First posted on AuthorMBA blog 4/7/08

Did you know that your subconscious mind can’t differentiate between real and imaginary? Whatever you repeat, whatever you give a great deal of energy to is what your subconscious believes… and what it creates for you. Best-sellers like The Secret outline the Law of Attraction in great detail, but the basic concept is that whatever you believe deep down is what you draw into your life.

The bottom line: if you believe in your goal, if you really do believe that you’ll sell your book or that you’ll hit the NYT bestseller list, then your subconscious mind will work to make that happen. Just like if, deep down, you believe you won’t do these things, your subconscious mind will continuously throw up blocks to help confirm your belief.

So how do we apply this to goal setting?

By visualizing your goal. If you can visualize or imagine the goal, your subconscious will see it as real. The more often you visualize, the more real it becomes.

Writers have gifted imaginations and creating a visualization is as simple as writing a scene with you as the main character. Choose a goal and ask yourself what scene would best epitomize that goal? If it’s to sell a book, the scene could be signing your first contract or celebratory launch party. It could be a long line of readers waiting to have you sign copies in a crowded bookstore or perhaps seeing your name and book up on Amazon. Maybe it’s as simple as tracing your name over the cover of the book. Whatever your goal is, pick the scene that seems strongest to you (remember, we’re writers. We know how to pick the most emotionally charged scene, right?). Now empower that scene. Use all the senses. What are the scents? What do you hear? Who’s in the scene with you? What are the textures and is the air charged with an electric feeling of excitement? What are you wearing? How does it feel? Bring in all of the emotions.

Now relax and let this scene play out in your head. You can spend five minutes or fifty, whatever works for you. The key is to really live the scene. Let yourself feel the joy, the wonder. Let those emotions flow.

Easy enough, right?


Now the real trick is to repeat your visualization daily (or in my case, nightly. Each night as I turn off the light, I spend time visualizing my goals.) The more often you visualize the goal, the sooner/easier it’ll manifest. You might find yourself revising your imagined scene as the weeks go by. Just like we revise our goals to meet our current circumstance, our visualizations will shift and grow. But the key is to be consistent and emotionally invested.

Soon, if you consistently do your goal visualization, you’ll find yourself noticing sabotaging behaviors. You’ll hear your own self-talk, notice when you’re procrastinating and getting in the way of your own goal success.

What are your visualization experiences? Have you ever done any visualization work before? Did you find it difficult or easy to see your scene play out in your mind? Have you applied visualization to your writing and goal setting?