full image filled with details. What outfit are you wearing? Where are you? What does your face look like? What is the weather like? What does the space look like where you are completing this task?
- Pull the image of yourself close to your minds eye.
- Make it as big as possible, 3D, and add lots of color.
My yoga friend is the same size as I am. She has the same outfit, same mat, even the same pedicure.
You have more resources within than you realize.
My yoga practice was peaceful, rewarding, and I actually pushed myself harder than usual. I was my own mentor and I had a lot to offer myself that I did not know existed.
Man visualizing success image via Shutterstock