Mind Visualization Technique For Building Confidence & Overcoming Fear

The mind visualization exercise I want to share with you today can help you build confidence and overcome fear and procrastination.

Most negative feelings have their root in fear. When we lack confidence, for example, it is typically because we are afraid that we might lose something -- money, reputation,  love, power, and even our lives. We fear not being good enough, not being capable enough, or not being deserving. Even people who seem to have it all, are controlled by fear. 

(You would be surprised how many very successful people are walking around right now afraid that they will be "found out" and ultimately lose everything. Even the Beatles suffered from what is known as the Impostor Syndrome. )

If you are hesitating about doing something you need to do because you fear what “could happen,” this exercise can help you take the next step by bringing the unknown into the familiar.

Think about it this way: The first couple times you tried something that seemed mysterious like riding a bike or swimming it was probably very scary. But after you tried it a few times and enjoyed it, that fear evaporated like fog in sunlight.

As I have discussed many times throughout this site, your brain doesn't KNOW the difference between what you are imagining is happening -- and what is occurring in real life. By visualizing yourself taking the action and having a successful outcome, you can calm irrational fears. You may still feel a bit apprehensive -- and there is nothing wrong with that. The goal is simply to calm your fears enough so you can take action instead of staying frozen because of fear.

Mind Visualization Exercise For Stepping Into the Unknown and Overcoming Fear

This is the mind visualization exercise described in my book, Taming The Tokolosh: Through Fear into Healing, that I used to overcome fear on the night I got home from the hospital after being brutally attacked.

  1.  Identify the situation you want to resolve.
  2. When you think about taking “the next step,” what is it that you are afraid of? (Be specific.)
  3. Separate out what is real (things you know for sure and have evidence of) vs. what you are imagining (e.g. mind reading, what “could” happen, etc.).
  4. What would you prefer to have happen in this scenario?
  5. Given what you know about the situation and taking “all realities into account” (e.g. I knew that the window was broken when I was searching for Advil), how would the best-case scenario play out?
  6. What do you want to have happen if this exercise is successful? What will you see, hear, and feel?
  7. Why is this situation important to you? What is important about that?
  8. Close your eyes and create a picture in your mind of a positive scenario playing out, considering all the realities you know about the situation. Notice any place in the visualization where you still feel resistance or fear. Acknowledge those feelings and zoom in to get clear about what is real vs. what is imagined.
  9. See yourself successfully taking the next baby step and feel how good it feels.
  10. Open your eyes. Take some action toward the goal now -- even if it is a tiny step.

Mind Visualization For Overcoming Procrastination

  1. What are you procrastinating about?
  2. Identify the outcome you want and use mind visualization to "tune" into the image details of the result you want to create. Get very clear about the problem you are solving and what the result will be. Often just getting clarity about what the goal is will motivate you to take action.
  3. Identify the next baby step, it can be tiny. Be as granular as possible, the goal is to get you moving forward.
  4. Using mind visualization, see yourself accomplishing the next baby step and "SEE" that leading to the final outcome.
  5. Take the baby step.  Often procrastination comes from feeling overwhelmed at the size of the task. But most projects are simply a lot of tiny small actions. To get unstuck,  simply identify the next SMALL step and just focus on carrying that out.
  6. Ask yourself: what is the next baby step?
  7. Rinse. repeat.
  8. Rinse. repeat.
  9. Congratulate yourself on your wonderful ability to get unstuck and break the procrastination habit!

Mind Visualization For Overcoming Self-sabotaging Beliefs

  • Imagine you are in a movie theater – comfortable and safe -- watching a movie about yourself. The first scene is of the “old you” with self-sabotaging beliefs, that, up until now, has been unable to achieve the goals you want to accomplish.
  • Allow yourself to experience the feelings, pictures, and ideas that you associate with the current situation (What you won’t feel, you cannot heal).
  • Before you put those self-sabotaging beliefs in the past for good, go behind the scenes and look at the beliefs that supported this situation.
  • In what other ways have those beliefs hindered your progress?
  • Imagine those limiting beliefs fading out – getting smaller, dimmer, softer, becoming less and less rigid and move them to the side…
  • What we want to do now is to create doubt about those old ideas. To do that, recall an instance of doubt, something you are not sure about at all, notice how you know it is doubt – where is it located? What does it look like, sound like, feel like?
  • Now allow that limiting belief you want to change to spin out into space and circle back to the place of doubt, taking on all the qualities of doubt as they were presented in your mind. Do it very rapidly.
  • Repeat the above step until you get the hang of it: allow that limiting idea to spin out into space and circle back and snap into your place of doubt.
  • Let that idea vanish altogether.
  • What new powerful beliefs do you wish to install in their place?
  • Find your place of certainty, for example, the place where you believe that the sun will come up tomorrow…notice where in your mind that belief is situated.
  • Now in a different location build a belief that will replace the old outdated idea you removed.
  • Now push that belief into the distance, and snap it right up in the place you believe that the sun will come up tomorrow.
  • Repeat the above steps several times until you feel certain of your new self-supporting belief.
  • Return to your place in the movie theater and watch how those new beliefs change the direction of your life in joyful, positive, and productive ways. Use mind visualization to see yourself accomplishing the goals that used to be a problem before you had supporting beliefs and notice what is different now.
  • Congratulate yourself and take a few moments to feel the gratitude growing inside of you.
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