Some general guiding principles in visualization:
- For short range goals (less than one month) be simple and realistic. Choose things that you are pretty sure you can accomplish
- When you find that you have not accomplished your goals do not criticize or be hard on yourself or assume that you have failed. Simply acknowledge to yourself that your success may have been delayed or you have not accomplished that goal and whether or not it is still a goal that you wish to pursue. Even consider whether you want to let it go. Come to terms with reality.
- When you find that you have accomplished a goal, even a small one, be sure to acknowledge yourself for that. Give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy the satisfaction for at least a moment.
- Do not bite more than you can chew. Set goals that are realistic and that feel good. If you feel overwhelmed, confused or discouraged, simplify your goals or compartmentalize your goals in one area of your life.
Another powerful lens to use visualization to help the client is to ask them to visualize a life without that goal or change that they crave for. What would happen to their lives if they did not make a commitment to change and take action? The thought/visual will be scary enough to galvanize the client from inaction to action. The simple but good analogy for this would be coaching an obese person on the need to take action to lose weight and be healthy.
Kinds of visualization techniques
There are a great variety of techniques for visualization. They include:
- Neuro Linguistic Programming
- The Silva Method
- Wheel of life method
- The Bengston healing method
- Creative visualization
- Shakti Gawain method
- Pink Bubble technique
- Other variations of the above that achieve the same end results
The sources are many. One has to just google ‘Visualization’ and you will have thousands of entries and methods of visualization.
The intention is to not describe each method and nuance here, but to state that there are numerous sources and techniques out there. Adapt and customize what works for your client and benefit from this powerful technique.
The use of visualization to present information at an organizational level is also not a new phenomenon. It has been used in maps, scientific drawings and data plots for over a thousand years. Computer graphics and animations have also had their genesis in visualization. In terms of application in the realm of organizations, science and systems, visualization has also permeated the space of Scientific visualization, Educational visualization, information, knowledge, Product, Systems, Visual communication, visual analytics and so on.
Process of visualization
The process of visualization is again something that is varied and numerous. Help the client choose one method or technique and if they are new to it, gently introduce them to the concept and a process that you are comfortable with and have tried. Whatever method one chooses, it is important that the client is comfortable, centered and relaxed and engaged in deep breathing. A short meditation prior to the visualization exercise often proves helpful in unlocking the energy blocks and for the energy to start flowing again. It will make you feel deeply relaxed, yet energized and exhilarated.
A recommended process would be, to sit or lie down in a comfortable position and breathe deeply, slowly and naturally. Get into a state of deep relaxation. Imagine something that you want to happen. It can be a very short term, a specific event or a long term life goal. Create a powerful image of the successful outcome that you want to happen. Use all your five senses and visualize it with energy and emotion and feel the flow… Visual – see the end result in images; Smell – smell the air or the grass or the water if you are visualizing owning a beach front property, hearing – hear the birds chirping in the back ground or water flowing; Taste – feel the taste of the food that you are eating or drinking in the process; touch – feel the sensation of touch on your skin; for example the feel of your golf club while swinging, if you are visualizing playing golf.
Intent of this paper
The intent is to help fellow peer coaches to consider using visualization as a tool in their coaching practise and to explore its infinite possibilities.
Research has shown that there is increasing clarity of one’s life purpose with regular centering and visualization. One will notice the elements that tend to recur in your dreams, goals and fantasies and the particular qualities that are there in the things you find yourself doing and creating. These are important clues to the underlying meaning and purpose of your life. During the process of visualization, one might encounter blocks and barriers from within that prevent you from reaching your goals or bringing your best self to every situation. These blocks are created when energy is constricted and not flowing and are usually caused by repressed emotions of fear, sadness, guilt, self-criticism, resentment and anger which cause a person to tighten up and close up in mind, body and spirit. Functional individuals become exceptional when there is alignment of mind, body and spirit. It is vital to have clarity and awareness of these blockages and barriers on negative emotions and experience the positive emotions that have been locked up. Visualization is a powerful technique to achieve this alignment. Visualization is not a magic pill and by itself is not enough and will not get you to your goal. It must be corroborated and complemented with other tools and action to achieve one’s goals and make change happen.
The Energy Cure by Willam Bengston, Phd
Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain
Creative visualization work book by Shathi Gawain
Healing world: The power of prayer and the practice of medicine by Larry Dossey, M.D.
The nature of personal reality by Jane Roberts
Kinship with all lIfe by J.Allen Boone
Supernormal by Dr Dean Radin
Conscious Universe by Dr Dean Radin