There are two distinctively different ways to do creative visualization depending on what is required to make your dreams and desires actualize. I call them action and attraction intentions.
The first is for action-oriented intentions that require more physical engagement and behavioral changes.
These answer the question, “What do you have to learn, create, produce, or do to get your main intention realized?” Action intentions are not about resources or what you need on a material level. They rely completely on you doing something to accomplish the goal.
The second is the more classic law of attraction-oriented intention but for you skeptics out there framing this kind of technique as a way of address limiting beliefs and developing new neural pathways might make more sense to you.
Attraction intentions address resources like time or money, guidance, or support that come from outside yourself.
They require you to focus on being a magnet for your desire, enlisting the Universe to do some rearranging on your behalf, and that usually involves other people. Attraction Intentions include “allowing” yourself to receive what you are asking. The state of “allowing” is the focus of Attraction Intentions, and it’s one way to start reprogramming your beliefs for success.
Address the Cursed “Hows”
Inspirational writer Mike Dooley coined the phrase “the cursed hows,” advising to not focus on them and allow the universe to handle the how of it all. This is good advice for law of attraction intentions, but in some cases there is tremendous benefit to focusing on the “how” steps for accomplishing what you want.
Hows are a method of controlling an outcome and forcing your will and expectations onto a situation. They can also help by minimizing your doubtful mind’s interference, and by keeping you actively engaged in the process.
You don’t want to pigeonhole yourself to just one narrow roadmap for accomplishing your goals or desires. Why limit yourself before a limitless Universe of possibilities?
There is always more than one way to make a fortune, find a lifelong partner, realize inner peace, etc. Not every way is right for every person.
Those “cursed hows” can get in the way for some people, in certain circumstances, yes, but not in all of them. You need to have three major factors working in concert: desire, belief, and action. Otherwise, we’re prone to these imbalanced states:
- Dreaming about what you want while believing you won’t ever have it.
- Believing you can realize your dream but doing nothing to bring it forth.
- Taking action and staying busy but not focusing your energy in the direction of your dreams.
I find that most people routinely tend toward one of these situations. So if you recognize yourself in any of these, consciously choosing to either address an intention using action or attraction techniques will bring balance and success to your visualization practice.
According to recent visualization experiments in labs and universities, focusing on the “hows” creates more success with performance visualization, as opposed to dwelling exclusively on desired outcomes.
As opposed to fantasizing, a more effective way of visualization is to think about the processes that are involved in reaching a goal, rather than just the end-state of achieving it.
~ JEREMY DEAN
This might be counterintuitive to Law of Attraction fans and of course, you are free to visualize action intentions with any method you prefer. Whatever works for you…works.
Some of us have more success with structure and self regulation, whereas others have more success by letting go and being guided in a less linear and controlling process.
Some find more success by focusing on the end result, then remaining open and working from a more intuitive place of inspired action.
How to Visualize for Action Intentions
To visualize an action intention, completely focus on or imagine doing the tasks or actions yourself, getting closer to your main intention becoming a reality.
A college study asked half the students in a group to visualize the goal of getting good grades. The other half were asked to visualize reading and gaining the required skills and knowledge necessary to get good grades.
The students who visualized the actions required to get good grades ended up getting the higher grades.
HERE ARE FOUR METHODS TO VISUALIZE AN ACTION INTENTION: Select the method you prefer for each of your dreams and desires.
Find It Enjoyable and Interesting
As you imagine yourself doing the actions, make sure you experience what you are doing as enjoyable and interesting. Your mind draws you toward pleasure and away from pain. By imagining these actions as pleasurable, you will naturally want to both visualize doing them, and you’ll find it easy to consistently do the actions in real life too.
Some actions might be boring or tedious to perform, so adding pleasurable elements to them while you visualize can make them easier to execute. At the very least, you can find them “interesting” if not joyful. Be creative in re-defining your actions or tweaking them so that they bring more passion.
Visualize Overcoming Obstacles
It’s also helpful to imagine some anticipated problems, and visualize your success in overcoming them. Visualization work done with Olympic athletes sets them up to overcome obstacles, and keeps the visualization grounded in reality—which as we know throws us unexpected curve balls.
There’s another fascinating reason for focusing on problems during an action visualization session.
Part of our identity depends on having problems to work through. What we’re doing here is focusing on “problems” that we select, so our inner problem-solver can get busy in a constructive way, without creating unexpected (sabotaging) problems for us instead. It’s a bit like throwing a dog a bone to appease it.
Action intentions may require behavioral changes, such as developing new habits or acquiring new qualities:
- Create or remove habits
- Enlist willpower or “won’t” power
- Generate lots of enthusiasm and motivation to energize action
Acquire more patience and understanding as you learn to get into more active habits to realize your goal and potential. Develop “grit”. Incorporating a visualization scenario in which you develop new behaviors can make a big difference.
If you are into personal development on this level, there are many programs out there that will complement your action intention visualization practice—programs like those offered by Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris or Peak Performance etc.
In other words, you could visualize yourself successfully using a device or technique that creates the behavioral change you seek.
I hope you’re starting to get the hang of the action variety of creative visualization. You can apply it in any number of creative ways to help you take action toward your dream coming true.
Here are some examples of action visualizations:
This is the intention:
I WEIGH 145 POUNDS BY RELEASING 30 POUNDS OF BODY FAT THIS YEAR.
I imagine myself enjoying the taste of vegetables more and more.
I see myself learning to cook healthier and being excited and creative with it.
I experience a huge sugar craving. I see myself distancing myself from it and getting past it.
Everyday I see myself walking for an hour and making this a lifelong habit.
I MAKE $50,000 SELLING MY PAINTINGS THIS YEAR.
I see myself learning and applying research on marketing artwork and it might take longer than I think to figure it all out but I persist.
Networking and tooting my own horn is alien to me, however, I get better at it and see results from my efforts more and more.
I make it a habit to post my work on social media everyday and make connections to maintain exposure.
How to Visualize for Attraction
In addition to you taking action, the manifestation of your main intention relies upon outside resources—other people, support, luck, circumstances, chance meetings, financial resources, information, guidance, divine timing, or anything else you can think of. All of this requires beliefs on your part that allow you to attract those resources.
You might need an orchestra of events to be conducted on your behalf, and some of those events might depend on factors out of your personal control, reach, or influence.
For some people, allowing good things to enter their life is quite challenging. Believing and allowing are the attributes you develop while visualizing for an attraction intention.
Either during your visualization practice, or at other times (sometimes in dreams), you are likely to experience creative new ideas, solutions and changes in perception.
This is excellent, and a sure sign that the process is taking hold in your subconscious mind. Definitely make notes and take appropriate inspired action on these inspired ideas. In other words, you are encouraged to actively recognize solutions and any concrete resources that may show up.
HERE ARE FOUR METHODS TO VISUALIZE AN ATTRACTION INTENTION: Select the method you prefer for each of your dreams and desires.
Take a look at your main intentions. Does any of the requirements to make it happen seem out of your control? Bigger than just you? Outside your sphere of influence? These are perfect candidates for attraction visualization.
You can come up with visualization scenarios in which the needed resource shows up. Use your imagination! There are myriad ways for the Universe to deliver your resources. You are using this exercise to create a feeling of “yes, this is handled.” It doesn’t matter exactly how it gets handled.
You may want to include the visual or feeling of yourself as an actual magnet, drawing in the resources. Or you may prefer to imagine them being delivered to you in some other fun, delightful way.
You can visualize the interim steps of receiving resources. Working with it in this way, in smaller bite-sized morsels, is easier to keep doubt and resistance at bay.
Expanding Beyond Limiting Beliefs
Often, beneath an attraction intention is a limiting belief or situation that can prevent good resources from coming in. This is where it can get sticky and tricky. Notice where you experience disbelief, resistance or rigidity in your thinking or in your body.
What are the underlying feelings and stories that contradict what you want? Are you “not enough” “not valuable”? Are you “too uneducated” or “a loser”? Painful messages from past hurts and experiences can be deeply ingrained in you.
Reversing these limiting messages, and replacing them with empowering feelings and statements adds new neural pathways to your brain circuitry. So keep in mind that it takes time and repetition. But the result can be life-changing.
Using visualization for attraction type intentions can give you permission to have what your heart desires.
Getting to the Essence
What we put out is what gets reflected back to us. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in the Law of Attraction or you believe strictly in the power of the subconscious mind, or the Reticular Activation System of the brain. What matters is that you set your “inner vibe” to emit the energetic vibration of what you want.
What would you experience if your attraction intention was fulfilled? Let’s use the example “attracting generous art collectors who buy my paintings.” What would collectors buying your paintings give you for your experience? Would it provide you with a sense of acceptance, success, self-esteem, worthiness? Would you look at your artwork as more valuable and more powerful?
If you inquire within yourself, and keep going deeper, you will ultimately arrive at a feeling place. How will you feel when your intention has become reality?
Whatever you think you might experience by achieving this goal, or by having your dream come true—these are the exact qualities and values you need to develop right NOW. Yes, even before your intention becomes actualized. That clearly defined feeling state will attract the necessary resources.
These qualities might include patience, determination, creativity, leadership, compassion, peacefulness, bliss, etc. Values could take the form of family, love, stability, freedom, etc.
Once you identify the Essence of what you want, you can use attraction visualization to become a vibrational match by visualizing scenarios in which you embody those qualities and values. The scenarios don’t have to be related to your main intention, but it’s great if they do.
See Yourself As the Person You’ll Become
You can program your subconscious mind by visualizing the version of yourself who has already achieved your main intention. You’ll begin to embody the traits and characteristics necessary to actualize your intention.
Begin to think of yourself as the person you want to become. What are the characteristics and traits that you can adapt now that will move you toward your future lifestyle?
Express yourself in a fresh and new way. Make it a habit to act, think, and talk as the person you’ll become once you attract the resources you need for your Main Intention.
Here are examples of visualization scenarios for an attraction intention:
I MAKE $80,000 SELLING MY PAINTINGS THIS YEAR.
I attract a dozen people who collect art and pay generously to have my work in their collection. – MAGNETIZE RESOURCES
Making a good living from doing art is impossible and only available to a select few rich and connected trust fund kids changes to I am just as worthy and valuable as trust fund kids and I attract wealthy people to purchase my art because I makes incredible art. – EXPAND BEYOND LIMITING BELIEFS
My paintings are being seen as valuable, interesting and worth a lot of money in the art world. ESSENCE – What I create has value
I am attractive to people who want to purchase my artwork. – SEE YOURSELF AS THE PERSON YOU’LL BECOME
Congratulations for embarking on your Action-Attraction Visualization adventure! Your dreams are already sparkling a little brighter.