Does visualizing success help you achieve success? It certainly does in some cases. Successful athletes such as Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali are known to have visualized their successes years in advance.
People in other fields have also used visualization as an important part of the path to their success, from cartoonist Scott Adams to Spanx inventor Sarah Blakely, and funnyman/actor Jim Carrey. Entrepreneur John Rampton suggested five ways to help you visualize success in a Huffington Post blog. We think these ways can be adapted and targeted toward financial success.
1. Write Your Goals Down – Putting your goals down on paper (or on computer, if you prefer) is the first step toward outlining your path to success. Sum up your goals on paper as concisely as possible. This helps you focus and refine your goals, aids you in establishing challenging yet attainable goals, and gives you a reference point as you take actions toward meeting those goals. This exercise can keep you from drifting away from your original plan.
With respect to finances, your definition of success could be anything from saving up a down payment to buying a home or starting your own successful business. It will be easier to fill in the remaining plans once you use your specific written goals as a timeline. For example, your first goal could be to save $10,000 by the end of the year, leading to a detailed budget to make that happen. People with better credit can save more for retirement because they pay less in interest. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes by joining MoneyTips.
2. Talk to Yourself Positively – Call them pep talks, positive affirmations, or whatever you want, but give yourself regular positive feedback. They may be cheesy, but these techniques really can help you stay in a positive focus and derail any negative trains of thought before they can even take hold.
Do not confuse this with glossing over problems — you do have to account for adverse events like negative cash flows or loan rejections — but use your internal chats to refocus your thoughts in positive ways.
3. See Things Through Your Eyes – As odd as it may sound, keep visualizing your goals through your personal perspective. See yourself welcoming the first customer into your new business, walking into your new home for the first time, or observing your bank balance hitting five (or six or seven) figures. You will be filled with confidence when faced with critical situations, because you will have already succeeded in those situations in your mind.
4. Don't Spare the Details – By making your visualization of a successful situation more realistic and detailed, you are more likely to cement the connection between visualization and confidence that leads to success. Envision everything about that first customer to your new business. What will they buy? What sales pitch did you use? Move on to details of downstream situations, such as envisioning crowds in your store that are eager to buy your products.
5. Include Short and Long-Term Goals – By focusing on goals in two different time horizons, you are putting together the building blocks of your action steps to achieve your goal. In the financial world, this could be a series of savings goals followed by refining the type of house you wish to buy with your savings (or the size of the building and number of staff you will need to build your business). MoneyTips is happy to help you get free mortgage quotes from top lenders.
Visualization can be an important part of the path to success, but it must be combined with action. For true success in finance as well as any other field, do not forget to follow through. Otherwise, what you are doing is not visualization; it's just daydreaming.