How To Visualize Success More Effectively



“There is no fate ,but what we create.” — Sarah Coonor

One of the most effective ways to motivate yourself is to get a good image of the end in mind.

It should feel like a prize.

What doesn’t work well is beating yourself up.

You might get results in the short term with a stick, but a fat, fresh carrot works better in the long run.

In Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, David Burns writes about how to visualize your success.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Beating yourself up isn’t effective.

Burns writes:

“Suppose for example, you want to quit smoking.

You may be reminding yourself about cancer and all the dangers of smoking.

These fear tactics make you so nervous that you immediately reach for another cigarette; they don’t work.”

How To Visualize Success

Burns shares a three step method for visualizing success that actually does work.  To visualize success effectively, take the following actions:

  • Step 1. List the advantages of taking the positive action.
  • Step 2. Fantasize you are in your favorite spot.
  • Step 3. Go through your list of benefits.

Step 1. List the advantages of taking the positive action.

Burns writes that you should prepare a list of all the positive consequences that you would enjoy if you take the action.

Write down as many as you can and prioritize them. List the most important first.

Step 2. Fantasize you are in your favorite spot.

According to Burns, each night, before sleep, fantasize that you’re in your favorite spot.

This could be walking on a mountain trail, lying on a beach … etc.

Focus on every enjoyable detail and let your body go.

Step 3. Go through your list of benefits.

Burns writes that once your body is relaxed, go through your list of benefits one by one.

State each benefit as if you already have it.

For example, you might say, “Now that I have greater self-discipline, I can take on other challenges.”

Mental Conditioning is a Key to Success

I like the fact that Burns is shares a technique he’s successfully used on himself and with many of his patients.

I know that mental conditioning is a common practice among athletes and peak performers.

I’m also a believer that if you can see something in your mind’s eye, you have a better chance of achieving it.

If you can’t visualize success, then chances are you won’t achieve it (a self-fulfilling prophecy.)

Key Takeaways

Here are my key takeaways:

  • Don’t beat yourself up.  Clubbing yourself over the head isn’t effective in the long run.
  • Visualize the prize.  Get a good picture of the end in mind.  This is what you want to use for your inspiration.
  • List the benefits.   Identify the positive results you’ll accomplish if you take the actions.
  • Repeat the benefits. Repeatedly going through your list of benefits will help remind and encourage you of your desired results.

Put that club away.

Find a nice, fresh carrot instead.


  1. Your article should be called “don’t beat yourself up” lol

    I am noticing that most people warn people not to do what they are most afraid of doing themselves.

    The reason I am leaving this comment because you are saying something in it that is worth repeating: if you can’t visualize something, chances are you won’t be able to accomplish it.

    I am a coach specializing in getting people unstuck so they can achieve what they were born to achieve, and it take a lot of unstucking… lol.

    And my observation matches yours: if someone can’t visualize the result and themselves in it, they are not ready to tackle it and they need some serious unstucking to do… up my alley… .wink.

  2. @ Sophie — “Don’t beat yourself up is sticky” — I like it. I’m a fan of pithy prose that sticks.

    Unstucking is a great alley to have.

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