Visualize and Affirm Your Desired Outcomes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Jack CanfieldYou have an awesome power that most of us have never been taught to use effectively.

Elite athletes use it. The super rich use it. And peak performers in all fields now use it. That power is called visualization.

The daily practice of visualizing your dreams as already complete can rapidly accelerate your achievement of those dreams, goals and ambitions.

Visualization of your goals and desires accomplishes four very important things.

1.) It activates your creative subconscious which will start generating creative ideas to achieve your goal.

2.) It programs your brain to more readily perceive and recognize the resources you will need to achieve your dreams.

3.) It activates the law of attraction, thereby drawing into your life the people, resources, and circumstances you will need to achieve your goals.

4.) It builds your internal motivation to take the necessary actions to achieve your dreams.

Visualization is really quite simple. You sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and imagine — in as vivid detail as you can — what you would be looking at if the dream you have were already realized. Imagine being inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes at the ideal result.

Mental Rehearsal

Athletes call this visualization process “mental rehearsal,” and they have been using it since the 1960s when we learned about it from the Russians.

All you have to do is set aside a few minutes a day. The best times are when you first wake up, after meditation or prayer, and right before you go to bed. These are the times you are most relaxed.

Go through the following three steps:

STEP 1. Imagine sitting in a movie theater, the lights dim, and then the movie starts. It is a movie of you doing perfectly whatever it is that you want to do better. See as much detail as you can create, including your clothing, the expression on your face, small body movements, the environment and any other people that might be around. Add in any sounds you would be hearing — traffic, music, other people talking, cheering. And finally, recreate in your body any feelings you think you would be experiencing as you engage in this activity.

STEP 2. Get out of your chair, walk up to the screen, open a door in the screen and enter into the movie. Now experience the whole thing again from inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes. This is called an “embodied image” rather than a “distant image.” It will deepen the impact of the experience. Again, see everything in vivid detail, hear the sounds you would hear, and feel the feelings you would feel.

STEP 3. Finally, walk back out of the screen that is still showing the picture of you performing perfectly, return to your seat in the theater, reach out and grab the screen and shrink it down to the size of a cracker. Then, bring this miniature screen up to your mouth, chew it up and swallow it. Imagine that each tiny piece — just like a hologram — contains the full picture of you performing well. Imagine all these little screens traveling down into your stomach and out through the bloodstream into every cell of your body. Then imagine that every cell of your body is lit up with a movie of you performing perfectly. It’s like one of those appliance store windows where 50 televisions are all tuned to the same channel.

When you have finished this process — it should take less than five minutes — you can open your eyes and go about your business. If you make this part of your daily routine, you will be amazed at how much improvement you will see in your life.

Create Goal Pictures

Another powerful technique is to create a photograph or picture of yourself with your goal, as if it were already completed. If one of your goals is to own a new car, take your camera down to your local auto dealer and have a picture taken of yourself sitting behind the wheel of your dream car. If your goal is to visit Paris, find a picture or poster of the Eiffel Tower and cut out a picture of yourself and place it into the picture.

Create a Visual Picture and an Affirmation for Each Goal

We recommend that you find or create a picture of every aspect of your dream life. Create a picture or a visual representation for every goal you have — financial, career, recreation, new skills and abilities, things you want to purchase, and so on.

When we were writing the very first Chicken Soup for the Soul® book, we took a copy of the New York Times best seller list, scanned it into our computer, and using the same font as the newspaper, typed Chicken Soup for the Soul into the number one position in the “Paperback Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous” category. We printed several copies and hung them up around the office. Less than two years later, our book was the number one book in that category and stayed there for over a year!

Index Cards

We practice a similar discipline every day. We each have a list of about 30-40 goals we are currently working on. We write each goal on a 3x5 index card and keep those cards near our bed and take them with us when we travel. Each morning and each night we go through the stack of cards, one at a time, read the card, close our eyes, see the completion of that goal in its perfect desired state for about 15 seconds, open our eyes and repeat the process with the next card.

Use Affirmations to Support Your Visualization

An affirmation is a statement that evokes not only a picture, but the experience of already having what you want. Here’s an example of an affirmation:

I am happily vacationing 2 months out of the year in a tropical paradise, and working just four days a week owning my own business.

Repeating an affirmation several times a day keeps you focused on your goal, strengthens your motivation, and programs your subconscious by sending an order to your crew to do whatever it takes to make that goal happen.

Expect Results

Through writing down your goals, using the power of visualization and repeating your affirmations, you can achieve amazing results.

Visualization and affirmations allow you to change your beliefs, assumptions, and opinions about the most important person in your life — YOU! They allow you to harness the 18 billion brain cells in your brain and get them all working in a singular and purposeful direction.  you can read more on brain based learning here.

Your subconscious will become engaged in a process that transforms you forever. The process is invisible and doesn’t take a long time. It just happens over time, as long as you put in the time to visualize and affirm, surround yourself with positive people, read uplifting books and listen to audio programs that flood your mind with positive, life-affirming messages.

If you would like a step-by-step, comprehensive approach for defining your goals, creating affirmations for them and how to create a powerful visual support system, take a look at our Vision Boards Kits... they contains a everything you need--just add your dreams!

Repeat your affirmations every morning and night for a month and they will become an automatic part of your thinking... woven into the very fabric of your being.

You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:



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    Love it! Jack, thank you for this.

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    There it is, a step by step guide. There's just no excuse not to do it!!! This is very helpful Jack! Thanks!!!

  • Hi Jack,

    Great post, I remember taking your advice years ago, about how to set and visualize goals. It made such a big difference in my life, and I've been using it ever since. I agree, the use of pictures is great, it really helped me and it continues to help me get into the right frame of mind for visualization.

    Thanks so much,

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  • msurdyka

    What effect will the 'movie theater' visualization accomplish? Are you supposed to substitute your own visualization instead of the movie theater? Thanks! Great article!

    • Lonnie Bedell

      The movie is your visualization!

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    What an amazing article. I am really Inspired. You are great Jack!

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    If a dollar were given every time the term "The Universe" shows up in
    the book, you would easily have enough money to buy yourself and a
    friend an elegant dinner. On one page, it appeared five times,[14] and
    on other pages it often appears two or three times. Same goes for the
    word "avatar."[15]

    What lies behind The Secret is a movement called New Thought, a
    modern forerunner of the New Age Movement. Byrne apparently thought she
    was uncovering a long buried belief, and the DVD forcefully dramatizes
    this as something kept underground for centuries, with only handfuls of
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    • Lonnie Bedell

      One of the images that flies by in the movie is "The life power and how to use it" circa 1906, and another is "The Secret of the Ages" (my personal favorite), originally from 1951. So she certainly knew of these ideas when making the movie. I'm certainly appreciative of learning about these 2 books via the movie. Making it seem overly dramatic is just marketing hype.

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    I find telling others about my goals helps me to both hear them audibly, but also doesn't allow me to back out of them. I did this when I first went skydiving, and there was no way I couldn't go through with it.

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    I read about this practice years ago in Psycho-cybernetics.

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    Visualization truly works. I made a vision board that visualizes my goals and dreams a few years ago. I have so far achieved most of my dreams and I know the rest will follow through. I have worked as a TV producer without going to journalism school and I am doing lots of other amazing things, thanks to visualization.

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