Posted on 2022-11-01
Talk about visualization is all over the internet, in books, and in movies. Years ago I remember reading “The Secret” which popularized the idea that if you visualize what you want in life, it will come to you.
In some ways, I had always been a believer in the power of visualization – but I had never really taken the time to sit down and do it on a regular basis with intention. Being so focused on leveraging tangible systems and processes to grow my business, I felt skeptical that visualization would have a direct impact on the business’ growth. Eventually, I found myself in a unique moment that so many entrepreneurs experience: I found myself at a crossroads in my professional life, unclear of which goals were worth pursuing and what direction I should take my business in.
I realized that if I wanted to get serious about my goals, I needed to put in the work to clarify what my vision should look like. So I hired a visualization coach.
Enter Darya. When we met, I remember being struck by how she balanced a strong business sense with an oddly-intuitive spiritual sense (today I believe the best visualization coaches have both of those abilities in equal parts).
We began working together regularly. The things that happened next completely changed the way I looked at the power of visualization.
My Goals Completely Aligned
Before I hired Darya, my goals were all over the place. I had so many ideas and projects in the works: some were half-built and others were still in my mind. Before long, I found myself feeling scattered and stressed out most of the time – and without clarity on almost any of the ideas I had.
In one way, it felt pretty common to jump from one idea to the next, trying to find the “one thing” that clicks and brings fulfillment. As a Business Coach, I was exceptionally comfortable guiding my clients (other entrepreneurs) to intentionality with their businesses – but I was unable to apply that same intentionality to myself. I lacked the singular focus that I needed to be successful.
Once I started working with my visualization coach, she helped me to get clear on what I really wanted in life and what my priorities were. The process alone of systematically going through every goal, dream and desire was transformational for me. It completely shifted the way that I looked at my goals and what I wanted to achieve. The personal and professional spheres of my life became much more aligned and I was able to focus on what mattered most to me.
Napoleon Hill, in his book “Think and Grow Rich,” talks about the importance of having a “Definite Chief Aim” in life. The concept is that if we don’t know where we’re going, it’s impossible to get there. This was so true for me before I got purposeful with visualization.
I Slowed Down The Pace Of My Life
“You should sit in solitude for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re busy, then you should sit for an hour.” – Zen Proverb
I was among the ones who thought that they could work incredibly hard, power through and push harder to get ahead. The type of person who should have been sitting for an hour in solitude. Like most entrepreneurs, I had gotten used to living in a perpetual “action mode,” constantly trying to juggle multiple moving parts on the journey to make things happen. As a result, time always seemed to be slipping through my fingers. I was a perfect example of what they call ‘busy being busy.’
That feeling of saying “yes” to everything and taking on too much is something that I see a lot in my clients as well. From multiple diverse projects to new partnerships to travel abroad to investing in entirely new business ideas, entrepreneurs often think that we have to do everything and be everywhere in order to succeed.
Darya helped me to see that slowing down was just as important as putting in the hard work. Slowing down isn’t about being lazy; it’s about being intentional with our time. It’s about making the time and taking the time to connect with one’s self and what we really want.
Accordingly, visualization helped me to understand where I was allocating my time and why it was being allocated in those specific places. Taking a step back to look at the “big picture” became a priority for me. I started to schedule time for myself on a daily basis to reflect, to refocus, to just…be. Saying “no” to things that didn’t serve me became a lot easier. I began to focus on quality over quantity. Again, this led to a lot more clarity in my life and a sense of calm that I hadn’t felt before.
The acclaimed author and professor, Brene Brown, talks about the importance of rest and self-care in her book “Rising Strong.” She says that in order to have the courage to show up and be vulnerable, we need to recharge our batteries. Time might be a finite resource, but energy is not. Embracing a purposeful visualization practice helped me to take care of myself emotionally, mentally and energetically so that I could show up as my best self every time.
My Goals And Targets Started Coming True
I still can’t pinpoint how or why, but my goals started becoming reality. It might sound like voodoo magic or a fairytale, but it’s not.
One of the very first visualizations I wrote down on paper with my visualization coach was on the topic of my dream home. My family and I had lived in our same house for many years, but we started to feel we had outgrown it, everything from the neighborhood to the feeling it conveyed to us. We had grown and the house had not grown with us.
We spent months on end searching for a new family home with zero luck. Nothing on the market felt like it was a “fit” – and we were quickly reaching a dead-end.
Darya facilitated some visualization exercises. We envisioned what my “dream home” looked like in my mind. I wrote it down on paper and pinned it up on my vision board.
A month later, the exact house I had visualized landed in my lap. I was put in touch with someone who wanted to sell their home privately – and when I stepped into the house for an impromptu visit, it looked almost identical to the house I had visualized in my mind. It gave me chills being in there and seeing it. We managed to sell our house for the right price and ended up getting that dream home.
The “law of attraction” is the closest thing that can explain what happened: the theory by which like attracts like. By focusing on what I wanted and putting that intention out, the universe conspired to make it happen.
Now of course I’m not saying we can all sit around and visualize our dream life expecting it to come to us. What I am saying is this: when we clarify what we want, bring incredible focus to it and take aligned actionable steps in that direction, anything is possible.
Since then, other goals that I’ve written down and visualized have also started to come to fruition. Visualization doesn’t create overnight successes, but it’s a practice that has rapidly accelerated the time it takes to go from goal to actualization.
When I hired my visualization coach, I had no idea that these three things would happen as a result – but I’m grateful they did. If you’re feeling lost or stuck in your life, I highly recommend working with a visualization coach. It might just be the best decision you ever make. Who couldn’t use a little more structured magic in their personal and professional lives?
Shawn Johal is a serial Entrepreneur & the Founder of Elevation Leaders, a Business Growth practice helping companies 10X their business valuation. He is the best-selling author of “The Happy Leader” and has been featured in publications including Fast Company, the Chicago Tribune, Inc. Magazine, and more. He is a member-leader of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), having previously led the Montreal Chapter as President.