Research Paper By Csilla-Maria Barta
(Life Coach, ROMANIA)
What is a visualization exercise?
As defined in the ICA course, visualization is a powerful tool that can take our goal setting to the next level. When we visualize reaching our goal, we are making it more real. Without a picture of the result, setting goals is more like wishful thinking. But if we can picture our goals as done, we can see the path towards it.
The term “visualization” is widely used but often misunderstood. Visualizing in goal setting is not daydreaming or wishing. It is taking a snapshot of you after you have attained your goal, and then focusing on that snapshot.
Visualization has a powerful role in helping a client maintain their hope of achieving their goals. By using visualization, we aim to make the endpoint of their goals seem as normal and natural as arriving home at the end of the day. We do this by helping the client to “see” the endpoint, to smell it, to taste it, to hear it and to feel it. Through visualization, the impossible can seem possible and utterly compelling.
Using visualization techniques to focus on your goals and desires yields four very important benefits.
- It activates your creative subconscious which will start generating creative ideas to achieve your goal.
- It programs your brain to more readily perceive and recognize the resources you will need to achieve your dreams.
- It activates the law of attraction, thereby drawing into your life the people, resources, and circumstances you will need to achieve your goals.
- It builds your internal motivation to take the necessary actions to achieve your dreams.
Visualizations as a tool in making decisions
We’ve all experienced in our lives the insecurity, self-questioning and fear when it comes to making a difficult choice that will impact the rest of our lives.
One of such choices is changing our career later in life. First, we realize that what we are doing does not make us happy anymore, then we search for other things we could do. We would think that once we find it, things become easier, and for some, it might even do, but for many of us, that is the moment when the real challenge begins, making the final decision to change.
That is when our second-guessing comes into the picture making the process of deciding quite difficult.
As I found in my short practice in coaching, asking a coach to help can be one of our best ideas.
I had the chance and the honour to coach a person in this situation, let’s call her Nancy for confidentiality’s sake.
Nancy decided to change her career.
After a significant time in working in the finance business she was searching for another path. When she came to me in coaching, she already had an idea for what she would like to do next but was very insecure both about the change itself and the new domain she would be working in, pedagogy. This change implied to get the proper education in this field, a long-term school mostly on weekends and to pass a final exam.
At first, we clarified for her if she really wanted the change and the reasons behind that desire.When she was confident in wanting the change, we got down to see about the new domain she chose as she was filled with questions about it: Am I doing the right thing? Am I making the right decision? How will that affect me? What will people say? What will my family say? What if I fail? Am I putting my financial security at risk? Am I going to be able to stick with the school and not drop out? What if children won’t like me? What if I can’t do my job right? And so on.
The exercise I’ve proposed to her was to take an imaginary look at what would one day as a teacher looks like.
We started the visualization with the beginning of the imaginary day: what time would she get up, what would the morning routine look like and what time would she arrive in the classroom. Then she described the classroom: how big it is, what colour the walls have, the flowers in the room, the pictures. Then we described the temperature in the room (warm and cozy was the answer). Then we looked outside to see what the weather is like there. She talked about the children there, how friendly they are and curious. We checked all through the exercise how she was feeling physically and emotionally, she felt good and confident all through the exercise about herself and her competence. She described a perfect day in her new life. I played a bit of the devil’s advocate as I tried to introduce in the visualization disturbing elements to make it more realistic, but not even my second-guessing questions weren’t able to change her all-round good state. At the end of the exercise, she was so touched by what she experienced that she was crying with joy.
We discussed all her previously listed questions and insecurities considering this visualization experience. She had no doubt whatsoever that she found her new vocation.All the issues, while remaining, became all resolvable.
One of the next days after our session she went and applied at the University to study pedagogy.
The idea of this exercise was to eliminate for a short time all the insecurity, the fears and beliefs that commonly rule her life and to have a chance to experience the goal she set for herself so she can handle the issues about this change in light of this experience.
I understood from this wonderful visualization experience that if we are able to set aside the “what if”-s then we get a real change to recognize what we truly desire, what our dreams and hopes are and the path we want to go on.
I believe I found a tool that will add significant value to my life as a coach. I am looking forward to using it in the future as I already had the opportunity to see it work at its best.
ICA – ENGLISH CAMPUSCourse: Coaching Skills: Visualization