Last week we talked about visualization and English learning. We learned about basketball players who imagine shooting better in their minds and then they do better in real life. This is a common experience in the sports world. We also talked about how you can imagine conversations in your head. You can think of different situations and imagine how you would start or continue a conversation. This is a very useful kind of visualization but today we want to talk about a different kind of visualization. You could call this Future Self Visualization.
Imagining your future self is imagining who you will become. Your ideal self. Your most successful future self. This is not dreaming. This is deciding who you want to become and then regularly focusing your mind on it. All success begins in the mind with our ideas. We need to choose carefully what we focus on because this will affect the speed and the direction that we move.
So what is your ideal image as an English learner? Is it being able to speak smoothly? Is it being able to easily understand native speakers? Decide who you want to become and imagine it in as much detail as you can. This is your future self. Make your image as positive and bright as you can. How does it feel? This is your future self but you want to feel it now as strongly as you can.
Before you can imagine strongly, you need to look deeply at yourself. What negative ideas do you have that can stop you from being successful? What are your biggest fears as an English speaker? What are your problem areas? Is it listening, speaking, pronunciation, conversation skill, motivation? How do you feel when you have problems? Embarrassed, shy, stressed? Think about it carefully. Now, I want you to write your answers down. Next we need to transform these negative images into positive ones. What is the complete opposite of these fears? That’s the future self we want to visualize.
Let’s look at some of the comments from Deep English members. One member writes, “I feel embarrassed and stressed when I speak in English.” Ok, that’s normal. But let’s look at the opposite of feeling embarrassed and stressed. The opposite is feeling relaxed, feeling comfortable around English speakers, feeling confident as you communicate easily.
Another Deep English member writes, “I feel embarrassed when I make mistakes.” Ok, that’s also normal. What’s the opposite of feeling embarrassed about mistakes? The opposite is not caring about mistakes. The opposite is understanding that communication is important. Mistakes don’t make successful English speakers feel bad. Successful English speakers are too busy communicating to worry about mistakes.
Now lets think about why you want to be able to communicate better in English. Are you looking to meet people from other cultures? Are you hoping for a new job? Do you want to travel the world with the confidence that comes with speaking a global language? There are many reasons to learn English. What are your reasons? Imagine yourself doing these things. Imagine the feelings of connection or adventure or new opportunities that come with those experiences. Imagine this future but see it and feel it like it’s happening now. Make your image as positive and bright as you can.
Ok, let’s go through the 3 main points one more time.
One: Visualization is not just imagining conversation. Another kind of visualization is imagining your future self, your ideal self, the most successful self that you can be.
Two: Before you start visualizing this, identify your fears. Then transform them. Find the opposite and visualize it. This is your future self but feel it now.
Three: Think about why you want your English to improve. How will being more fluent in English change your life? Visualize these new experiences.
Now of course, visualization isn’t magic. We don’t just imagine fluent English and then magically we’re fluent. That’s silly. But visualization does work. Visualization does lead to success. Why? We believe that visualization helps you connect with your potential. Of course we have many potential futures.
We have the potential to be great.
We also have the potential to be lazy.
We have the potential to be powerful.
We also have the potential to be fearful
We have the potential to be successful with all our goals but we need to connect with this successful potential in the mind first. Visualization is a great tool for connecting us and guiding us towards our potential for success. Napoleon Hill, an expert in the psychology of success once said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” Say that together with me. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” To conceive is another way of saying imagine or visualize. Visualize strongly so you really believe it. And finally achieve. One more time, say it with me. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”