Visualization is Bullshit

challenges goal achievement mental contrasting obstacles planning positive thinking research success visualization weight loss Feb 13, 2020

Ok let’s set this straight. ⁣

I speak A LOT about the power of thought and envisioning your desired reality.⁣

But this can be taken too far, if not practiced correctly.⁣

Think, day dream, brainstorm about all the amazing things you’re capable of.⁣

Envision yourself landing that promotion, winning that show, doubling your business revenue, navigating parties without food anxiety.⁣

In doing so, you might lower blood pressure and feelings of worry (Kappes & Oettingen, 2011)⁣

That sounds nice, relaxing, right?⁣

But in pursuit of your goals, it’s not optimal.⁣

Positive visualization alone can actually put your body in a lower energy state, essentially “tricking” yourself into thinking you’ve already achieved your goal.⁣

AKA — You’re done. You can relax.⁣

But that’s not exactly helpful when we still need to freaking do it.⁣


Energy underlies the investment of effort (Brehm & Self, 1989).⁣

𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞’𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞:⁣

Imagining a perfect outcome isn’t realistic.⁣

It feels nice, but it likely won’t help you.⁣

In fact, it might even decrease your chances of success.⁣

Instead of just visualizing success, use it as a jumping off point to reverse engineer your desired reality and be CRITICAL when you do.⁣