Gospel singer Karen Clark Sheard sang the following lyrics in her hit song “My Words Have Power” – “You gotta see it before you see it.”
This lyric discusses the importance of visualization. Visualization, according to Cambridge Dictionary, is imagining or remembering someone or something by forming a picture in our minds.
Visualizing is a popular practice. The premise is that if we “see” our goal in our minds first, then we are more likely to achieve it.
This practice is validated in the Bible. According to Proverbs 23:7, as we think in our hearts, so are we. God showed Abraham the stars to give him an image of the number of descendants he would have (Genesis 15:5).
Our Brain’s Filter
This practice is also validated in science. Our brains have a “reticular activating system,” a network of neurons that filters the information we receive. It allows certain information in our brains and blocks out other information. We and others from our past programmed our filter.
If we feel unlovable, our reticular activating system will point out every instance that confirms this belief. This is why we have a confirmation bias. We love to read articles we agree with because it confirms our filter.
The reticular activating system is important because if we took in everything at equal value, our brains would melt down. This system protects our brain by only letting in info it agrees with.
Reprogramming Our Filter
This is why we must reprogram our brains according to the Word of God. This is the importance of looking at our vision boards daily. Our brains will spot opportunities to apply the Word. It will point out evidence that things are working out.
So for instance, if our goal is to improve our confidence, one method of doing this is to read and ponder over scriptures such as 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” or Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Another way is to close our eyes and get a specific picture in our minds of what it looks like when our confidence increases. We see ourselves speaking up at work, dressing for success, setting boundaries, and taking care of ourselves.
Then we consider the positive emotions associated with these actions. We will feel proud, happy, strong, powerful, and grateful that we took these actions. Marrying this picture with these emotions trains our brains to have a totally different filter.
Our brains don’t know the difference between what actually happened to us and imagined memories we are creating. Our brains experience visualizing as real memories. This changes our reticular activating systems.
Benefits of Visualization
The more we visualize, the greater our confidence and security. Simply visualizing ourselves doing things help us develop and improve the skills as if we are actually doing it. We believe what we think because we are reprogramming and changing our brains.
The more we believe in ourselves, the more confident we become, the more skills we build, and we will actually do it. Our brains will seek opportunities to do what we have in our minds.
I review my 2019 vision board regularly. To date, I have already touched 10 of the 20 items on my board. I see my goals first in my mind, then I take action and see them become reality.
How has visualization impacted your life? If you have not already started this practice, I encourage you to try it and share your results.