People often struggle with the concept of visualising their goals, outcomes and success. ”Does it really make a difference?” I often get asked. Well, the simple answer is yes! Swiftly followed with a ”have you ever given it a go?” …
Taking some time out and really visualising your successes moves you closer and closer to it!
Many successful business people, sportsmen and women and actors visualise their desired outcomes on a regular basis, mentally rehearsing the steps they will go through and creatively visualising the end result. This may be before a performance or an important meeting. Visualisations can be used as part of the preparation process. Or, if you wish to reach your peak performance by remembering previous successes and wins, to further enhance the strength of the image in your mind, visualising your success has a place in determining your success.
Muhammad Ali famously once said “champions aren’t made in gyms, champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream a vision.” How true!
Research supports the power of visualisations as they enhance creative thinking and physical practice as the brain cannot tell the difference between reality and imagined experiences. The key is to ensure you introduce all the senses – see, hear, feel, smell and taste it! Spending time thinking about positive outcomes full of upbeat thoughts and your brain will start to develop its own positive upbeat neural pathways. The end result is that you will believe that they have already happened.
By the way, if you think you cannot visualise then close your eyes and think about your kitchen at home. What colour are the tiles, where is the cooker, what aromas where there the last time you were in the kitchen? Um, so now tell you cannot visualise!
So how do you do it?
1. Write down what it is you are looking to achieve; keep it short as bullet points will work. This is an important stage as it keeps you on track. What will you hear, see, taste, smell and – most importantly – feel when you have achieved your goal?
2. Relax your mind and body as you will take on board more information at an unconscious level in this state. When you are clear about your goal, close your eyes and breath deeply to calm your senses.
3. Now with your eyes still shut, see yourself in your goal/vision. Notice who else is there and whereabouts you are. Really take on board the detail; are you acting differently as you achieve your goal? We are starting the process right now and with practice the goal will become closer.
4. Really start to bring your vision to life. What are you hearing and from whom and where? What smells are there around you? What tastes do you experience and most of all, what is the feeling you have? Really focus on turning that feeling up and as you do, you will really experience that true feeling of achievement and success. You can carry this visualisation round with you like a photo, referring to it when you wish.
5. Lastly, recognise the outcome of success and congratulate yourself! Laugh out loud, smile and share the experience with friends. In my model of the world, I would be cracking open the champagne!
Repeating these steps for 5 or 10 mins a day will really help bring your success closer and closer to you.