4 Types of Visualizations To Start Using Today

visualization Apr 01, 2022
swim athlete looking at camera

It’s no secret that we’re big believers in the power of visualization.

Whether you’re a gym owner, coach, professional, parent, or simply want more out of your life, visualization can make it easier to achieve what you want; whether that’s higher performance, greater confidence, or deeper sleep.

If you’ve followed us for a long time, this isn't the first time you've heard us talk about visualization. You’ve learned about how you can use visualization to train your subconscious brain for dramatic growth, how visualization alone can speed up recovery time after injury, how it can strengthen neural pathways for increased self-belief and bravery, and how visualization can improve skills and even muscle mass.

You also know that as lofty as they are, each one of these claims are backed by scientific proof.

So assuming you’re onboard with this, you have a basic understanding of the science of visualization, and you believe that it is a powerful and important mental training tool that you should be practicing, the obvious next question is, “How do I make visualization a part of my life?”

That’s what this blog is all about!

We share 4 types of visualization you can (and should) be using regularly to support your goals and improve and enrich your life. Even better, we give you a bunch of visualization exercises you can start using today.


#1. Goal Setting Visualizations

If you are not paring your goals with visualization, you are missing out on a free and widely powerful tool at your disposal. If a goal is the destination, visualization is the fuel. When you visualize success, you increase your subconscious belief in your abilities. And as your inner belief strengthens your performance changes. This ultimately makes your goals easier to achieve, more enjoyable, and better aligned with your daily actions.

Here are a few actionable ways to start using goal setting visualizations.


Do The BRAVR Method

The BRAVR™ Method blends visualization, positive self-talk, and mindfulness into one daily exercise. It helps you take control of your mindset and center yourself and your mind on your life pillars and goals.


Do a 5 Senses Visualization

Think deeply about your goal and imagine yourself achieving it. One by one, pay attention to each of your five senses in that visualization. What do you see, smell, hear, feel, and taste?


Attach a Number or Color to Your Goal

In her IG Video, Lindsey describes how you can make your goal even more powerful by attaching a number or a color to it! Watch the video here.


Create a Vision Board

Collecting visuals that represent what you want in the future can act as an outward reminder of what is possible. It helps instill a belief that those things are within reach and keeps your inner motivation top-of-mind.


#2. Event-Based Visualizations

Have you ever felt butterflies before an interview, or scrambled before a tournament? When the adrenaline starts pumping, it’s easy to let it take over and throw you off your game. Event-based visualizations help you get your mind right when you need it the most.


Visualize a Positive Outcome

Similar to the 5 senses visualization above, take a moment to close your eyes and visualize yourself absolutely killing it. Visualize everything from your confident body language, to the welcoming faces of others observing your success.

Having a pre-recorded guided visualization in your back-pocket for situations like this is a fantastic failsafe. And the good news is, the more you use it, the more powerful it will become.


Use Negative Visualization

As counterintuitive as it might seem, there is a time and place for negative visualization. Try this in low-stakes situations first to test out if it works for you.

During our podcast episode with Olympian and NFL Sideline Reporter, Stacey Dales, she recommends using negative visualization to prepare for an event. Sharing her own experience, Stacey imagines every possible worst-case-scenario (within reason) and creates an action plan for each.

She asks herself, “If X happens, what would I do? How would I recover?” Having an emergency plan in place puts her mind at ease and helps her relax into the event.

#3. Confidence Visualizations

Whether you lack confidence in certain situations or struggle with it throughout your life, you are not alone. Nobody is confident all the time; even the most elite athletes have to work at it. But the good news is, confidence is a mindset. And one that can be trained. These visualizations will help!


Create a Highlight Reel

It’s so easy to live in the past and hyper focus on the moments when we were lacking. But often those moments stand out in our memories more than the times we were our very best selves. This highlight reel exercise will help remind you of your proud moments.

Journal about your best performances and the times you felt the most pride throughout your life. Take a little time every day to go through each moment, one at a time, and remember what it felt like to succeed. Add to your highlight reel as you continue to collect successes.

This type of visualization will fill you with confidence and help you put your best self forward.


Do a Guided Visualization

This Tap Into Your True Power Visualization was designed to help you tap into the greatness inside of you, deepen your self-belief, and bring that purpose and power into every facet of your life.

If confidence is an area you want to work on, here are some other free resources for building true, lasting, unshakable confidence.


#4. Stress Reduction & Relaxation Visualization

It can be hard for the body to let go of pent up energy. If you find it difficult to relax after a game, struggle with anxiety, or can’t seem to quiet your thoughts after a long day of work, you could benefit from a stress reduction and relaxation visualization. Here are a couple you can do from anywhere.


White Light & Grey Smoke Visualization

Sit still somewhere and begin paying attention to your breathing. As you inhale, imagine you’re breathing in white light. Breathe in all the goodness, kindness, beauty in the world and visualize it as a white light entering and glowing inside you.

As you exhale out, picture grey smoke. With each breath, release negativity, stress, anger, and regret. Exhale anything that doesn’t serve you.


Hot Cocoa Breath Visualization

In this IG Video, Lindsey teaches a quick visualization she uses all the time called The Hot Cocoa Breath.

Imagine a cup of hot cocoa. First, smell the hot cocoa, then, blow on it to cool it off (but don’t ruin the marshmallows by exhaling too fast). Repeat.

This visualization is practical, fast, and a little bit silly (which is a good thing)


Progressive Relaxation Visualization

Moving from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, this exercise helps you acknowledge and release tension throughout your body to help you relax. Picture a cleansing light inside you moving from one muscle group at a time. Wherever the light is, flex as hard as you can for 5-10 seconds then release.

Imagine the light entering through the top of your head, flex the muscles in your scalp tightly, and release. Move down to your face, your neck, your shoulders, your arms and hands, then down through your torso, your stomach, your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and finally your feet and toes. Finally, visualize that cleansing light traveling once more through your body. This time, with ease and without tension. Let your whole body relax.


We hope this blog helped you recognize how easy it is to introduce visualization into your daily life, and how much it can help you in so many areas of your life.

You don’t need to set aside an hour at a time, you don’t need to invest in any fancy gear, and you don’t need a special program. Visualization is a free mental training resource, available to you anytime you need it, it’s applicable to just about every area of your life, and its effects are exponential. Whether you practice it 5 minutes a week or an hour a day, the benefits of visualization will become evident to you over time.

Enjoy, and let Lindsey know on Instagram if you have any questions about visualization.

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