Visualization is a Powerful Tool But Read About What You May Not Know and Won’t Be Able to Find Anywhere Else
The first thing you need to know about visualizing is that there are really two forms of seeing things inside your mind. It all has to do with where you are in the process. You can be inside your head looking through your eyes or you can be looking at yourself as if you are outside of yourself. In the latter you are seeing yourself out there. In the former it is as if you are on the inside so you don’t see yourself out there. Both are really valuable. I suppose, but I don’t have the data on this yet, that we prefer and are good at one form of the other.
So why do we need both types of visualizing? What is the advantage of one type over another? It is easy to understand if you can divide yourself into two major ways of operating in the world. One way is to be in-going or introverted. This is not to confused with being timid or shy. Timidity is a state of the ego, not the true self. Introverted qualities are those qualities that allow for deep reflection, for thinking about things, or for problem-solving complex issues. They are reflected in the character by peacefulness, calm, tranquility, and patience to name a few. People who are great introverts can sit with a problem for a long period of time, like decades, and not grow impatient with the results. The process of thinking about something is so joyful and exuberant that results rarely seem to matter. The other way of being is to be extroverted. Extroverts act on the outside and make connections externally. They are often seen as being social because they are largely interested in creating bonds, but they are also adventurous, love taking risks, and are the first to do new things. Their character qualities tend to be courage, enthusiasm, friendliness, inclusion, and creativity.
When you are visualizing from yourself on the inside looking out through your eyes you are utilizing your inward seeking self. It normally goes for meaning. When you are visualizing with yourself out there and you are looking at yourself, you are engaging your outward going self. It seeks more action and connection. Both states are extremely important and necessary. It is hard to imagine a life where you only have one or the others.
Where you have your challenges in your life will often be reflected in which type of visualizing you cannot do? If you are not very patient or have a hard time meditating or sitting still, it means that you are having a hard time being in-going which will make problem solving and reflection difficult. If you are fearful of something bad happening to you when you interact with others or when are doing new things, then it means that you are having a hard time being out-going.
Contrary to what psychologists used to say, you can actually become very competent in both aspects of visualizing even though you may be stronger in one or the other. Just because someone told you that you are introvert does not mean that you can sit in your house all day and be anti-social or blame your lack of taking risks on being inward seeking. Likewise socially strong people cannot say that it is not in their nature to be reflective and calm.
You tend to live a much happier life when you have both sides well developed. For instance you may do very good research or be able to spend a lot of time alone with a canvas, but if you cannot relate to your own children outwardly, you will create a lot of disharmony in the world.
Which one can you do? Where do you need to grow?