When I prepared for my first big speech at university, I remember thinking that I was going to mess up and forget the words. I imagined the feeling of being incompetent, nervous, worried and forgetful. I wanted to be confident about a university level toastmasters speaking contest about Canada Day, but my mind only went to the negative. I practiced to the point that I memorized every single word and I could say it in my sleep. As much as I was prepared, I practically made myself sick and was still petrified.
Needless to say, what I imagined came true. Part way through my fully memorized, five-minute talk, I totally drew a blank. My heart was racing, all I could see was the light shining in my eyes, and you could hear a pin drop as the audience waited patiently for me to gather my thoughts. To no avail, I had nothing. I proceeded off the stage and shrunk into the darkness, like Cinderella before midnight. I had prepared so much that I didn’t bring my speech with me. Instead, I failed miserably.
In those days, I didn’t realize the power of visualization. I didn’t know how important our mind was in manifesting what we focus our attention and energy on. In those days, I predominately focused on the negative and my inner self-value matched it, even though I came across fairly confident on the outside.
Today, I know how essential it is to give our laser-like attention to what we want, instead of what we fear. I learned most of this from a book by the title of, ‘Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t’ by Michael Losier. I was so pumped by the concepts in the book that four years after seeing Michael in Puerto Rico, I arranged an event where he addressed several hundred people at a live seminar, in our community.
I am reminded of this as my husband and I have had the pleasure of enjoying ourselves, for the last week, travelling, seeing sights, adventuring, exploring and taking photos. As I sat, overlooking the ocean, watching the sun rise and set from our balcony, I realized that I manifested that setting. I dreamed of it. I visualized it. I planned it. I prepared for it. I expected it. I created it. I appreciated it. I love nature, outdoors, photos, peace, water, serenity, tranquility, travel, adventure and exploration and this is where my thoughts remain, in most of my spare time.
All too often, I hear people saying things like, ‘I wish I could do that’. ‘It must be nice.’ ‘I am jealous.’ ‘I can’t afford that.’ When I hear these kinds of things, it reminds me of how I used to talk and used to feel. I want people to realize that they can have the life experiences they want, as well, if they aren’t already. It first begins with a change in mindset and putting the magic of visualization into action.
The main problem is that most of us sabotage ourselves before we even get started. Some people spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on things like alcohol, entertainment, eating out, drugs, shoes, electronics, newest cell phones, gaming, gambling, pets, clothing, cigarettes, toys, coffee, junk food, movies, etc. but say that they can’t afford a vacation. I once heard that it is not that we can’t afford something; it is that we choose to spend our money on other things, instead. It actually gives us our power back, because then we are in control, if we accept this accountability philosophy.
We live in a 912 square foot affordable home that we bought for cheap and fixed up. We drive 5 and 9 year old vehicles, buy very little in the way of clothing and shoes, have only one 10 year old television in our home, do laundry during off peak hours, make most of our meals at home, buy no name products and work a lot. By earning and saving money in many areas, we have more money to spend on things like travel. We sacrifice many things that others have, make choices that others don’t and live a basic lifestyle so that we can do the activities that we are passionate about.
I knew of a woman who wanted to go to a health conference that would cost her almost $1700. She got a second job, over the Christmas holidays, to save up and book it. It was not coming out of her existing family budget because she decided to earn extra money to pay for it, instead.
A fellow I know decided to quit smoking two packages of cigarettes a day, saved up for a year, so that he could surprise his wife with an anniversary weekend getaway. He put all of the money he would have spent on cigarettes, into a savings account. It added up to hundreds of dollars and it was a remarkable bonus that he remained smoke free, in the long run.
When we repeat phrases, think of and imagine all of the bad things that can happen, the worst case scenarios, the things we can’t do, be or have, our actions follow. If we really want something, we have to clean up our language. The words: ‘can’t’, ‘won’t’, ‘don’t’, ‘couldn’t’ must be reworded to: ‘can’, ‘will’, ‘do’ and ‘could’. Yes, you ‘can’ do this or that. Yes, you ‘will’ accomplish your goal. For sure, you ‘could’ do anything you set your mind to, if you would like to create something new.
What stops us from achieving our desires and wishes is that we let the things we want to remain as desires and wishes instead of intentions and plans. Decide what you want. Get clear on what that will look like, feel like, sound like, taste like and be like. Make plans, write lists, cut out magazine photos, write words, journal the vision, imagine what you will be doing, who you will be with, what you will feel like, while you are doing what you want to do and decide what you are willing to sacrifice to get there. We must do something different if we want something different.
Instead of sabotaging yourself, before you even try, just set your mind on forward. When you make the decision, you will likely make new choices that will match what you really want. When you stay stuck, wherever you are, it is usually because you are listening to people who do not see your vision or you have a predominantly negative mindset. That is okay. It is your vision; not theirs. If we allow people to throw up in our ear we tend to constantly struggle.
Most of us are inclined to a negative mindset. Just because someone else doesn’t see what you see, that is irrelevant. You must believe in your own ability to strive toward your goals. You must decide to change your perspective and set the dial on self-encouragement, instead of discouragement. Picture what you want; surround your thoughts and actions on that.
I have discovered that when I don’t accomplish my goals, it is because I am not ready or I am not grateful enough or parts of my life are not in order or I have something else to learn. Trust the process. It really works. If you are discouraged because you are not reaching the place where you feel successful in your ambitions, know that this is normal. Just keep pressing forward. You are the only person who can ultimately stop yourself from self-improvement, growth, progress, development or achieving what you want.
I choose to visualize the experiences, adventures, explorations, things, feelings and desires that I want, with an abundance of gratitude intertwined, instead of imagining the fears that worry me or the things I don’t want. We dread snow, instead of looking forward to or planning for sun. We complain of the weather, instead of appreciating and enjoying good weather when we have it. We stay in and watch television, when the sun is shining outside. We live in northern climates, instead of southern climates. These are all choices. This means we also have the choice to do things differently.
Visualizing and manifesting, according to what I am thinking, happens for me over and over again (including when I focus on the negative and end up getting the crappy stuff). Visualize, dream, envision, plan, intend, act, think, behave, act, believe, ask and act some more. It is a process that requires consistency, commitment, faith in the process and actions toward a better life. You are worth it. If you are not manifesting all of our hearts desires, what do you need to do to stop holding yourself back? What do you really want?
Practical Example: Trying to wake up and get out of bed: Thinking of coffee; imagining coffee; dreaming of the delicious taste of coffee. Getting out of bed; making coffee. Smelling coffee; craving coffee. Pouring coffee; drinking coffee. This is a perfect demonstration of visualization to manifestation in action. If you can do this with coffee, you can also do it with bigger things….
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Some of Julie’s past columns and talk shows have included: ‘This Rocky Life’, ‘Life is Too Short’, ‘Motivational Minute’, ‘Life, Chocolate & The Pursuit of Sanity’, ‘Candid Conversations’, ‘The Scoop’ and ‘What’s On My Mind’.