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This section looks at common problems that come up when remote viewing, and what to do about them.

Problem: I receive impressions that match one of the image choices, but it turns out not to be the correct target image. Or, I receive impressions matching both image choices.

This is a very common occurrence, even for experienced remote viewers. You might get an excellent match, but to the wrong image; clearly you succeeded in receiving information about an image you would see in the future, but it wasn’t the correct target image.

This is caused by a problem when setting your intention as you begin a remote viewing session. By setting your intention, you communicate to your subconscious mind that you want to see the target image in your mind. But your subconscious mind is very sensitive to what you are paying attention to, and what you have strong feelings about. So if you’re anticipating the appearance of the two image choices, or if, when they appear, you are excited or anxious to discover whether the impressions you received are a good match to either of them, then you’re in danger of inadvertently signalling to your subconscious mind that you’d like to receive impressions from those two image choices, rather than from the correct target image that you will see in the feedback stage when the round is finished.

To solve this problem, you’ll need to connect more strongly, when setting your intention, with the experience of viewing the target feedback image  — and connect less strongly with the experience of viewing the two image choices. Several methods for doing this are described on the Setting Intention page.

If you try those methods but continue having problems connecting with the correct target image rather than the two image choices, there are a couple more options. 

First, you can try a different self-judging protocol. On the Account page, change the “Judging Type” to either “Rate Tags”, “Descriptions”, or “Scrambled”, and hit “Save Changes.” With the “Rate Tags” option, you’ll be asked to rate how well each of a series of different words or phrases matches the impressions you received. This way you’ll never need to see the incorrect image choice – which should prevent you from picking up impressions of it when remote viewing. With the “Descriptions” option, you’ll be shown text descriptions of the two images rather than the images themselves, again preventing you from seeing the incorrect image choice. With the “Scrambled” option, you’ll be shown the two image choices in a scrambled form, as if they’d been cut up into pieces and rearranged. This will still allow you to make out the colors, shapes, and textures in the images so you can judge which image best matches the impressions you received. But it will partially obscure the subjects of the images, perhaps making them less appealing false targets for your subconscious mind. These are all experimental options that haven’t been thoroughly tested yet, so use them only if they seem to work well for you.

Second, you can try the “Independent Jury” judging protocol, which can also be selected from the “Judging Type” menu on the Account page. The ‘Independent Jury’ option sends your sketch/notes to other members of the RV Tournament community to do the judging for you. Using this option, you can completely avoid being shown the two image choices, and you will see only the correct target image the next day. You can read more about Independent Jury judging here. Among all the judging types, so far RV Tournament players have had the best results with “Independent Jury” judging.

Third, you could try working with a friend. During your remote viewing session, make detailed notes and sketches of any impressions you receive. Then let your friend look at the two image choices, decide which one is the best match to the impressions you documented, and submit that choice to RV Tournament. This way you will not need to look at the two image choices at all, so you’re less likely to receive information from the wrong one. In this situation there is a new danger however: if you focus too much on what your friend will think of the impressions you received, you may end up remote viewing impressions received from your friend’s mind! Therefore even if you rely on a friend to judge which image is the best match, it’s still important to develop the skills to set your intention on viewing the target image, and to avoid placing your focus elsewhere.

Problem: I received accurate impressions and got several rounds correct when I began using RV Tournament, but then my accuracy plummeted and I started getting many rounds incorrect. 

This is a common phenomenon in remote viewing, called “beginner’s luck.” The cause is unknown, but several researchers believe that it is related to the “performance anxiety” seen in athletes. When we first start out with a new skill, we don’t have any reason to expect that we’ll be any good at it, so we don’t worry about failing. As we rack up wins however, we can build up expectations for ourselves that cause us to be anxious that we might fail. Alternately, we can become anxious at what success would mean for us. Either way, becoming emotionally attached to our own future success or failure can distract us; it can prevent us from clearly communicating an intention to our subconscious mind, and it can clutter our mind with stress and distraction when we need to quiet it to receive impressions.

Ultimately the solutions for this are the same methods used to address any other form of anxiety. They’re easier said than done, and they require persistence, but they do work. Honestly ask yourself, “what’s the worst that can happen?” and play out the consequences of success or failure in your mind all the way to the end, so as to try to lessen your emotional responses to the possibilities. Focus on the present moment, perhaps by paying attention to your breath, and allow yourself to let go of all the stories about your identity, your past, and your future that we tend to repeat in our minds and often rely on to define ourselves by. Allow yourself to view your remote viewing practice as play, as exploration, as an opportunity for self growth — not as a test, not as a measure of who you are or what you’re worth. Sometimes the most effective way to do something is to allow your conscious mind to let it go altogether, to just trust your subconscious and the rest of the universe to do their jobs, and to believe that it will all work out.

Problem: I play RV Tournament and so does my friend/husband/wife/teacher/etc. Often we both get similar impressions that closely match one of the image choices, but then when feedback arrives it turns out one of us is right and the other is wrong!

Because each player’s correct target image for a round is determined randomly, two players will often have different correct target images. Normally that’s not a problem, but it can be if the two players are close (for example friends or significant others). In those cases, details about one player’s target image will sometimes show up in the other player’s RV session; two players who are close often seem to share a telepathic link! When these two players have different target images, this link can give them information about the wrong image, but if the players have the same target image, the link can actually help them out.

If you are close to someone else who plays RV Tournament, it’s easy to make sure that you both get the same correct target image in each round. To do this, both of you can set your “Group Name” (on the Account Page) to the same word or phrase. You can choose anything as your group name, just make sure that each person you want to share the same daily target image with also has their Group Name set to the same thing. Group Names are not case sensitive. Note that Group Names only work for players using the Normal or Scrambled judging types; for other judging types each player is assigned a random pair of images.

Problem: When trying to remote view, I don’t receive any impressions.

This may be a problem with quieting down your mind. I recommend sitting quietly for a few minutes before remote viewing. Focus on your breath, or something else that makes you aware of your body in the present moment, and let the usual cycle of thoughts and worries quiet down by noticing them but not pursuing them. I recommend a daily meditation practice; regular meditators have been shown to perform better at remote viewing.

Once your mind is quiet, small thoughts or images are bound to pop up now and then, just because it’s nearly impossible to keep a mind completely quiet for very long. Practice noticing them and writing them down when they appear. 

A good time to try remote viewing is right before you go to sleep. As you enter the hypnagogic state, fleeting bits of dream imagery start to pass through the mind. This is the same effect as the impressions we can receive when awake and relaxed, but as we approach sleep they become stronger and more pronounced. Once you get in the habit of gently noticing these fragments of imagery as you fall asleep (without disrupting them), you’ll be better able to spot them while awake and remote viewing.

For more information about preparing for a remote viewing session, see Preparation. For more information about receiving impressions when remote viewing, see Receiving Information

Once you’ve become accustomed to quieting your mind and noticing the impressions that come and go, you’ll want to make sure your subconscious mind has a clear idea that you want to remote view the target image. For more information about this, see Setting Intention and Viewing the Target Feedback.