The distinction I was trying to make is how visualization and expectations are different. Specifically, why the first is so crucial to getting what you want and the second will do nothing but assure that you are unhappy.
Visualizing and expecting are very similar.
- Both are thoughts
- Both are about the future
- Both are a prediction of an outcome
- Both activate the power of the subconscious
But they are also very different.
This difference is the thought I’ve been wrestling with now for weeks, until yesterday, when I heard Paul Scheele from Learning Strategies discuss this very topic in detail. (Side note…more proof that you get what you think about…this is the Law of Attraction in action.)
Paul differentiated the two using different words. An expectation, he taught, is tied to the control over the outcome. Visualization, while still focused on the outcome, was a “positive expectancy”. You expect things to go positively, but understand and accept that you really don’t control every detail.
It’s being okay with the outcome, whatever it may be, even if it doesn’t conform to your positive expectancy.
Imagine that you were about to cliff dive for the first time. You had spent hours preparing, watching videos about how to jump, reading about how to land in the water, listening to friends give you tips and advice, and you had formulated a pretty good plan in your head of what you were going to do before you jump, while you’re in the air, and when you hit the water.
Then…you get to the cliff. You’re excited, nervous, anxious, a little scared, and filled with a lot of adrenaline. So you run to the edge and jump. That plan you made just went right out the window. Your body goes into auto-pilot and starts to do the things that you were thinking about.
What you did before arriving was visualizing. You trained your subconscious mind to tell your body to act a certain way. If this was an expectation, you would have obsessed about the details, the plan, the practice…trying to force an outcome, giving yourself many possible ways to criticize yourself for your form, distance, body position, and to blame outside conditions, like the weather, the cliff, or the wind, for your lack of a perfect dive.
There, my friends, is the crucial difference.
Visualizing acts to train the subconscious mind to give you what you want, then lets go and allows the outcome to happen on its own. Expectations are your effort to force that outcome and inviting your inner critic to point out the flaws of yourself and everyone else along the way.
The distinction lies in what you do after you picture the outcome you want. If you want your subconscious mind to go to work for you, you need to visualize, commit and LET GO.
Move beyond the need for control. Aside from the benefit of feeling much happier, you will have effortless success at achieving your goals when you let go of your outcomes and allow your subconscious the opportunity to work for you.
Have a joyful day!
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