I first learned about visualization when I was 7 years old. I was a competitor in the Parkland Tap Festival, where each child performed the same tap dance solo and then received their placement.

It was my first year in the competition and much to my dismay, I placed 3rd behind two other girls from my studio. I received a bronze medal. What I really wanted was the trophy that was awarded to the winner.

I shared that goal with my mom and she told me about visualization. The process involves getting clear on what you want and then imagining it in your mind’s eye frequently.

For the next year, as I drifted off to sleep, I imagined myself on the stage, receiving that shiny trophy. I reeeealllllyyyyyy wanted that trophy and so I devoted my bedtime thoughts to that image.

The other important part of visualization is taking action in real life, so as soon as I learned my dance routine for the 8 year old category, I practiced it religiously.

I practiced the dance in my mind, which is another aspect of visualization and I practiced it with my body.

As an 8 year old, I learned the power of visualization. Sure enough, at that Parkland Tap Festival, I was awarded the trophy I had imagined winning so many times before.

It took a very consistent effort to manifest my dream, but it was worth it. I still remember the immense pride and satisfaction I felt as I stood on the stage holding my trophy.

Why doesn’t everyone use visualization to manifest their dreams? It takes courage to gain clarity on what you want. It takes devotion to repeatedly imagine that dream coming true. It also takes incredible faith to persist in the face of adversity.

Since then, I’ve manifested so many different drams using visualization and a number of other practices.

I even consider visualization to be a form of Courageous Self-Care. I practice gratitude for my current circumstances and I love to dream up what’s next and then visualize it into reality. Having clarity on what you desire for yourself and taking action to move towards it is self-care at its finest.

What’s your dream? I encourage you to imagine it in your mind’s eye with diligence and persistence. If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well be thinking about your dreams coming true.

International Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Embodiment Coach and founder of Courageous Self-Care, Christina Marlett is on a quest to help intelligent, over-achieving women learn how to go from ‘running-on-empty’ to ‘renewable energy’ by practicing self-care that goes beyond bubble baths, chocolate and wine.