The Two Types of Negative Visualization

How negative visualization can help you become invincible

Photo by Dawn Armfield on Unsplash

Not only have humans the tendency to take things for granted, but also think that calamities will never strike them. When we watch news hearing about earthquakes we say I feel sorry for these people and wish to help but that’s nothing to me personally — I’m safe. When we see accidents we think it’ll never occur to us. When family members or friends die nothing prompts us to accept that this not only may happen to us but will (sooner or later) happen to us. How come? Is any person omniscient about the future? Human ingenuity allowed us to apply mathematics to predict many phenomena, but it seems unlikely we will ever reach a point where we know for sure everything that is going to happen.

So fate is going always going to play a role in our life. It is therefore reasonable to learn how to accept it. In order to be ready for any calamity that may strike it is useful to practice negative visualization.

There are two types of negative visualization that one could apply: visualization in relation to what we already have and value, and visualization in relation to what we might acquire and which is part of our objectives. In the former, we imagine losing something we have and value: mother, sister, car, or even laptop. With the latter, we imagine how things could go wrong for the activities or goals we might have. Practicing both will make us resilient in the face of adversity. If you notice yourself losing the cardinal virtues of wisdom, courage, justice, and self-control because of external events, take note of it and realize that you probably haven’t been practicing enough of negative visualizations.

But remember: what you’re after is a healthy mix of positive (inspiring) and negative (preparing and appreciation inducing) visualizations.