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20 reasons why visualizing success can make you fail

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Have you ever heard the saying “if you can dream it, you can do it”?

Well, that’s not always true.

Yes, no one is denying that visualizing success can be helpful, but there are some times when it just doesn’t work.

But how can something so innocent as visualizing success cause someone to fail? Let’s find out.

I’ll be telling you 20 reasons why visualizing success can make you fail.

1) You’ll stop looking for ways to improve

Let me take a guess.

You already tried to imagine how you can become the best employee at work or in your field. You’ve probably even written down a few things about it.

You’ve visualized your success so many times that now you almost believe that you can actually become successful.

But let’s be honest.

Did you achieve any of those things you were visualizing? Did this technique help you achieve success?

I don’t think so.

Why? Because you stopped looking for ways to improve.

You stopped looking for ways that could help you achieve your goals. Instead, you decided to rely on some technique that hasn’t even been proven to be effective.

So guess what?

You’re just going to be disappointed if you continue to rely on this technique.

Now you probably want to know why I’m saying this.

Well, the truth is that visualizing success is a great tool sometimes, but it can also be dangerous. Why?

Because when you visualize success too often, your mind will eventually be satisfied and won’t bother with finding new ways to improve.

But in reality, you do need to look for new ways to improve, right?

Instead of doing this, you’ll just accept things as they are and won’t do anything about them anymore.

And that’s when you fail.

2) You won’t make the changes you need to make in your life

Ever noticed that visualizing success can make you slow down?

Admit it. If you have been using this technique for some time now, chances are that you would slow down, hoping that things will magically improve on their own.

The result?

You have made very few changes in your life.

But why?

Because you were just visualizing the success that you wanted to achieve. And when you do this, chances are that you’ll be satisfied with what you have now and won’t make any improvements.

The reason is that you believe what you want to achieve is enough for you to achieve it. But that’s not true.

You need to act on what you want to achieve, or else nothing will happen.

So if you’re not satisfied with what you have now, chances are that you’re going to fail again.

And you know what?

You shouldn’t rely on visualizing success too much. Instead, start practicing habits that will help you make the changes that you need to make in your life.

3) You’ll fail to discover your real purpose in life

Now I’m going to stop you right there and make you think about something.

What is the purpose of life? What are you trying to achieve?

Well, if you don’t know what your purpose is, it will be very difficult for you to achieve it.

But guess what?

People who use visualization techniques, turn to meditation, or other types of self-help activities, often fail to discover their real purpose in life. As a result, they end up feeling disappointed.

Why is this?

Because they are visualizing success, which is usually far away from their real purpose in life.

But understanding the purpose of your life is very important for letting go of others’ influences and becoming the best version of yourself.

At least, that’s what Justin Brown, the co-founder of Ideapod and co-creator of The Vessel has taught me. When I had trouble focusing on my goals and finding the real purpose of my life, he explained that the only way to avoid feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction was to find my purpose in life.

I learned a new way to discover my purpose after watching Justin’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself. He explains that most people misunderstand how to find their purpose, using visualization and other self-help techniques.

And if you’re trying to achieve success by visualizing it, I bet that you feel the same. And that’s why you should start by connecting with your inner self. Why?

Because visualization isn’t the best way to find your purpose. In this free video, you’ll see that there’s a new way to do it which Justin Brown learned from spending time with a shaman in Brazil.

After watching the video, I discovered my purpose in life, and it dissolved my feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction. This helped me to focus more on my career and social life and succeed.

Watch the free video here.

4) You won’t take action

Let me tell you a secret.

When you visualize success too often, chances are that you will start believing in a false reality and stop taking action because of it.

This is a very dangerous thing because, without taking action, things won’t improve at all because there is no way for them to improve without taking action.

Why?

The answer is simple.

Visualization doesn’t always work. The truth is that by imagining things that you need to happen, you can’t make things happen.

I know this sounds like a paradox, but it’s not. Because the way we make things happen is by taking action, and the only way you will be able to take action is by visualizing success in your mind.

But what happens if you don’t visualize your success? What if you don’t believe that it’s possible? Will things still change?

I guess that you already know the answer to this question.

No, things won’t change eventually, but instead of imagining things, you’ll start taking action! And that way, you’ll finally get what you want.

5) You won’t be creative enough to come up with new ways of improving your life

Did you know that visualizing success can have a bad impact on your creative thinking?

I know, because I used to do it a lot. I know that this is a very counterproductive thing to do because if you visualize success too often, you’ll start thinking that things are already working out the way they should be.

This will make you feel bored and frustrated and will stop you from doing new things. And it’s not good for your creativity at all.

And you know what?

When visualizing success, you won’t be able to think of ways to improve either at work or in your personal life.

This can cause a lot of problems for anyone who is visualizing success too often because they will eventually start relying on their old methods and will begin to believe that they are already successful.

And that’s not good because you’re not successful yet. You still have a lot to learn and improve.

So remember: instead of imagining your success, if you want to be successful, you have to be creative enough to come up with new ways of improving your life regularly, or else your failure will never stop coming back at you over and over again!

6) You won’t be comfortable with who you are and what you have achieved

This is a very common mistake that most people make, and it’s not good at all.

What happens when you visualize success too often?

Well, first of all, you start believing in a false reality, but what else?

You become uncomfortable with the present moment because of your false beliefs. And this is extremely dangerous. Why?

Because as soon as you’re uncomfortable with the present moment, you’ll start looking for ways to improve it or escape from it in some way.

And this will make you unhappy because unhappy people are never satisfied with what they have achieved so far because they always want more. They want more money, more power, or power over something else. In other words, they want more.

And this is bad for anyone who wants to be successful. Because it’s a never-ending cycle of worry and dissatisfaction.

And as you know by now, if you want to be successful, you shouldn’t be unhappy with what you have achieved so far, because that’s one of the main reasons why you’ve failed so many times before.

But what if you’re comfortable with who you are and what you have achieved?

Then you’ll start to accept that achieving success doesn’t happen all at once and that you need to work hard and be patient.

7) You’ll pick up a lot of toxic habits

As I said before, if you visualize success too often, you’ll start believing in a false reality.

And this is very dangerous because it will cause you to pick up a lot of bad habits and bad techniques that will eventually make you unhappy.

What am I talking about?

Well, you might develop a superiority mindset and start thinking you’re better than others. To make matters worse, you’ll start believing that you’re already a successful person who deserves to be treated better than others.

The result?

You will end up achieving the opposite of what you’re searching for. You do more to harm yourself than to heal.

You may even start being rude to others and hurting them.

In this eye-opening video, the shaman Rudá Iandé explains how so many of us fall into the toxic spirituality trap. He himself went through a similar experience at the start of his journey.

As he mentions in the video, spirituality should be about empowering yourself. Not suppressing emotions, not judging others, but forming a pure connection with who you are at your core.

If this is what you’d like to achieve, click here to watch the free video.

Even if you think that the technique you’re using to achieve success is working, it’s never too late to unlearn the myths you’ve brought into truth!

8) You’ll lose motivation to work hard anymore

How motivated have you been feeling recently?

If you’re like most people who use visualization techniques, you probably have a hard time being motivated to work hard anymore.

You may wonder why, but actually, it’s simple to answer: you’re waiting for the visualization to help you achieve success.

This is a common problem that many people experience when they use visualization techniques. And it’s actually the reason why most of them stop working hard after a few months of using visualization techniques.

You see, all of these things combined will make you lose your motivation to work hard anymore.

And that’s a problem because you need to be motivated in order to achieve whatever it is you want. If you have no motivation, then you’ll never get anywhere.

If this happens, what should you do?

You should stop using visualization techniques and start focusing on what you can do to achieve what you want.

This is why the next step should be the most important one: to change your mindset from one of wanting to achieve a goal to being motivated by something else entirely!

9) Visualizing success makes you overthink

When you visualize, you are focusing on your goal, and it’s an easy mistake to make.

The problem is that when you focus on your goal too much, you can start over-thinking about it.

Over-thinking means that your mind is so focused on how to achieve the goal that it starts thinking about the details of the process along the way.

And guess what?

This can lead to a lack of focus and the inability to change gears.

Considering this, it’s not surprising that overthinking can slow down your success and make you feel like you’re spinning your wheels.

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If this happens, what should you do?

You should stop focusing on your goal too much and start focusing on the process that you need to follow in order to achieve it.

If you do this, then it’s likely that you will experience success while keeping your focus on the thing that matters most – the process of achieving your goal.

10) You might end up failing because you don’t know what you are doing

A few minutes ago, you probably thought that visualization is so good that it can make you feel like you know what you’re doing.

But this is what’s wrong with visualization techniques: they can make you feel like you’ve already achieved your goal.

This is why visualization techniques have a tendency to cause us to be overconfident and not take into account the things that could go wrong along the way.

And if this happens, then it’s likely that your success will be limited by the things you don’t know about. You’ll lose control of your life and let some imaginary things take over.

And that’s not good because this will lead to failure.

So, try not to get too confident about your visualization technique and instead focus on what you don’t know and what you need to learn.

11) Your visualization won’t make it into reality

Has imagining your success ever made it into reality?

I’m going to bet that it hasn’t.

And even if it has, it’s only because you were lucky and didn’t fail for some reason. But that doesn’t mean that visualization worked.

The reason why visualization doesn’t make it into reality is that we tend to forget about the things that could go wrong along the way.

But even if you always remind yourself of what could go wrong, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to stop these things from happening.

This is why visualization techniques can’t work for everyone and don’t work for all goals. But what if you keep visualizing your success over and over again?

The answer is simple: your visualization just won’t make it into reality – you’ll fail again and again and again until you give up.

12) It will drag you into a vicious cycle

Did you know that your goal is likely to fail if you keep visualizing it over and over again?

And did you also know that this failure will lead to a vicious cycle of failure?

This means that your visualization technique is likely to cause you to fail on purpose and then make you feel bad about yourself. This will lead you to feel bad about yourself and then make you try harder at the goal while visualizing your success.

And this will lead to more failures until your visualization technique has become a habit and you don’t even realize it.

You’ll end up addicted to the feeling of failure – which is why visualization techniques can be so powerful for some people, but not for others.

Let me explain.

Visualization can make your situation worse, by causing more stress and anxiety than before. And that’s what I call a vicious cycle.

You’ve probably heard about the vicious cycle of visualization.

It’s a cycle that you can get into if you keep visualizing your success over and over again.

And this is why there’s no point in visualizing your success because you’ll just end up getting stuck in a vicious cycle that will only take you further and further away from your goal.

This is the reason why visualization doesn’t work and we should stop using it to achieve our goals. It’s time to find some other way of achieving them.

13) You’ll start doubting yourself more often than necessary

You see, if you keep visualizing your success over and over again, you’ll start doubting yourself more often than necessary.

You’ll start thinking that you’re not good enough and that you can’t achieve what you want. And this self-doubt will lead you to feel bad about yourself.

And this will lead to more failures until your visualization technique has become a habit and you don’t even realize it.

You’ll end up doubting yourself so much that you’ll start doubting everything about your life – even things that are true.

You’ll start doubting the things in your life that are good for you, which is why visualization techniques can be so powerful for some people, but not for others.

And this type of scenario of your life doesn’t sound really impressive, right?

So, why would you choose to do this?

Why would you choose to feel bad about yourself? Why would you want to experience failure more often than necessary? And why would you want to doubt everything in your life – even things that are true?

That’s why you need to stop visualizing your success over and over again. That way, you’ll start feeling good again.

14) You’ll end up getting hypnotized

Another reason why visualization doesn’t work and we should stop using it to achieve our goals is that it can make us get hypnotized by our visualization technique.

And this is why I don’t recommend anyone using visualization techniques unless they’re serious about reaching their goal.

Let’s see how.

If you keep visualizing your success over and over again, you’ll start thinking that there’s nothing wrong with your current situation – which is why the only way out of it will be to visualize your success.

This will lead you to feel good about yourself again, which will make you want to use visualization techniques more often than necessary. And this will make it harder for you to break the vicious cycle of visualization that I’ve just told you about.

And what about getting hypnotized?

Well, if you keep visualizing your success over and over again, you’ll start to think that your visualization technique is working for you. And this will make you feel good about yourself and make you think that it’s working for you. But you already know that it doesn’t, don’t you?

But hang on a second. What is so bad about being hypnotized?

The simple truth: you’ll lose control and get more detached from reality, which will make it impossible to get rid of this vicious circle of visualization.

15) You’ll get stuck in a loop of failure

One more dangerous reason why visualization techniques don’t work is that they can make you get stuck in a loop of failure.

Let’s see how this happens.

If you keep visualizing your success over and over again, you’ll start thinking that there’s nothing wrong with your current situation – which is why the only way out of it will be to visualize your success.

This will make you feel good about yourself again, which in turn makes you want to use visualization techniques more often than necessary. And this will only reinforce the vicious cycle of visualization.

So guess what?

After some time, you’ll be overwhelmed with the feeling of being stuck in a loop of failure.

And feeling stuck will make you feel even worse about yourself, which will make you want to achieve success as quickly as possible. And as a result, you’ll turn to visualization again.

16) You’ll do things without thinking them through entirely first

Let me ask you a question.

What do you do before taking certain actions or changing the course of your life?

If you’re like most people, you probably think through all the pros and cons of taking an action before taking it, but that’s not what usually happens.

How is this connected with the fact that visualizing success can make you fail?

Well, if you start visualizing your success and get encouraged to take actions based on that visualization, you’ll make all kinds of mistakes, like not thinking about your plans in the first place.

What will be the outcome of this?

You’ll get frustrated and blame yourself for not being able to live up to your goals. And this will make you feel even worse about yourself, which will make you want to achieve success even more quickly.

And as a result, you’ll become more dependent on visualization and more likely to be disappointed when things don’t go your way.

17) You’ll stop trying new things

You probably tried to visualize your success a few times, but it didn’t work. Maybe you’ve even been doing that for months or years now.

But I’m here to tell you that it’s time for a change. It’s time to stop visualizing and start trying new things.

Let me give you an example of how this is going to work: let’s say that in your mind, you’re already the best employee at work and in your field, and you’re extremely successful (just like the people I mentioned above).

Then one day, a new opportunity comes your way: a company is looking for someone who can take over their social media accounts so they can focus on their upcoming event.

What will you do?

You’ll probably think about how great you are at social media, and that you can easily take over this job. And then you’ll make the decision to apply for the job, which will inevitably lead to disappointment.

Why?

Because you don’t have the proper skills to be hired for this job. And relying on imagining success without having the necessary skills won’t help you get the job.

Now you may tell me that, actually, you have great skills for managing social media, but this is just an example.

So what’s the point?

The point is that imagining your future success will make you stop trying out new things which are crucial for feeling satisfaction from your career.

18) You’ll feel disappointed if you don’t reach your goal

If you decided to use visualization, you probably set a clear goal about the time when you would achieve success.

But what if you don’t reach it by the time you planned?

Do you think you’ll be happy then?

I know what I would do if I were in your shoes. I’d feel disappointed, frustrated, and not achieve success again. And this would lead to even more negative thoughts and behaviors.

So what would you do?

You’d probably feel disappointed in yourself and sad about it.

The truth is that if you’re not satisfied with your current situation, it’s better to keep looking for a new job or a new project than to stay stuck in the same position. It may seem like you’re wasting time and money, but trust me – it will be worth it in the end.

Remember: visualizing success is not enough to make it real. You must act on it as well. That’s why visualizing success doesn’t always work for some people.

And that’s also why there are some people who have great imaginations but fail in real life because they don’t know how to make things happen, and they don’t know how to take action and be proactive about their goals.

They’re too afraid of failing, so they stay stuck in their current position.

19) You’ll be satisfied with what you have achieved in the past and won’t want to do more than that

Let me take another guess.

Have you ever heard of someone saying, “I’m happy with my life because I have everything I want”?

Or “I’m satisfied with my life because of my family.” And “I’m happy with my job because I have all the things I need and I don’t need anything else.”

Or “Because I have money and a career, everything is perfect”?

Well, let’s be honest. None of these things are true.

The truth is that people who say they’re satisfied with their life, with their job, with their family, or with their money are usually lying to themselves because they’re not happy at all. Or they’re afraid of change, so they don’t want to change anything.

And the same goes for you too, right? You may have everything you want right now, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be satisfied with your job or your salary in 5 years. You might not be happy working for a company in 3 months.

And that’s great because you’ll start searching for new opportunities and grow along the way.

But what if you keep visualizing success?

You’ll end up satisfied with what you have achieved in the past and won’t want to do more than that.

20) You’ll get discouraged and stop trying altogether

And the final reason why visualizing success doesn’t always work is that it can be too much to handle.

You’ll get discouraged and stop trying altogether. Or you’ll just give up because you don’t see any results at all.

But did you know that people who keep trying and trying new things are often the ones who succeed? They’re the ones who have the most fun doing what they’re doing.

And that’s because they know that if they don’t try, they won’t achieve anything at all.

So, instead of continuing to visualize success and getting discouraged as a result, you need to try new things. After all, the more you do it, the better chance you’ll have to succeed!

Final thoughts

All in all, if you have ever idealized your future outcomes, now is the right time to realize that it’s not enough to just hope and wish for success. You have to know how to make it happen!

I hope that with this blog post, you’ll be able to transform yourself into a person who lives in their dreams while they live in reality.

Just remember: you might keep visualizing success until it becomes a habit – but then, nothing will change anyway because there’s no way of making it happen in reality.

So, visualizing success is not enough to change your life for the better; you need to take action!

Written by Nato Lagidze

Nato is a writer and a researcher with an academic background in psychology. She investigates self-compassion, emotional intelligence, psychological well-being, and the ways people make decisions. Writing about recent trends in the movie industry is her other hobby, alongside music, art, culture, and social influences. She dreams to create an uplifting documentary one day, inspired by her experiences with strangers.

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