Do you use the power of visualization when it comes to achieving your goals? If you’re not, you’re missing out.
I’ve talked about visualization on the podcast before, in a few techniques that I use within my coaching practice, but on episode 22 of the Done with DIeting Podcast, we’re talking about the power that visualization has to create your results: Visualizing what’s going to happen BEFORE it even happens.
See, we often use our past experiences to determine if we’re capable of doing something in the future. (Example: I’ve made rice before, so I’m relatively confident that I can make risotto.)
Because weight loss will often take several attempts before we are successful. We often use those past attempts as evidence that weight loss isn’t meant for us.
When your confidence and belief that you can be successful in your goal are low, having a vision can help you to pull through.
You are listening to the Done with Dieting Podcast Episode number 22.
Hi, I’m Elizabeth Sherman, former corporate high tech executive turn life and weight loss coach. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was searching for that perfect diet, the one that would finally be the golden ticket to lose the weight that I so desired.
Fast forward past tons of failed diet attempts, exercise fads and painful lessons learned, and although I still have not reached the state of Nirvana, body love, my relationship with food exercise in my body is infinitely better than it was not only when I started this journey, but even as recently as three years ago.
The journey that has allowed me to ditch my scale, stop logging my food and exercise, eat food that I didn’t prepare and easily maintain my weight – something that I never thought was possible for me.
I created the Done with Dieting podcast to give you simple, easy to do and sustainable strategies to help you do the same without all of the drama that I went through.
If you’re a woman who’s looking to create a better relationship with food and her body, get off the diet roller coaster and free up a bunch of headspace spent on calories, how you should look what you should eat and beating yourself up for not doing what you think you should be doing. You are in the right place.
Let’s get started.
Hello friends. I am so glad you’re here today.
I have two really exciting announcements. But I wanted to start today’s podcast off with. The first is something that I am really excited about. I am starting a group coaching program, so if you’ve been interested in working with me and you don’t want to do one-on-one or you think that one-on-one might be a little bit outside of your price range, then I have something special for you.
The group coaching program is going to start August 2nd. But if this is something that you’re interested in, I want to give you the opportunity to get in before it sells out.
I’m going to start a wait list right now, but you will be able to get more information about that at the end of July. So, if you’re interested in this, what I want you to do is you can click on the show notes and there’ll be a link there for where you can put your information in to get notified when it does open up.
You’re not committing to anything. You’re just saying, Hey, I might be interested in this. So, what you want to do is you want to go to elizabethsherman.com/groupcoaching, all one word. And you can put your information in there and get more information about it. So that’s the first thing. The second one is a little bit more personal.
And, as I’ve mentioned before on the podcast, we are in the process of building a new house and it’s so exciting to go over to our newly developed home. It’s right now just cinderblock but we still have doors, and we have windows and we’re starting to see the rooms take shape, which is so super exciting.
And we are about to get a ceiling for our first floor. And so. It really started me thinking about how this whole process of building the house has been an intentional vision from the very beginning. And I think I talked about this before on a different podcast, but you know, we really had a lot of roadblocks when it came to buying the land for our house.
And throughout the entire process, we had met with our architect and we had all of our house drawings made and I could actually visualize myself. Moving through the house, working on a daily basis, preparing dinner relaxing with my husband playing with our dogs and all of that great stuff.
And so, throughout the entire process, even when things took a lot longer than they should have, which was often. I was always able to go back and rely on the fact that this was going to happen. Like it was inevitable. It may be taking a little bit longer than we thought it was going to, but the belief was there.
Like I had this crystal-clear vision, I actually even know. What our furniture is going to look like; I know where our art is going to go; like the house in my mind is completely 100% done. Which is so freaking exciting and it’s going to be even more exciting when the house is done, and I can actually see it.
And I’m sure the things are going to be a little bit different than, you know, what I’m imagining, but for the most part, it’s pretty spot on. Now to that end, I have this vision board that has been sitting in my office. It is just above my desk and I created this vision board, oh, probably in January of 2018. Yeah, that sounds about right.
And I’ve had this vision board in front of my desk, since then, and right now it’s mid-2021. Okay, so three years. When I created this vision board, we knew that we wanted to build a house and we knew that we wanted to have a couple of different things and I just picked out some photos and magazines that were things that I kind of liked.
I knew that I wanted to have a pool; I knew that I wanted to have windows; I knew that I wanted to have, you know, obviously a kitchen; and what styles appealed to me. And what’s really interesting is I’m looking at this vision board right now.
And there are two photographs that are in this vision board. One is of a pool and part of a house. And it’s a very contemporary house. You see all of these windows and it’s all very squared and streamlined, and then there’s also a picture of a kitchen and the kitchen is very traditional looking.
It’s got Carrera, marble countertops, and traditional pulls on the cabinets. And when I put these two pictures on my vision board, I remember thinking to myself, well, that’s ridiculous. Those two things are never going to appear in the same house.
And I have to tell you that, although our house doesn’t look exactly like either of these two pictures, it’s pretty freaking close, like the structure of the house that we see with the pool. It’s possible that our house is going to look very similar to that.
And the kitchen, our house is going to look very similar to that too. Not exactly, but really freaking close. And there are some other things that I have on this vision board, that have come true within the past couple months, I put a crazy income goal on there, and I’ve actually hit that within the past few months.
And so, I use a lot of visualization in my work with my clients. I use a lot of visualization in my coaching practice. And I do this a couple of different ways. I do it through goal setting of course with my clients. And so, what I mean by that is, we all have different goals.
When my clients come to me, it’s my job not to get them to where I want them to go; it’s my job to get them to where they want to go; and so, I need to know where it is that they want to go. And so, a lot of times we start a process like new year’s resolutions and stuff like that thinking, Oh, I just want to lose some weight, okay and that’s fine.
But what does that look like? So, when we start creating a vision for what life, if it looks like on the other side of success. What exactly does that look like? We know that we can’t be doing the same things today that we’re doing when we’re successful, because the actions that we take will create our future results.
So, the actions that you take today will create your results next week next month, next year, so on and so forth, right? And so, if we want to be able to maintain that weight loss, how are we going to do that? What are the types of things that you see yourself doing in the future that are different than what you’re doing today? And then how does that play into your vision?
And so, one of the first things that I do with my clients is I help them to create this ideal day or what their vision looks like when they’ve had success. It’s not enough to think my life is going to be exactly the same, but I’m going to be 50 pounds lighter, right?
We know that the reason that we are the size that we are, is because of the things that we are doing, our behaviors and how that contributes to gaining and losing weight. We may not have the details of what that’s going to look like on the other side, but we have a pretty good idea.
We pretty much know that we’re going to be drinking more water. We know that we’re going to when we open up the refrigerator, that we’re going to have a lot more fruits and vegetables in there. We know that when we look at our plates, that there’s going to be a lot less fried food, probably a little bit less processed food, that when we’re done eating, that we’re going to feel satisfied and not over full.
So those are the types of things that when we create this vision of ourselves in the future of what it is that we’re looking at. We may even think about like, when I’m out with friends or when I’m out at a party. What am I doing? How am I navigating the food that’s there? When I order at a restaurant, what am I thinking about, when I’m walking into the restaurant? How am I thinking?
So anyway, these are some of the ways that I use visualization within my practice. I also use visualization when it comes to sleep habits. So, I have two really good tools that I share with my clients about how to get back to sleep if they’re if they wake up in the middle of the night. And then I also have another really good visualization technique that I use for pain management.
Today’s episode is all about visualization, but not just visualization. We’re also going to be talking a lot about how to use visualization so that we can create that belief system within us. And how we can use the visualization when we are low on confidence, okay?
So, I remember that I was first introduced to visualization when I was in high school. I took a journal writing class and my teacher, how does doing a lot of visualization work? It was probably more about meditation at the time, but it really kind of sparked my interest. And it was at that time, that I figured out that if I could visualize something, it probably had a pretty good chance of becoming true.
And this is just completely embarrassing to talk about, but I remember that when I would see boys that I kind of liked, I would try to visualize myself kissing them. And it sounds so silly as a 52-year-old woman talking about myself when I was 13 or 14.
But I would visualize myself, like, could I imagine us kissing? And if I couldn’t imagine that, then I pretty much knew that it wasn’t going to happen. But for those boys that I was interested in, that I could visualize myself. Chances were pretty good that we would end up dating. That was really the beginnings of the power that I saw in visualization and through creating journal work.
That was the introduction that I had to visualization and looking back on it right now, and this is going to get a little woo-woo. But where I see that applying, is in the term of what’s called alignment. So right now, in manifestation terms, people talk a lot about alignment, meaning that we can’t really expect to be successful.
If it’s something that we really don’t want in our bones. And so, when we talk about alignment, what we’re talking about is, do we really want that or are we trying to achieve it because someone else kind of wants it for us, or we think that that’s what we should be doing, okay?
And so, when we think about visualization, like if you can really imagine yourself moving through the world in this capacity or with this thing, it is that you want, like, how does that fit into your life? If you can imagine that then you are capable of creating that.
Now, here’s where the belief kicks in. The more we are able to create that vision for ourselves; the more we are able to see a crystal-clear vision of what our future is going to look like; the more we are able to feel, what it looks like being in that body. Experiencing that circumstance or experiencing that event. The more we are attracting that to us.
And I know it sounds totally woo-woo. But there are studies that show that creating a vision board or creating a vision and being reminded about it will allow you to, to create that vision, to ultimately manifest it for yourself. And now don’t get me wrong. It’s not like you can sit in your living room and just imagine what it’s like to be a hundred pounds lighter and not do anything to do that, right?
We have to take inspired action, but if you can create that vision and if you are reminded of that vision on a regular basis, studies show that you will start to do the things that you need to do in order to bring that reality to fruition okay? And if you believe that, then it’s possible for you.
Now here’s the thing, we’re talking about manifestation, as far as weight loss is concerned, right? You can’t manifest weight loss. Can you? Well, okay, so here’s the thing is that for many of us, we’ve had multiple failures or multiple experiences with trying to lose weight in the past. For most people, we can point to experiences in our past where we’ve done weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, or we’ve done keto or the South beach diet or Atkins or whatever it is that you did that did not turn out very well.
And so, when we embark on a new weight loss goal, what tends to happen is our brains go back into our past to seek evidence of whether we are capable of producing this future goal, right? And it’s actually kind of interesting. Because we start to become what’s called past focused somewhere around our thirties or forties. When we’re younger, like when we’re children, think about it, when we’re children, we’re thinking about the next steps always, right?
Like when we’re in kindergarten, we’re thinking about first grade; when we’re in first grade, we’re thinking about second grade; and when I’m going to be a big kid; this is going to happen and when I get to do this and we’re constantly looking towards the future. And we don’t know any better than to look at our past to decide whether we can do something in the future. Because we don’t really have a past, right?
Think about it, when we’re toddlers, we don’t know if we can walk or not, but we see everyone else doing it, so we’re like, well, why can’t I walk? When we’re in high school, we then start thinking about college. And when we’re in college, we get excited about joining the workforce and getting married and doing all of those amazing things that adults do and being out on our own.
And then once we’re out on our own, then we start to slow down, right? We start looking at our past as evidence of what we can do in the future.
We stop dreaming. We stop creating a new and glorious life, right? I mean, not for all of us, but maybe we think about, you know, how we’re going to grow our family. But at some point, we stop believing that our future can be different. But it can be because our past experiences do not dictate what we are capable of in the future.
And if dieting isn’t an example of that, I don’t know what is. Because for everyone who has been successful, they have had a string of failures in the past. So, if your brain is constantly going back in the past and saying, yeah, but we can’t do that because we have this evidence that it’s not going to work in the future, right?
If you’re doing that, what we need to do is we need to create belief that the future can be different, and we need to create this vision of what the future is going to look like. So that we can have belief in this vision. So that we can adopt the confidence that this is going to be our vision of the future.
Now, most of us are already using visualization for our future. But we’re using it in a really negative way. We’re thinking about all of the bad things that are going to happen to us or to the people that we love. We’re worrying, worrying is a type of visualization.
We just don’t think about it that way. And so, what I want to suggest is that we can actually use visualization for good. And what that looks like is you taking some time to just dream, what do you want? And it doesn’t all have to do with your weight.
Like, what do you want your relationship with your partner to look like? What do you want your relationship with your friends and family to look like? What do you want your job to look like? What does your life look like? It’s never too late to make those changes. We just think that it is.
And so, I’ve talked about visualization in other podcast episodes before, like for example, episode three, titled the foundation. I’ve also talked about it in episode seven, what’s it means to listen to your body. Episode 10, on how to feel? And then also most recently episode 17, which visualization was a huge part of that because you’re using that visualization that you’ve already created in order to get through the urge.
And so, because visualization is such an important part of the work that I do with my clients. And I want it to be part of the work that you do in getting healthier. I, for sure am going to be doing more podcast episodes on that specifically one all around creating that future version of yourself. Which is just pivotal to being able to be successful and grow into that future version of yourself.
And so, I’d like to invite you to just spend a few minutes thinking and dreaming about what you’d like your life to look like on the other side of success. Now, once you’ve done that, there are a couple things that you can actually do. One is, write it down and then you can record it into your phone and listen to it.
And this is actually a really good trick, because the more your brain hears your own voice and it’s reinforcing the words, the more it becomes believable. And then you can listen to it on a daily basis. Use it as kind of a meditation, or you could read it daily. Now, reading it, is great. Don’t get me wrong, but you really do want to have the auditory experience as well.
And then the third thing that you can do is do what I did and create a vision board. Now, again, my vision board took about three years to come true, but I don’t think that your vision has to take that long. And I also think that when we really want something, it doesn’t really matter how long it takes to get it.
If we can be in belief that we are going to be receiving, then it’s okay. There’s no reason to be impatient. And I say that knowing that my house is being built right now, and it’s going to take us another six months. If that, before we possibly move in and trust me, I am super freaking impatient on that.
Now, there are a couple other things that I want to suggest as far as the visualization goes. You cannot change other people. So, when you think about moving throughout your day, you cannot all of a sudden make your partner, be someone who he or she is not, they can’t be automatically happy time or agree with you or anything like that.
What you can do is you can change how you respond to them. You can’t necessarily change your circumstances. Now you can change your results, which can ultimately be your circumstances. I know it’s a little bit of a fuzzy line there, but we can’t just imagine that we’re going to have a completely different life.
And that actually speaks to the third piece, which is we are probably going to be pretty freaking similar to the person that we are today in our future. So, if you’re sarcastic and quirky, you’re probably going to be sarcastic and quirky in the future too.
Now, for those of you out there who are really kind of questioning. I’m not so sure about this visualization thing Elizabeth, what I want to offer to you is that there is load of evidence that visualization works. In fact, if you read up on any sports psychology, like Michael Phelps and Tom Brady for sure use visualization. When it comes to being at their peak performance.
They spend a ton of time imagining perfect plays. They imagine exactly what’s going to happen and how they are going to perform at their peak level. And so, I just want to offer that if it’s good enough for them, that it’s probably good enough for us to.
And even if it doesn’t work, what’s the harm in visualizing and dreaming something good for yourself? It’s possible that it could come true. And wouldn’t that be better, then thinking that everything is never going to change, because if we believe that nothing is ever going to change, that’s probably the future that we’re going to create.
So, that’s all I have for you today. I hope that you found this useful. I really think that visualization is an amazing tool when it comes to creating the health that you want for your life.
The key is to think about all of those situations that we don’t really think about and creating a game plan and a vision for them.
I’m definitely going to be talking a lot more about visualization throughout the upcoming Podcasts, because it is so integral to how I work as a person, as well as my work with my clients in their success. So, I definitely want to bring that to you as well.
So that’s all I have for you today. Have an amazing week everyone, and I will talk to you next time.
And don’t forget to go to Elizabeth sherman.com/group coaching. If you want to get on the wait list for the group coaching program.
Okay, that’s all I got for you today. Bye. Bye.
Hey, thanks for listening.
If you’re done with dieting and would like to work with me as your coach, I’d like to invite you to reach out to myself and my team to ask about programs and pricing. Go to elizabethsherman.com/contact to get started today. I can’t wait to hear from you.
See you next week.