Monday, October 01, 2012

Magical Mondays: The Power of Positive Visualization, Part 2

Well, I decided to not go into too much more detail about the last post and risk boring you. So, to cut a long story short: I did reach (and surpass) all those monetary goals that I kept in mind, one after the other.

First $9/hr, then $15/hr, then $64K/yr, and the one after $64k/yr -- $120K/yr -- is now within a few months of my reach should I continue to pursue it.  In fact, I've already crossed that one off my list and moved the next goal into first place, even though technically, I'm not there yet.  It's just that I KNOW I could if I wanted. All I have to do is switch from employee to consultant, which I might do next year.

Keeping goals firmly in mind -- and believing you'll reach them -- really works, folks.

Even for healing, as we can see from the placebo effect.

Definition of Placebo effect


Placebo effect: Also called the placebo response. A remarkable phenomenon in which a placebo -- a fake treatment, an inactive substance like sugar, distilled water, or saline solution -- can sometimes improve a patient's condition simply because the person has the expectation that it will be helpful. Expectation to plays a potent role in the placebo effect. The more a person believes they are going to benefit from a treatment, the more likely it is that they will experience a benefit. (highlight and italics mine)

In 2006, I was at work and had sudden, bad chest pain. I went to the ER and they took some images. The first one, on 6/22, showed evidence of a compression fracture. I saw a specialist who looked at the images and agreed. He wanted me to wear a back brace, which I didn't really want to do. When I went to be fitted for the brace, the office I had to go to was closed and it would be a couple of weeks before I go again. 

Over the next two weeks, every single day and several times a day, I strongly visualized my back healing and repeated over and over, "my back is completely healed."  I believed it would work, and was already feeling better by the time I went back for the second set of images on 7/9.

 Below are the results from my own medical record taken 17 days apart.

Of course, people could always come up with alternative explanations for what happened; however, I believed that my back was healthy, and it was. Yet, that's mild compared to what others have been through, and their sheer determination to overcome difficulties.  Morris Goodman comes to mind, and I know there are many others out there as well.

Do you have any stories you'd like to share about the power of positive thinking in your life?


  1. Wow! Kate, you are pretty awesome. I have nothing to beat that. I will definitely work harder on my visualization.

    1. Well, thanks, Edie, though I have been worried that these posts may come across as bragging, and that's not my point. (I know you know it isn't)

      I just want to share my experiences with people to give them hope, the way it does for me when I read about other people overcoming their difficulties.

  2. I guess I never believe strongly enough. These kinds of things don't happen for me, and usually trying to visualize what I want in this fashion, results in the opposite happening.

    1. Charles, it has happened that way for me sometimes, too.

      I recently read that sometimes this happens as a result of a subconscious fear or belief that the opposite *will* happen, or that we somehow don't deserve what we're asking for.

      Whenever the opposite of what I'm wishing for happens, I can usually see that my fear of the worst outcome was stronger than my belief in the good.

      I do feel a difference if I focus on what I want in a positive light; i.e., "I want to be healthy" and picture how good it would feel, vs. "I don't want to be sick".

      But really, who knows? Your mileage may vary. :)

  3. I have always thought that a positive attitude toward anything is part of the process of getting through it. I refused to acknowledge that I was sick when I went through Hodgkins nearly 18-19 years ago. I didn't reject the diagnosis. I simply refused to be sick. I never felt bad and the only time I missed from work was during surgical recovery.

    Now maybe it was because my disease was found very early...almost pre Stage 1 in fact. So it was highly localized and completely erased with radiation treatments. No need for chemo, which is the part that can make patients sick even if they stubbornly refuse to acknowledge it.

    But I believed there was nothing to fear and that I just needed to focus and make the right treatment decisions, and I would get through it and be healthy. So that's what I did.

    It's not always going to work. None of us gets out of this life alive. If that cancer had been meant to kill me, it would have. But the only thing we have control over in our lives is how we're going to react and why not react and deal with a positive attitude. It couldn't hurt, and often helps.

    1. Great story, Travis - thanks for sharing! And I'm so glad you made it through with flying colors!

      Your last paragraph is so true and insightful. I love your attitude. :)


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