Visualize Success if You Want to Realize Success

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you daydream about your goals but don’t know how to reach them? Do you want to know how you can visualize success to achieve your dreams?

Fantasies and daydreams don’t have to be fictional. You can visualize success to help you achieve your goals. Even some of your wildest dreams can come true if you break them down into bite-size pieces.

Keep reading to learn how you can visualize success and turn your dreams into reality.

Daydreams Aren’t Just Daydreams

Fantasy and imagination can be instrumental in helping women achieve their goals, as the author of Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis, learned from her own experiences. When she first moved to LA, her admittedly ridiculous goal was meeting and marrying the actor Matt Damon. Though this was an unlikely scenario, her belief got her to Los Angeles and led her to landing a great job, which led to her event planning career and her future husband.

With no clear direction, she just made one up. Once she had a direction, she was able to get moving and make progress in her life. When she gave up on marrying Matt Damon, she began obsessing about an expensive Louis Vuitton handbag. She imagined it in great detail and vowed to buy it after her first $10,000 check. Through years of hard work and progress in her career, she made sure to visualize success — and achieved it. Her purse represented more than just a purse; it was the culmination of an enormous amount of hard work, career progress and success. 

Visualize Success

The author attributes her ability to visualize success in intricate detail as a big factor in achieving those dreams. Big goals, such as “career success,” can feel overwhelming, vague and challenging, but if you break a big dream down into bite-sized goals, as she did with her purse, it feels achievable.

When setting a goal, spend time focusing in intricate detail. What does it look like? How does it feel? Visualizing in this level of detail makes the goal feel real. It will be different for everyone; it’s about finding the motivation you need to make a move in your life. Whether or not that exact dream comes true isn’t the point: what is important is having a clear direction. 

Life gets hard and many things can get in the way of your goal, but with a clear vision, you have something to focus on. Your big goals can keep you going when you’re tired and discouraged, and when they are imagined in crystal clear detail, it’s easier to hold onto them.

Distraction Technique

Daydreams can also be used as a distraction technique. For example, during a strenuous workout, you can try a “cardio fantasy” — a big, crazy scenario to help you visualize success and to get yourself through the workout. The more elaborate the fantasy, the easier you can make it through.

Some cardio fantasy examples: 

  • Imagine being best friends with your hero. (The author imagines running into her favorite author on a hike and becoming best friends.)
  • Imagine vacationing with a celebrity. (She imagines herself vacationing with George Clooney.)
  • Imagine giving a concert with your favorite singer. (She’s on stage with Lionel Richie.)
  • A hunk asks you out. (She dreams up scenarios where Ryan Gosling or a Hemsworth brother hits on her — and of course, being married, she politely turns them down.)

Tips on How To Visualize Success To Move Your Goals Forward

Try these three imagination tools to stay focused on your goal.

  • Write it down. Write down your goal in intricate detail, including how you’ll feel when it’s achieved. What will your first day at the dream job feel like? How will you feel when you get healthy? The more detail the better.
  • Say it out loud. Naming your goal is important because it helps us absorb the goal. For example, instead of “I’m going back to school,” say, “I’m going to get my master’s in psychology.”
  • Create a vision board. This helps you map out your dreams in your mind. Keep reminders of your current goal taped up where you can see them. Hollis has a cover of Forbes magazine to remind herself of her dream to be a self-made millionaire. She also has a picture of a home in Hawaii to remind her of her dream of owning a vacation home there.

If you visualize success in detail every day, you will become closer to achieving it.

Visualize Success if You Want to Realize Success

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Rachel Hollis's "Girl, Wash Your Face" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full Girl, Wash Your Face summary :

  • Why you should accept that life can be messy
  • How seeing that you're in control of your life can help you live more joyfully
  • The 20 lies you might be telling yourself

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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