How to Visualize so you can 'See' it

See it with your senses
See it with your senses

Some of us don't 'see' as a preferred way of experiencing our inner world. We may 'feel', 'hear', or perhaps 'smell', and 'taste' better than we 'see'. And that goes for stored, and new, experiences.

'Visualising' is only one of our sensory modalities. Visualising can be described as seeing something in your mind's eye. If you're not able to 'see' internally, its likely that your preferred sense is 'hearing/auditory' or 'feeling/kinesthetic'. Its not that you can't see things, its just that your naturally 'preferred' method for internal experiences is through another sensory modality- like hearing, feeling, touch, smell, or taste.

If you're having trouble visualising your goals for example, lets practise and start by identifying your particular preference. Do you prefer to hear, see or taste? If you're not already aware of your particular preference begin by imagining a river. Can you picture it, do you hear it flowing, or do you just 'know' it's there?

So if you hear it better-you're auditory. If you can 'feel' the river and know it to be there then your preferred method is kinesthetic. Knowing this means you can use this process to enhance your visualisation. If you were trying to visualise money for example and but found you were more inclined to feel your image, you're predominantly kinesthetic. In this case you would imagine riffling the bills through your fingers, or opening your purse to feel the coins inside.

When you know that sound is your preferred modality, then enrich your visualisations with the rushing of the river, hearing the eddies and the ebb and flow of the water as it rushes downstream. Or in the money example listen to the coins jingle in your purse.

Some of you might believe you can't 'see'. Take heart because if you close your eyes and can remember what the front of your house looks like in a picture form, then you can visualise. If you're wanting to increase your powers of visualisation, practicing 'seeing' any picture in your minds eye. Lets keep with the river example: take a 'snapshot' of any part of the river flow - either a real shot, or one you can conjure up in your head- then close your eyes and recreate it. Start with something strong like a snapshot of white water rapids, or use a more soothing flow of a placid current around a rock if that's preferable.

The other modalities of taste/gustatory and smell/olfactory aren't as commonly preferred as visual, auditory or feeling. But to really enrich any imagery experience- whether real or imagined- incorporate as many modalities into your visualizations, immerse yourself in them and use them together. In the case of the river see it in your mind's eye, feel it, hear it, taste it and smell it.

Incorporate all the sensory modalities together into your goal plans and strategies and imagine yourself having achieved success: picture and see your new car (visual), hear the purr of the engine (auditory), run your fingers over the leather seats (kinesthetic), smell that new car smell (olfactory) and open the window (touch again) and taste the rain (gustatory).

And rest assured because the remarkable plasticity and flexibility of your mind to learn and understand new things is formidable. Continue to reinforce it through practice.

And when you're in that new car remember to internalise and fully experience the feelings of happiness, gratitude and success that go with it!

Images from texas finn and h.koppdelaney

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Comments 82 comments

Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 8 years ago from Sydney

This was the best answer to my request by far! Others have explained how to visualize for people who can "see" a picture - you've actually answered my question. Thanks!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Marisa, thanks for visiting. Glad it was helpful!


Lissie profile image

Lissie 8 years ago from New Zealand

Nice hub- I never thought of it but I dont think Ivisualise either maybe imagine the feeling of achieving something but I dont think I see it either


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

feeling it is a really good one too. As long as it works for you go for it! I try to mix and match a little to hit all my senses


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

That's a nice one :)

Thanks, I always have problems visualizing something, and never really thought of your approach. I definitely going to give it a try :)

On a side note - why do we have only Aussies on this hub (except me)? Does it mean the rest of the world is not interested? ;)


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

okay Mischa, let me know how you go!

side note- you know what I'm not even Aussie myself but don't tell...:-)


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

That's what you have on your profile. :)


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

LOL Misha, yes but not by birth I meant :-)


lifeboost profile image

lifeboost 8 years ago from United Kingdom

Excellent article! I'm kinesthetic and it took me quite a long time to realise that I didn't have to "see" to visualise.

In fact, it is the feeeeeeling (the rate at which you're vibrating) that manifests ;) Visualising (in pictures) is a tool to help you create the feeeeeeling! ;)

Thanks, Lifebydesign, for sharing this very well written article :) I'm looking forward to reading your other hubs!

Love and Light and Magic xxx


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks lifeboost! Yes, isn't it great when it all comes together in your head and they all complements each other. Makes for great 'visual' entertainment!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

This is a great hub - really interesting!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I'm learning now to "see" with my senses...and i'm getting better at it too :)


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks for visiting amy jane and ripplemaker.

Isn't it fun ripplemaker? i love being in charge of what I can do with my own mind!


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

For years, I couldn't "see" or visualize, especially during meditation, and this was my main complaint,  but strangely enough when my 18 year old nephew passed away suddenly almost four years ago, I am able to visualize, as a matter of fact I have become so visual that if someone describes something negative, I can see it too clearly. Odd how a shock can change one's internal wiring, but I am enjoying being much more visual! 


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

It's transforming my life in many ways, yes! :) And also, the feelings of gratitude and happiness that goes along with the visualization REALLY helps a lot.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

VioletSun-I enjoy visualizing as welll, although I'm more an auditory kind of person. But it's great you're enjoying the change- and it's awesome the power of our own minds to make these changes happen. Wow too that you can see things others describe - hope you can also see positives! :-)


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Ripplemaker you're right- the feelings of gratitude and happiness are important- thanks for the reminder!


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Yes, I am also able to see positives, and its great. :)


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK

Mine is definitely feeling. I "grasp" memories with my sense of touch. Nice hub. You've helped me to understand something about myself. Thankyou.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Hi CJ Stone- thanks for visiting, and I love the analogy of grasping memories, makes me wish I could do it. You know what - I'm going to give it a try!


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

i can attest to the effectivity of visualizing and allowing the other senses to flow with the scene. when you reach a level of "believability" the sense of joy and gratitude follows suit. and the next thing you know some of the things you visualize start manifesting in your life. thank you for making this hub. i know this will be useful to many more.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Hi dayzeebee, totally! the feelings are such an important part of visualising as well!


talented_ink profile image

talented_ink 8 years ago from USA

I firmly believe in the positive effects of visualization because as scientific as the civilization that we live in is, we usually don't believe in something unless we can see it, smell it, touch it, or taste it. With visualization, we can "see" what we desire i.e. more money or a new car, and we can begin constructing a plan to get us to that end. Good hub!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks for dropping by talented_ink. It's such a useful skill yet we're so often tuned to what we see on the outside we tend to disregard what we can create on the inside. And transfering that to the external world really does help to make that plan really real. A really good exercise some people might find useful is to start with the 'after images' (when you close your eyes) that you get after looking at a bright light briefy. Focusing on the after image can help with increasing visualisation.


talented_ink profile image

talented_ink 8 years ago from USA

Very insightful and I see why you're a life results coach and consultant.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Very interesting. I guess I tend to visualize things. My best work is done when I'm "in the zone" when my mind is extremely clear (which doesn't happen otherwise.)


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

William, I know what you mean. The zone is like a state of heightened relaxed awareness and clarity- great you have it! If you know how to get there you can engage it whenever you want, and then maintain it.


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

Visualizing things is something I do best - whether it's good or not! I feel like I daydream a lot and see scenarios play out the way I want them too (usually very unrealistic :P ). Great Hub! The orange car is beautiful, BTW :)


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

I love the car too! BTW, be 'unrealistic' as you like, you can always pull it back a little. Plus what's 'unrealistic' for us may in fact be 'real' for others! :-)


Brainstormer profile image

Brainstormer 8 years ago from Australia

HubPages is proving to be a boon in areas that I never expected when I joined the community. A week ago if you had of said I would read fully and enjoy an article on the different modalities of our inner world I would have laughed. Maybe it is the way you present it. Down to earth and easy to understand.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia Author

Brainstormer coming from you-that's such a compliment.

And not only do you find a huge range of stuff here, but the people are great. :-)


TKIMWRSVC profile image

TKIMWRSVC 7 years ago from United States

excellent integration of visualization and NLP

Thank you


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Why thank you TKIMWRSVC- glad you stopped by.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Hey Lifebydesign: what a beautiful hub. Very uplifting, thanks!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hey Teresa, glad you enjoyed it!


Cailin Gallagher profile image

Cailin Gallagher 7 years ago from New England

I've always felt like I just wasn't "getting it" when I tried to visualize and see an image clearly. Now, I'll try it with this approach. I tend to Feel the visualization. This was very helpful. I might try this again.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Cailin, have fun with it, and thanks for visiting!


Bruce Elkin profile image

Bruce Elkin 7 years ago from Victoria, BC Canada

An excellent, well-written, to the point hub. I help people design and create the lives and work they long for as a personal life coach. Part of the design part is visualizing results, as if they're already complete. I'm going to point my clients at this article to help them get stronger visual/kinesthetic images. Much appreciated!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Bruce, 'as if they're already complete!' Yes! Its the best part, but sometimes the one most people struggle with. One additional step could also include some self-talk/dialogue - what would you be saying to yourself.


nightrider73 profile image

nightrider73 7 years ago from USA

Great article! - this is helping me to put the pieces together to solve my visualisation problems - its interesting that visualsations need to involve ALL the senses to be effective in manifesting- also this is speaking the language of the unconscious mind, which is where 99.99% of everything about us resides.

Also, I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend the work of Stuart lichtman regarding visualizing and manifesting.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks for the recommendation nightrider, I'll have a look. Sure, the more sense you involve the more you can 'convince' yourself and imprint it. I would add also that if the image in all its glory is still not vivid or sufficiently believable for you, by looking closely at beliefs you hold around that image (more unconscious work) you can help identify what else might be getting in the way.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

I can see/feel/hear that there's always more to add to this article to give you as much help as I can. I do plan to do an update or another hub that includes the more recent points in the not too distant future. Hope your dreams come true!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Thank you Lifebydesign for becoming a fan. This drew me to reading this first hub of yours. Will now read the others. Visualization is so important when trying to realize things in one's life. I loved your river analogy as to what we saw, heard or felt first. I could just SEE and HEAR the rushing water going over and around rocks! Looking forward to joining your fan club and reading more of your hubs as you produce them.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Peggy, thanks for coming by. Glad you got the river analogy going :-). Look forward to hearing and seeing more from you too!


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Hi Lifebydesign! Wanted to stop by to share a "visualization" experience from my stay in Dublin this past week. I had this big gig with senior mgmt --had to deliver a conceptual presentation on a tricky topic, ideas and innovation, and was slightly anxious about it. So two days before the event I started to visualize the whole thing: myself in front of the audience, the way I would be dressed, the slides, the way the audience would sit around the table, what they would be wearing, the way they would look at me... I visualized the whole thing, from going into the room and setting up to what I would say, to the way I would wrap up... everything. The day of the event I had it all so much into my head that I wasn't nervous in the slightest, no anxiety whatsoever, I had a strong sense of déjà vu, like I'd done the whole thing before. It went fabulously well –flying colors and all that. Four days later, I'm still a bit high from the whole thing –more on account of the goodness of visualization than on account of the successful delivery! Laugh!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Good for you sweetie! That is fantastic- this stuff is so good when its used well. You are a star! And thanks for letting us know. :-)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

What an interesting article! The first thing I was going to ask is whatever made you to think of this to write it, and then I saw Marissa's comment right off the bat. Right now I'm picturing that convertible in my driveway! It look good there.

This isn't the kind of thing one thinks about too often. In acting school, we had to do exercises constantly to "inhance" our ability to visualize. To this day, i can talk you through a 30 minute experience while you lay on your back, eyes closed, that is almost like being hypnotized. I can also do it to myself. It's very relaxing, like meditation.

Very fun to read and ponder! Thanks!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Oh sure, when its done well it's so effective isn't it? My favourite is having people take me through a visualisation. Sometimes its just more fun listening to someone else's voice than my own internal head sounds! Thanks Chris :-)


Satyam7 profile image

Satyam7 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Very interesting article. Thanks

http://hubpages.com/travel/TravelToronto


KStyle 7 years ago

You got my attention, great hub!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

thanks, and welcome again :)


frosted flakes 7 years ago

This could definitely help me and my team in visualizing our golf shots :)


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 7 years ago from Australia Author

Oh sure, apparently it works a treat! :)


karobi profile image

karobi 6 years ago

Nice Hub it add more to my sense of visualisation, Thanks.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

my life by design is to get up in the morning and skip the bathroom and my coffee and go straight to the computer and one of your fabulous hubdelicious hubs.....


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 6 years ago from Australia Author

I appreciate that epigramman. I better get writing!


Jennifer Lynch profile image

Jennifer Lynch 6 years ago from Stowmarket, Suffolk.

This is great, just got to hold that vision!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 6 years ago from Australia Author

Yes that can be tricky in the beginning but gets much easier with practise, practise, practise...:)

All the best!


slade 5 years ago

very clear explanation. i can really visualize what you are talking about. thanks!


Multiman 5 years ago

Good article and advice


Robert Veight 5 years ago

Good advice for those who may find visualization a bit foreign. I am very new to hubpages (2 days ago), and I wrote a hub based loosely on this, and I actually did my first linking ... to your hub here !! Check it out and let me know if you like ... Thanks and all the best for you.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 5 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Robert, thanks for the link, and welcome to Hubpages! Look forward to reading your hubs!


joel 5 years ago

hey can some one help me i cant Visualize even when i say that i can see something and i still cant see anything which sucks or feel or hear when my eyes are closed if i try hard or not


Kevin 4 years ago

I only came here because I need to practise my visualizeing skills.To lucid dream.


Blind man 4 years ago

I can't feel it, smell it, hear it, or see it. I live in complete darkness, and yet I have two eyes to see with. Help.


Angie SA 4 years ago

Great way of explaining it - thank you. I had actually convinced myself that I was incapable of "visualizing". One way I understand it is that I can imagine but not visualize. Surely there is a difference between the two. I feel more by the way - much more I think.


George 4 years ago

I am similar to Blind man. It's just nothing there. Its just an internal dialogue and blackness. It's like a cloak has been placed over my minds eye and I sense that's it's there. But not actually seeing it. I've been searching for a method for over 20 years and also studied nlp to no avail. It's like I need a switch to be turned on inside, but I just can't seem to find it.


Shelly 4 years ago

Same here. I certianly wish I could see in my minds eye but I see nothing....I just "know" But at night while I sleep I can dream


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 4 years ago from Australia Author

Great hub Robert: http://robertveight.hubpages.com/hub/You-Too-Can-S...

Thanks for the link! I love the power of the mind to show us things we didn't know before. Isn't it cool?! Rock on Robert!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 4 years ago from Australia Author

Hey joel, sometimes we don't see, we just 'know'. Start to trust yourself more and see what happens. Or, play with it a little - for example, you could get in the car with no particular intention or aim except to just listen. So you would drive out your driveway and ask do I go left or right? And just keep doing that and see where you end up, who you meet, what transpires, or what you learn. Oh, and practice!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 4 years ago from Australia Author

Blind man, its the things we can't see with our two eyes that can be the most powerful. So you don't need your eyes, and may I also recommend, just letting it come, with no urgency or anxiousness. Its a quiet thing that can be overridden by our mind's noisy chatter and anxiety. Be curious.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 4 years ago from Australia Author

Nice distinction Angie. I consider visualising a faculty of our imagination - if you see what I mean. Our imagination gives us information in a variety of ways, and visualising is one of them. You for example receive it through a sense of knowing. Now I also believe that you can develop your visualising skills, as we all can.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 4 years ago from Australia Author

Hi George, I totally understand. Sometimes that happens, we shut off a part of ourselves that knows something - which maybe we don't want to see, hear or understand. For whatever reason. The fact that you can sense the 'cloak over your minds eye' is already a perception of your imagination. So well done. Can you see what that cloak is? Let me know...


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 4 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Shelly, you 'know', that's nice! And dreams - a whole nother story and a rich one at that! Happy dreaming!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 4 years ago from Australia Author

All the best with that Kevin! That is a wonderful ability!


incomeguru profile image

incomeguru 4 years ago from Lagos

Very interesting hub, at least i can now visualize my dream car. Am holding the steering and feeling the smell right now. Voted up!


Mark 4 years ago

Me too, when I close my eyes, I see nothing. But when I am semi-concious just before I am asleep I can visualize things. Therefore my subconcious mind can visualize but my concious mind can't. Also I am very left brained and analytical. After reading these comments I just realized that I cannot visualize with any of my other senses either in my mind. That is probably why I get involved with doing activities (physically or mentally) to keep my mind engaged. I just do and react I do not think about what I am or will do.

So my question to anyone is how to visualize?

I try for about 5-10 minutes daily and close my eyes and think about simple objects but cant see it.


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 4 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks incomeguru!


Lifebydesign profile image

Lifebydesign 4 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Mark, thanks for the question. I would disagree, I think you *can* visualise consciously but it may not be easy, your preferred method, 0r perhaps you just don't see things as clearly as you would like eg you are able to recognise your parent's faces when you see them - which means you have stored that image somewhere - but trying to bring it up in your mind's eye or picture each feature distinctly is not as easy.

You mention you are also not able to 'visualise with any of your other senses.' I just want to be clear that all the other senses are related to the particular sense organ, so if you referring to smell than that would be the memory of a smell, or if sound, then it is the memory of a sound, and you wouldn't necessarily 'visualise' ie see it, you would remember what the sound sounds like in your mind.

If I have understood you thus far, and you would like to visualise, can you start with a colour? Bring the colour of blue (or red, or green, whatever strikes your fancy) into mind, lets say its the sky. Look at the blue sky, for example, then close your eyes while holding the image of the blue in your mind's eye for 5 seconds. Then do it for longer. Then add a cloud that you see in the sky.

That's one exercise to develop your visualisation.

The other is to see if perhaps when you look at the sky if the blue has a feeling to it, does it evoke something in you? If so, use that feeling as the feeling of 'blue' and build your visualising ability in that manner. Or, perhaps the blue has a sound that comes easily to you, or a taste of blue. Experiment a little and start with something like colour, the feel of the colour, or the sound of the colour. If none of those work then try the taste of it, or smell, or something else. Do persist, you might be surprised by what you discover. And please let us know! All the best :)


Jamie 3 years ago

This is going to help me manifest things in my life so much easier! Thank you so much!


Neha tandel 3 years ago

i need help


BUD 2 years ago

WoW!!! This is the first time I feel 'understood' as I am left brained and have to analyze everything annd store the resulting facts for recall.

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