Before we discuss how to do visualization correctly, it would be useful to know what exactly visualization is and what are the different levels of visualization.
What Is Visualization?
Many people have different interpretations. To me visualization is a science. It is simply a technique of using our imagination to create what we want in our life.
It is based on the concept that “If you can see it, you can be it”.
Difference between Visualization and Day Dreaming
There is a difference between Visualization and normal daydreaming. According to Wikipedia, Creative Visualization is done in the first person and the present tense – as if the visualized scene were unfolding all around you; whereas normal daydreaming is done in the third person and the future tense – the “you” of the daydream is a puppet which the real “you” is watching from afar.
Different levels of Visualization
In my research on Visualization, I develop some insights that might be different from what is commonly mentioned.
I believe there are three stages of Visualization. Stage 1 being the most basic stage of dissociated visualization, while stage 3 is full scale, intensified associated visualization.
Seasoned athletes know how to get to Level 3 immediately. If this is the first time you are exposed to visualization, just bear in mind that you should aim to progress from Stage 1 to Stage 3 gradually.
Stage 1 – Dissociated Visualization
This level of visualization means you experience the experience from a third party point of view. What it means is that you will be looking at yourself doing the movements you want. It is almost as if you are watching another person doing it.
Note that although Dissociated Visualization and Day Dreaming are similar in that they are from a third party point of view, Dissociated Visualization refers to present tense, while Day Dreaming refers to future tense.
Some people ask me “Where should my position be with respect to the experience in this dissociated visualization?”
Well, there is no hard and fast rule, but generally there are a few positions that I recommend.
First is aerial view. Imagine that a CCTV is placed at one of the ceiling corners of the building you imagine yourself in. The aerial view is how you would be looking at yourself as if you are the CCTV.
Second is the cinema view. Imagine yourself present at a movie theatre or stadium, watching a movie/live game of you. The view is as how you would be looking at the screen or the game as you seat down in the comfort of the movie theatre or grandstand.
Difference between Stage 2 and Stage 3
Stage 2 is Associated Visualization and Stage 3 is Intensified Associated Visualization. They are essentially the same except for the element of sub modalities
Sub modalities are intricately linked to Neuro Linguistic Programming and Motivational speaker like Richard Bandler and Tony Robbins have regularly referred to it.
Sub modalities are the critical elements that would make visualization seem so real that you wouldn’t even doubt it never happened, or it could make a visualization seem mundane.
To put it simply, Sub modalities are the special effects that a movie director used to enhance effects. For example, in a horror movie, the director would often make us view the movie from a first person point of view. So on the screen, we would not see the person, but we would see whatever the person is seeing. A good director would enlarge the view, brighten the colors, play some eerie music in the background, and just as the ghost/vampire/murderer is about to appear, he will turn up the volume to the maximum!
Stage 2 - Associated Visualization
Associated visualization is an experience where you see things from the first person point of view. It is how you experience the experience when you step into your shoes.
Whatever is being experienced, whatever the colors in the scene, the volume being played, it will be as what the subject is experiencing.
Stage 3 – Intensified Associated Visualization
In Stage 3, we take what the subject experience in Stage 2 and intensity it. We intensify an experience by intensifying the sub modalities.
Simply, if a person is not feeling motivated, we will adjust the sub modalities to tune it up. If a person is already feeling motivated, we want to find ways to up even higher notch.
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