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How I use Visualisation to Achieve Goals Fast: A Psychotherapist Explains

If you can dream it, you can achieve it - zig ziglar

I was using visualisation techniques long before I ever realised what they were.

We all do.

As children, we live in our imagination. Unfettered by self-limiting beliefs, we dream of flying.

The sky’s the limit until well-meaning adults begin the process of education and socialisation and, in their encouragement for us to conform; they start to clip away at our metaphorical wings. At school we are discouraged from daydreaming. We begin to fear failure. The exams system penalises error.

The aim is to ‘get it right’. We begin to learn ‘the rules’ and we learn to stick to the rules. There is an established ‘right way’ of doing things and our goal becomes to do it the way we are taught.

This is what happened to me anyway. My childhood conditioning eventually found me getting a safe job and living a safe life. I never took risks and was fearful of getting it wrong, rocking the boat or challenging the status quo. Then my experience of postnatal depression sent me to rock bottom and found me challenging the founding principles of my life.

Visualising success

Somewhere along the line, some significant things happened. As I emerged from my depression, and started investigating the causes of mental health problems, my worldview began to expand and I:

  • Reconnected with my imagination.
  • Let go of self-limiting beliefs.
  • Lost my fear of failure.
  • Began to challenge the status quo.
  • Started taking massive action.

And with a kind of ‘spit on your hands and let’s get to work’ approach, when I now spotted something I felt was wrong, I visualised the solution and set myself the challenge of finding ways to make it better.

Letting go of self-limiting beliefs

When I embarked on a counselling course and realised that much of the training was not fit for purpose, I painted a picture in my head of the kind of effective practitioner I wanted to be and sought out more and more training until I felt I had the skills I needed.

When my private practice got really busy, I noticed I often felt anxious that I would miss an important opportunity to help my client. I imagined how good it would be to have a system of check lists and hand outs to improve my efficiency, so I produced a work book I could use to free up the headspace I needed to get better and faster outcomes.

Losing the fear of failure

When I realised how effective it was to connect coaching to counselling, I imagined an NHS where doctors had really good mental health training and patients were taken of their largely ineffective antidepressants, so I founded a therapeutic coaching charity and trained volunteers in key skills, so they could go out into the community and help so many more than I could on my own. Any mistakes I made along the way were just a way of knowing how not to do it next time.

And all the time, it was the dream that led the way.

Challenging the status quo

In my mind, I would visualise the end result and then began to ‘back engineer‘, breaking down the big goal into smaller actions I could take daily, that would move me in the direction I wanted to go.

When I started talking to schools and realised there was a growing mental health crisis with young people, I visualised a future where mind management skills would be taught to children, to prevent them becoming the mental health patients of the future, so I wrote the Little Book of Mind Management, followed it up with the Big Book of Mind Management then began to train trainers.

Taking massive action

Every day, I focused on the end goal and, day by day, then year by year, things moved forward.

When I look back now, it’s been a super-fast highway of progress I could not possibly have achieved without the visualisation techniques I regularly teach my clients.

A few years back, I wrote an article about ‘coaching for kids’ in a professional journal and was contacted by Stephen Blackburn. He was head of the pastoral team in a school and wanted to introduce therapeutic coaching for the children.

I had a feeling we were kindred spirits with a similar vision of a better mental health system. Stephen introduced me to Social Sense and big things started to happen. Now Fusion coaches and trainers are finally starting to work in schools. It’s likely to go all over the UK.

It is so exciting to see it grow. It’s a bit like planting a tree which, after many years of tending and nurturing, finally bursts into flower.

And it all began with a dream.

If you want to achieve goals fast too, start with the end in mind and:

  • Use your imagination to visualise success
  • Let go of self-limiting beliefs.
  • Lose your fear of failure.
  • Challenge the status quo.
  • And take massive action……

Then let me know how you get on

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.