When we have anxiety, a lot of times our brain has us believing that only one, negative outcome is possible in any given event. For example, do any of these thoughts sound familiar?
"This relationship will end like all the others and I will be alone again because I'm unworthy of love."
"I'm going to fail this test just like last time."
"She's going to judge me for this just like she always does."
"I can't give this presentation, I'll show how unprepared and ill-informed I am on the issue."
These beliefs can come from what happened in a previous experience, or conditioning that has led us to believe that we are unworthy of a better result.
The biggest problem with this is that we often act as a self-fulfilling prophecy: because we can't imagine a better result, we don't take steps to make a better result possible, and things end up going the way we feared.
Visualizing Positivity will Achieve a Better Outcome
Next time you are feeling stressed, sit down and visualize yourself succeeding at whatever is giving you anxiety. This could be:
Having a conversation that you are dreading and having it go well.
Succeeding at a presentation that is causing you stress.
Leaving the house when you are afraid to do so and having it go well.
Being able to visualize yourself doing this basically allows your brain to start to consider it a possibility, even a reality. It is as if you are practicing for the real thing.
Visualizing how a certain conversation could go well can help you determine a road map for what you should say and how you should act during the conversation.
It can also get the right emotions going for you to address the situation with a positive attitude.
Visualizing can have a powerful effect on your brain, and it's important to visualize yourself overcoming anxiety and fear so that you start to believe that it's possible.
Though the ultimate goal of visualization is to have a positive experience that will lead to a positive outcome when faced with the real situation, at first it is often a scary experience.
This is because as you attempt to visualize, you may be reminded of the stressors that are causing you to have anxiety in the first place. For example, visualizing a presentation going well will bring you anxious feelings about your presentation and tempt you to dive into the fears of the presentation not going well.
Practice This Exercise:
Write out how you want a certain stressful event to go, and then visualize it happening the way you planned. Be detailed in your visualization. What did you say? Where were you? How did it happen, step by step? Start to really feel yourself in this moment, and feel the emotions of it going well.