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The law of attraction tells us that if we visualize our dreams in detail, we can manifest them into reality. But are you doing it right?
Here are 3 tips (and a free worksheet!) for manifesting your dream life. They will help you visualize your dream life in powerful detail so that the law of attraction works for you.
Why should we bother to visualize our dream life?
It can be really easy for some people to tune out talk of visualization because they see it as a silly, new age practice made famous by Rhonda Byrne and The Secret. But I think visualization makes sense on two levels, for mystics as well as diehard pragmatists. Here’s what I mean.
Visualization for mystics
The practice of visualization is often tied to the law of attraction, which simply states that we attract what we think about. So, if we intentionally visualize a hot date, promotion, or perfect parking spot, we attract it to us.
How exactly? Well, when we visualize our dreams in as vivid detail as we can, we essentially trick our brains into thinking we already have whatever it is we are visualizing. So, our brain then triggers the positive emotions that would naturally accompany these achievements. These positive emotions emit high frequencies into the universe that attract more of the same into our lives, causing our visualizations to manifest.
The Secret actually puts it in a really simple way that I love: With your visualization, you essentially place an order with the universe, like you do off a menu at a restaurant. Place your order, believe confidently that you will receive it, and you will.
Visualization for pragmatists
Not convinced? Here’s a less mystical way of putting it if you’re a skeptic.
Visualizing your goals in immense detail causes you to get laser focused about what you want. You work smarter and harder and stay true to your values and priorities. Because you are clear about your life’s direction, you adopt a more positive, confident attitude that allows you to notice more opportunities to help you achieve your goal than you would if you were grumpy and depressed and complaining about your life instead.
The law of attraction works on both levels, so I say pick whichever explanation resonates more with you as you visualize your dream life.
3 tips for manifesting your dream life through visualization
Now, visualization isn’t just your run of the mill daydreaming. To make sure you’re doing it right, here are three helpful tips for manifesting that will aid your visualization process.
Visualization Tip #1: Go big or go home.
We are so used to settling for less than we want that it saddens me to no end that even in our “wildest dreams,” a lot of us can’t imagine not settling.
For instance, let’s say you’re visualizing your dream life ten years from now. This means that I don’t want you saying things like, “Well, I live in a two-bedroom home close to work because my morning commute would be a killer otherwise and, let’s be honest, a teacher’s salary never bought nobody no mansion.”
GIRL, WHAT!? I’m a teacher now too, but in my visualization of my dream life ten years from now, I have a live-in housekeeper, chef, driver, personal trainer, AND a personal assistant. I mean, in my visualization of just five years from now I’m not even living on this continent!
I should say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a two-bedroom house, a daily commute, or a dream life in which a financial fortune plays no role. What’s wrong in the particular example above is that it sounds like the visualizer is limiting herself based on current circumstances. Those circumstances and limitations do not exist in your dream life.
Sure, ten years from now I’m not going to be the President of the United States (because I wasn’t born in this country) but that’s pretty much the only real limitation I can think of! Growing up I used to say things like “Well, I can’t be a model because I have a big nose and I’m only 5’3”. Girl, next! Or I’d say, “Well, I wasn’t born into money so…” or “It’s too late to become a famous actor or singer.” Next!
So, my tips for manifesting start with empathic insistence to go big or go home with your visualization. Why? Because the universe can only can give you what you are ready to receive. If you limit your dreams, the universe will assume you can’t handle or are not interested in more.
Visualization Tip #2: Use the present tense.
Again, the power of visualization comes from the fact that the vivid picture you create in your mind’s eye tricks your brain into thinking you are already living this wonderful life. To help this process along, you want to make sure you are using the present tense when you are writing out or thinking to yourself as you visualize.
So, for example, you want to say, “I am a best-selling author of YA novels.” Why? Because you want to manifest actually being that thing. If you constantly think to yourself, “I will be a best-selling author of YA novels,” all you are going to manifest is a constant state of waiting and hoping. No bueno.
In fact, we use language to distance ourselves from our dreams all the time. My husband’s going to hate me for dragging him but he gave me such a beautiful and relevant example of how we do this without even noticing that I must mention it. Earlier this year, we agreed on what was an ambitious but realistic time line for when we would buy our first home. We both seemed to be on the same page. But, a few days later, I heard him say the following to someone on the phone:
“We are hoping to start looking to buy next year.”
I almost had a heart attack at all the shade and doubt he was throwing on our joint visualization! Can you count the layers of distance and doubt he tacked on to our visualization without even realizing it? Four! That’s how many.
“We are buying a home next year” turned into “We are looking to buy next year.” That turned into “We will start (but maybe not actually finish?) looking to buy next year.” And finally, he landed on “We are hoping (but who knows how that will go?) to start looking to buy next year.”
He said he hadn’t even noticed his wording. But I bet the universe did. Like I said in Tip 1 above, the universe will only bring you what it thinks you truly want and are ready for.
That’s why using the present tense only is essential among these tips for manifesting.
Visualization Tip #3: Put ego aside and visualize with your heart.
The last of my tips for manifesting is that you must visualize from the heart. What do I mean?
In your heart of hearts, if all of your deepest and most honest dreams came true, what kind of life would you be living ten years from now? That is the question we are answering. To do this, we need to put aside ego and pride and expectations and pressures.
I’ll use myself as an example of this since I’ve already revealed how badly my ego has led me astray in the past.
My tenth grade English teacher assigned a visualization poster project at the beginning of the year. On track to receive “Most Likely to Succeed” my senior year, I knew I wanted to be impressive to others.
My so-called dream life included me in a power suit working late in the fancy corner office of a Manhattan skyscraper. A secretary brought dinner to my desk because I was a hot shot attorney with a case in court the next day. Finally, when I was too exhausted to think, a driver in a town car was waiting to escort me home to a fancy but stark penthouse, where I gently kicked off my high heels and slipped into bed. Alone. In the dark. Because what is family? Or self-care? I am a career woman!
A Cornell or Princeton sweatshirt adorned some corner of the poster too.
I stuck with this vision because I got major kudos for it! And it worked. It landed me six figures in debt for a degree from a top 20 law school that I was slaving away to pay off at a fancy lawyer job I hated.
The point? Visualize authentically. Honestly. True to your heart. Visualize as if everybody supported you. As if money were no object. With the assurance that everything will magically work out according to your plan. Because your vision for your life, whether you create it consciously or not, is what you work toward. So if your vision is not aligned with your true values, you can guess how happy you’ll be when it comes true.
(Ready for next steps? Click here to read more about breaking your visualization down into next steps.)
A bit overwhelmed? Download this free worksheet!
If you’re like me, you may find visualization super exciting but also a bit overwhelming. There’s so much possibility! How can you imagine it all at once and in vivid detail with the necessary conviction?
If that’s you, don’t worry. I got you! I created a free worksheet for you to download to help with your visualization. It guides you through imagining every aspect of your perfect life ten years from now.
And it’s pretty much the most fun questionnaire I’ve ever filled out. I can’t wait for you to pour yourself a nice cup of tea and settle down with it yourself.
Just click on the link below to download your free visualization worksheet now!
Which of these manifesting tips do you find the most helpful or the most challenging? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!