how do I boost my creative visualisation

I was asked “How do I boost my creativity with mental visualisation? I’ve heard that Nikola Tesla and others used this technique”. Here’s my response:

I know Nikola Tesla is often given as an example of using imagination to invent and problem-solve. You probably already do this. It just means using your imagination to design solutions. We all have an imagination, and with a little discipline, and practice, you can train yourself to use it in the same way. Visualisation is the technique for doing this. Creating a mental image of what you want to achieve, how you want it to be starts to create the circumstances that allow wishes to become reality.

Tesla started early, as a child he learned how to use his imagination creatively. He said, “By that faculty of visualising, which I learned in my boyish efforts to rid myself of annoying images, I have evolved what is, I believe, a new method of materializing inventive ideas and conceptions. It is a method which may be of great usefulness to any imaginative man, whether he is an inventor, businessman or artist”.

Sounds far fetched? Well, look at it this way. Our thinking dominates how we view ourselves and the world we inhabit. Most of us manage to create negative images of ourselves and our prospects by constantly listening to our ‘self talk’. Negative thinking works and we fulfil our negative beliefs about ourselves without difficulty.

Since we all create our own, often negative, reality from how we think, why not turn it around? Visualisation is practiced by world-class athletes and successful people in all walks of life.

How to practice visualisation

Start by practicing visualisation, then you can use it however you want to. Here are some instructions:

In our daydreams it is easy to be a hero; we can all imagine ourselves better than we are, more successful, competent and happy. When we doubt ourselves, or if others subject us to put-downs or insults, when we temporarily lose face and feel bad about ourselves, then we do even more of this compensatory fantasising. Then, we walk tall, give as good as we get and always ready with a quip and say the right thing at the right time.

We create an image of ourselves that has all the qualities we feel we lack. Our thinking is a powerful ally, but most of us never use it as we could.

Becoming the person you want to be is a lot easier than you might think. After all, every successful project starts with a vision, an idea of how the end product will look. It is the same with our own development, we need to see where we are going and how we would like things to be when we get there.

Visualisation is the technique for doing this. Creating a mental image of what you want to achieve, how you want it to be starts to create the circumstances that allow wishes to become reality.

The best way to test this is to try it.

Visualisation exercise

At a time when you can practice undisturbed, sit or lie comfortably. Then create a mental image of a time and place where you felt safe, warm, secure and peaceful, with only pleasant feelings. It can be based on a real experience, or you can create a ‘special place’ which is only available to you. Make it vivid.

Use all your senses to imagine that you take for example, the sunshine, the breeze, whatever feels enjoyable. Picture the colours, hear the sounds. Practise visualising this scene as often as you can. When you want to feel calm then think of this scene and imagine it for a short while. Then return your thoughts to the matter in hand. The sense of calm should stay with you and enable you to cope better with whatever comes.

I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.