Unless you were on a year-long voyage to Antarctica in 2006, you probably recall the international phenomena of The Secret: a film, and because of it’s mass success, a book that sold over 19 million copies and was translated into 46 languages. So, why all the hype? It focused on the ancient teaching of the Law of Attraction. Like attracts Like. The Power of Positive Thinking. Gratitude and Visualization. And this stuff ain’t some radical woo-woo witchcraft, it dates back to some of the most powerful and successful authors of the 19th century, including Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, Wallace Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich, and Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life. Some even say this dates back to the Bible, in which the famous proverb tells us straight up: ask, believe, and, ye shall receive.
I know it can all sound a little bogus at first. The first time I heard The Secret, I
was on a date–he picked me up and was listening to the book on CD (it was 2006). I remember thinking, “weird… can we just put on some LCD Soundsystem or something?” Fast forward 5 years and I found myself watching the film late at night, falling heavily under it’s influence, and deciding to apply some of it’s principals to my life.
What I experienced was it’s potent influence in guiding me into one of the most defining and transformative years of my life: taking off on an international trip by myself, accepting a job in Barcelona, and eventually traveling to over 30 countries, learning a new language, getting far more out of my comfort zone then I thought possible, meeting my own awesome personal tribe, and granting me a confidence and fearlessness in myself that I could do anything I could think of, and more.
To this day I practice visualization and am in constant awe of the manifestations that I receive from tuning in. Anyone can get exactly what they want with these tools. Focus, apply, then sit back, relax and ride the waves of awesomeness that the Universe is waiting to unfold for you. Start with these 7 steps:
1. Check Yourself
If you want to make this happen, your mind must be open, clear and able to receive.
Be in a good headspace, and in touch with who you are at your core. First and foremost, watch out for activities, substances and habits that don’t serve your well-being. If you recognize these activities are standing in the way of your goal, remove them as quickly as possible. For visualization to work, you need to have a clear head with the ability to receive, hear and listen to yourself.
Stop assuming and judging. We tend to assume the worst, judge others, and ourselves even harder. See where your temperament is at. Are you flipping the bird in traffic or impatient with a driver? Do you gossip about your coworkers? Get mad at yourself for petty things? Observe yourself, without judging. Practice being calm, breathe, and do like Otis Redding–try a little tenderness.
2. Realize Your Intention
Your reason behind your want must be of good, pure and honest intention
Think about what it is you want, and get down to the bottom of each why. You want that new job? Round the world trip? Write it all down (this is key) and keep asking yourself why you want that, until you’re so sick of asking why, there are no more answers and you’ve found yourself at Z.
Your intention must be of good nature: you’ll take that new job because you’re going to be a great manager and help others develop in their career, or you’ll be selling a product you truly believe in that’s doing something awesome in the world, or simply because it’s a better paycheck and you can finally live comfortably and in turn be a happier, more generous and loving person.
Set your intention from your heart with authenticity and integrity. Make it a priority to have some quiet moments each morning to think about your intention. Depending on what I’m visualizing that day or week, I try to set a one word intention each morning. These could be something like: clarity, positivity, compassion. I even set three words at the beginning of each year to work on, and recommend doing this no matter what time of the year.
3. See It Clearer Than Crystal
Imagine how good the result will feel, smell, sound, look and taste
Now is the fun part. What do you want? This is no time to be vague. Get laser-sharp with your focus and narrow down your desires to just one at a time.
Write out a list of exactly what you want. Get as descriptive as possible, down to what it smells like, what your relationships will be like, even what you’ll eat everyday, I mean it! For example, that new job:
- I envision a job where I feel excited to wake up and get my ass to work each morning
- I see myself in a gorgeous space with exposed brick and lots of light
- I hear myself laughing with clients who I am in a respectful, connected relationship with
- I feel proud of the long days and hard work ahead of me, because I give it my all and receive acknowledgment and recognition for my work
- I see myself being able to incorporate my love of travel within this role
It is so important to be as descriptive and thoughtful as possible with these things. It will help you to remain focused, and all the while, keep ‘your why’ in mind. The more you tune in, the more you meditate, you’ll quickly pick up momentum and things will move so fast, the old you may not even recognize this new super-self you’ve become.
4. Think Only Positive Thoughts
Where thoughts go, energy flows
Have you ever noticed that if you think something negative about something someone, it comes true? Hopefully, you’re proven wrong. More often than not, if we hold a negative association to an event or person before we know the outcome, that outcome will most likely be negative.
On the flip side, if we go into an experience with an open mind and open heart, the best result will come. Back to the rule of physics–like attracts like–and negative attracts negative. If you are allowing negative thoughts into your space, it will distract your mind, your heart, and your gut, creating blocks, and you’ll be less susceptible to seeing your desire through.
Eliminate any negative thoughts and words around what you want. When you’re worrying, you attract and allow fear to rule your world. You’ve seen it – FEAR–False Evidence Appearing Real. Anything negative that you think about, you’re letting in. We become fixated upon things and create stories in our heads, which lead us into a downward spiral that can feel hard to climb out of. Replace words like can’t, don’t, not with positive action words–I am, I can, I do.
5. Affirm Your Thoughts Daily
Taking fake it ’til you make it to a whole new level
Take that goal, and shout it from the rooftops! Luckily, there’s many ways for us to manifest affirmation that don’t require outdoor voices. What are affirmations? These are the small sayings that are going to lead your mind into the right direction and attract what you want into your life. Here’s a few examples:
- I thrive financially. Money is all around me
- I am in a loving relationship with a partner who is invested in my happiness, well-being and makes me laugh till I cry and vice versa
- I am an entrepreneur and can do whatever I put my mind to. I make the right decisions and am confident in my choices
Here are 3 ways you can practice affirmations:
- Say it like you mean it. Write your affirmations down and say them daily each morning. I always recommend lighting a candle, sitting in silence for a few moments, and reciting them aloud
- Write them on post-its, or treat yourself to some beautiful stationary and put them on your mirror, your closet, as your desktop screensaver, your phone background, on the fridge, in the fridge, wherever it is that you’re going to look at every day. I put my three words of the year as my phone’s home screen and constant reminder
- Create a vision board. Find photos, words, cut outs from magazines and find images online of what you want your life to look like. Again, be specific as possible. Why do you want that thing? How will that be apart of your life?
Let these words come from a place of truth, honesty and with a strong will for them to come true
6. Practice Gratitude
Replace the ’tude
Sometimes it’s easier for us to feel like we’re the victim. We fall into our stories: “I’m lonely”, “I don’t make enough money”, “I’m not pretty, smart, confident, (insert comparative adjective here) enough”. Instead of indulging in these thoughts, make a list of Three Blessings that happen to you each day. I don’t mean the usual suspects, like listing your mom, dog and friends, but three specific things that happened to you in a day, and think about why you think they happened. It could be as little as someone holding a door for you, or maybe even that you held the door for someone, and you’re thankful that you were raised to be an observant, considerate person.
I challenge you to write Three Blessings down before bed each night and notice if you start waking up on the right side of the bed.
Allow me to receive this…or something better
This is where the magic happens, baby. This final step is the most important element of all. Surrendering is not to be confused with giving up, rather, letting go. We look inside, set an intention, get clarity, act and think positively, affirm and give gratitude. After all of that, we leave it up to the energy we’ve created to let the final pieces fall into place.
This last step can feel the hardest, because we already given it all we’ve got. It’s the homestretch. It’s a true test of our patience, and usually the point where you want to throw your hands and the air and yell, “I give up!” But just know, that last bit, those moments, are when all of your efforts will be rewarded. Sometimes you don’t get your exact desired outcome, and maybe what we need isn’t what think we want. Have faith, have trust, and the Universe will not only bring you want you need, but something better than you could’ve even imagined.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on A Realist’s Guide to Visualization. Was it helpful, are you putting this into practice? Let us know!
About the Author
Natalie Holbrook is a health and wellness contributor for Burgundy Fox. She has a background in nutrition and on her way to becoming a health coach. She is a trained reiki healing practitioner and is undergoing her 200 hour yoga teacher training where she resides in San Francisco, California. Her lifelong passion has been to help others thrive by finding their authentic selves through practiced intuition and healthy living. Look out for her wellness retreats coming at the end of 2017!