Wouldn’t it be nice to get what you want without stressing about it? Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to fight for every little good thing that comes into your life?
Unfortunately, too many of us have allowed ourselves to be conditioned that if we want something, we have to struggle for it. The harder we struggle, the better the outcome and the bigger the reward.
Except this isn’t true.
For example, let’s say you have some sort of exam looming. It’s months away, and your instructor hasn’t even covered the material, but already you’re thinking about that exam. You’re stressing about it. The time comes to study, and you procrastinate.
Every time you think about it, your stomach fills with a big heavy ball of dread, terror, and angst. You put off studying until the last possible minute.
Finally, the night before the exam arrives. You put on a pot of coffee and stay up all night, reading, memorizing, making flashcards. You show up for the exam the next morning bleary-eyed but somewhat confident. You pass. You call your friends and celebrate.
Because the struggle was real.
But was the struggle ever necessary?
We get it into our heads that nothing worthwhile comes without suffering. We love to suffer! It makes us feel noble and accomplished. Now, there are situations where suffering is inevitable; for example, the death of a parent or spouse. That’s tough. There’s no way out of that one.
But, in the case of the exam, wouldn’t it have been easier to spend fifteen minutes each night after the instructor introduced the material reading a few pages of the text? Better yet, wouldn’t it have been wise to, as athletes do, visualize yourself enjoying the exam and knowing all the answers?
Stop struggling and let your subconscious help you get what you want
Your subconscious mind will take you where you want to go. When you use only your conscious mind, you tend to overthink and stress about every little detail. The antidote to this is to figure out what you want (to pass the exam) and communicate that to your subconscious via visualization.
Visualization in the first step. The second step is to fully engage the subconscious by feeling the same emotions you’d experience when the instructor returned your exam with a big fat red A on it.
Use your subconscious to lose weight
Back in the day when I struggled with my weight, I tried The Scarsdale Diet, Overeaters Anonymous, Weight Watchers, you name it. I lost a few pounds, fell off the wagon, and gained it back.
Everything changed when I read about a study of basketball players who visualized themselves scoring points before they hit the court. It turned out they had an uncanny success rate. (Here’s an article that explains the phenomenon.)
When I went to bed at night, I visualized myself wearing beautiful clothes and looking and feeling slim in them. I visualized people coming up to me and complimenting me about how good I looked.
I lost forty pounds.
The amazing thing about it was that I did not struggle. I did not consult calorie counters. I did not join a gym. As if by magic, opportunities to eat better, delicious food in the right amounts appeared out of nowhere. I had always been a walker, but I found more opportunities to walk, so that exercise seamlessly slid into my daily routine. I did not have to fit it in.
Visualize your way to success in things big and little
You can visualize your way into happy relationships, new friendships, and better jobs with better bosses. You can visualize your success as a businessperson or entrepreneur. You can visualize your way to face-flattering haircuts and figure-enhancing dresses.
I’ve done it.
The key is to put yourself in the future. Decide what you want and feel what you’d feel if you had it. It takes practice and takes commitment, but if you’re ready to get what you want painlessly, it’s worth it.
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