We’re not talking about darts or “X” marks the spot (no pirate’s treasure chest). The thing is, emotions are not just something to tray and govern when they come around by the off chance, they are something to cultivate! Positive emotions like confidence, joy, connection, or hope can fuel your efforts and strengthen your resolve when you decide to go after anything in your life. Visualization is a powerful method for cultivating the emotions you want in order to center yourself to succeed.
Just to give a quick review, over the past three blogs we’ve talked about the power of visualization to cultivate emotion for yourself, how to visualize our memories to get the emotions that we want, and how to use our imagination to enhance those memories, ‘boosting’ their potency to generate more of the emotions that we want. Finally, we left logic and reason behind, and decided to create emotions solely from our imagination! We learned to go after the feelings that we want, not judge ourselves for whatever imagery or whatever came up for us as long as it gave us the emotions we wanted.
Over the years, the number one question I’ve gotten from people I’ve coached in doing any kind of emotional visualization exercise is always, “Where do I start?” You think there would be a simple answer, right? Some people start at the beginning of a memory, while others leave memory altogether and focus solely on visualization from their imagination. The thing is…
There’s no one right starting point when we are using visualization to create emotions within ourselves. But, if you are choosing to visualize using a memory, the best place that I know to start is always the bullseye.
When we recall an event, the bullseye is the first thing that springs to mind for us from that memory. We remember it easily. It’s rich in detail, filled with vivid color, with sounds, and images that are strong and easily accessible.
I have a fantastic memory of getting the game ball when I played highschool football, complete with my entire team standing up and cheering for me in the locker room, and my coach saying amazing things about me. Do you know where that memory’s bullseye is? It is when my hand grabbed the door of the locker room right before I entered the scene of the memory. That’s right. no cheers. No game ball. In fact, I wasn’t feeling particularly good about myself at that moment because I thought I was just returning my pads and a helmet after having a season-ending injury during a football game.
But, there was incredible emotional energy within me as I stood at that door. Every single time I think about this memory I always think about my hand grabbing that door handle. Then a flood of all the imagery, sounds, sights: friends shaking my hands, pats on the back, coach’s voice, the game ball in my hand…all of it comes. But it all starts with me remembering my hand on that door.
Have you ever had someone tell you about a wonderful memory that they had where they met their spouse or their sweetheart, the incredible time that they had, and how it was one of the most important memories in their life? If you asked them what their bullseye was, what do you remember most, they would most likely say something like: it was waiting in the line at the airport to get their bags checked.
A bullseye can come before, in the middle, or even at the end of your memory. You know it is the bullseye because it opens the flood of emotions that you’re seeking. A bull’s-eye is like a powder keg ready to explode and you, as the author of your memory, are brought right back to that very special moment and everything that happened every time. Let’s talk about how you find the bullseye for yourself in a memory that holds the emotions you are looking for. When you identify the bullseye, then you will have an easier time calling that memory to mind for yourself any time you want to tap the emotions it creates within you.
Find the bullseye in any memory to squeeze the most joy, connectedness, love,confidence, or any other awesome emotion for yourself as efficiently as you can!
Decide on the memory – When deciding on the memory, make sure that it’s going to give you the emotions you’re looking for. When you bring it up in your mind, the emotion(s) you want should be right there with it! You may have to try several memories out, and that’s normal. Once you have the memory that’s giving you the emotion you want…
Focus on the first thing you thought of when you recalled that memory – It may not have been an ‘all important’ part of the memory, but it’s your starting point! Don’t worry if it seems trivial, it’s just where you are going to pivot your focus from.
Now do a 360 pivot of your memory – Two things are going to be able to allow you to get the most emotional charge from your memory. The importance you give it in your mind, and the length of time you are able to hold it! You want to be able to rewind, go forward, and basically take a 360 view of everything that has happened. The richer the detail the better! Dive deep into your five senses recalling sights, sounds, tastes, textures, smells, everything that surrounded you and was part of that memory. By doing this, you are filled with the emotions just as if what you were recalling was actually happening in the moment. This exercise enables you to step forward into whatever challenge you are facing with the emotional center that will help you succeed.
If you do any kind of meditation practice, it may be good to consider giving over five minutes of that practice to finding your bullseye and pivoting around it. If meditation isn’t your thing, no problem! Consider when you walk, exercise, take a shower, any time you have where you are alone and can focus down to bring up that memory’s bullseye, and develop its ability to give the emotions that will help you accomplish whatever is most important to you!
If you would like help lessening your fear and anxiety, reaching your goals, breaking habits, or creating new ones, I’d love to work with you. Just click the button or the link below for a free consultation and let’s talk.