When was the last time you daydreamed? And I don’t mean a fleeting 5 seconds wishing you had something, I’m talking about a proper, lose yourself for a while, colourful, visual, realistic daydream.

Your subconscious cannot distinguish between real and imagined. According to your subconscious, that daydream actually happened. Once you’ve got your subconscious on board it starts talking to your beliefs, and they start to coerce your thoughts, next thing you know you’re acting out your daydream because you have a firm belief that you can.

That’s a very simple and unscientific way of explaining a very heavy and powerful neurological process.

Why is this so important to us?

Take a look at the top athletes in the world, from motor racing through to skateboarding to bodybuilding. The top people all have one thing in common – they believed they could do it, and they believed they were the best. Chances are they also ran through a little movie of them on stage, or on the track completing and winning their event.


How about Arnold Schwarzenegger? He has done everything he said he was going to do (maybe he will be president one day....). He knew without a shadow of a doubt he was going to achieve, he could see it unfolding before him.

Dr Kerry Spackman wrote a number one bestselling book a few years ago called ‘The Winners Bible’, which focuses on simply that, harnessing the power of visualisation, he talks about creating your own Winners Bible and goes through simple processes to creating this.

The best thing about visualisation and tapping into your subconscious is that you don’t even have to have 100% belief that you can achieve your goal. The visualisation and imagery works on your subconscious, which in turn creates new pathways and beliefs in your brain. All you have to do is be creative, have fun and wait for the day that you say “I CAN do this!!”

This is a board crammed with pictures that mean something to you and your goal. It could be your head cut out on the body of a fitness model. It could be a piece of fabric from your wedding dress, or perhaps your bikini is pinned to it. It may even be a meaningful quote or a picture of yourself from 5 years ago in a teeny tiny dress. Whatever images you choose, make them something that your subconscious can aspire to. That before photo may be motivational up to a point, but your subconscious doesn’t need any help in believing what you look/feel like right now.


I see a lot of inspirational quotes etc posted by PTs, which is wonderful. But just remember, not every quote will sing to your psyche and the images of ripped abs behind the words may be extremely unrealistic and trigger your belief system into saying the quote is rubbish, simply based on the unrealistic image plastered behind it. For visualisation to work, it needs to mean something to you and you alone, not to someone else.

Imagination and analytical thought don’t go together. Who do you WANT to be, how do you WANT to feel and what do you WANT to look like. Forget whether you can or can’t...what do you want?

But, (yes, there has to be a but) you have to be realistic about your frame size and shape. There is no point Kim Kardashian wishing she looked like Vanessa Paradis and vice versa. Their frames are completely different.
So be creative, but seek advice as to what your body is capable of so you can also be realistic.
But by all means use pictures of Kim or Vanessa if other things about these ladies inspire you – perhaps it’s their hair or personality or the way they carry themselves and their attitude to life.


For many of us we don’t believe we can lose weight. We may actually be losing weight but we still don’t believe it. Let your subconscious imagine it as a real experience through visualisation and one day you will wake up and believe. And once you believe in yourself...anything is possible.


Try and do a heavy lift at the same time as trying to recite your 4 times table, or telling someone a really involved story. For most of us our strength or endurance would falter. I do this frequently with clients to see how involved their mind is with their exercise or if something is getting in the way of performance.

To lift a weight, neurons need to signal muscle. This process starts in the brain. Various studies have shown that strength can be increased through imagination.

You can imagine being stronger, fitter, leaner, happier, healthier. You can imagine anything by giving your subconscious some imagery.

Yes, sometimes we can’t solve a problem and visualisation isn’t going to correct your thyroid or digestion. But visualisation keeps you invested in believing you can find a solution instead of giving up and accepting that “this is your lot”.

If you believe you hate vegetables, then you will hate vegetables. It’s simple. If you begin to imagine the beautiful looking plate of vegetables that you admired last week while out in a restaurant and visualise yourself ordering them, eating them, enjoying them and feeling healthy and glowing, then very soon you will find you like one vegetable, then two and so on.

Don’t imagine fruit and vegetables. Imagine your favourite fruit and vegetables. Right this second I’m imagining macadamias and strawberries and that’s far more exciting than imagining generic nuts and fruit.

So, go and gather up those magazines, get out the PVA glue and scissors and start creating some powerful visualisation! And if you want, I’ll even let you grab a glass of wine to let the creative process flow!

Stacey Hancock
February 2012

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