Positive visualisation is a very powerful tool to help us achieve our goals. Some people hear the term and think it sounds too much like day-dreaming to be useful. Today, I’m going to help you understand how visualisation is a biological certainty and why we need to choose what we do with it. Then we’ll quickly move onto how you can use it to see your own success soar.
To understand how and why positive visualisation is so powerful we need to understand something very important about the brain. Our brain activates the same neurons when we imagine something as when we actually perform the task. This can work for or against us, depending on how we engage with this biological fact.
It’s estimated that we speak about 4000 words to ourselves each minute. These messages play a big part in how we see and interact with the world. If we choose to feed that stream of consciousness with nightmare scenarios, our brain reads them as reality and it actually primes us for failure. But, the opposite is also true. When we see success in our mind’s eye, our brain registers it as a real success and as an expert at spotting patterns, the next time the brain sees an opportunity for success it is more likely to pick up on it and register it as something to pay attention to. How great is that?!
Now that you know how it works in theory, below are 5 ways to start using positive visualisation in your life today.
5 Easy Ways to See Results from Positive Visualisation
- Do a Mental Rehearsal
When you have a nerve-wracking event coming up, a great way to use positive visualisation is by engaging in a mental rehearsal beforehand. A mental rehearsal works well because it allows you to face any fears you have in a safe, controlled setting. There are no rogue individuals waiting to sabotage you, it’s just you and your positive visualisation. You can use this technique to desensitise yourself to the experience.
The amygdala is the part of the brain that senses danger and prompts our body’s fight or flight response. But, if we use positive visualisation to train our brain into realising that there isn’t danger, when it comes to the critical moment, although the fear can still rise up inside of us, the speed of that response is slowed allowing us to take control and reassert control, following through on what we have seen and felt many times before in our mental rehearsal. This is part of the training that Navy Seals use to help them in life or death situations.
- Create a Time Machine Board
Whether you see your time machine board as a Tardis or a DeLorean is completely up to you! The point is this aid for positive visualisation should be able to bring you to a point in time of your choosing where you can see everything you have accomplished with perfect clarity.
When an athlete wants to run a race, they have two points of reference, where they are and where they want to get to. It’s the same every time you get into your car. You need to know the endpoint. A time machine board is a visual representation of how your life will look when you achieve your goal. It should be something that you look at often, maybe displayed on your wall, so that it becomes part of your lived reality.
- Put Yourself at the Centre of Your Positive Visualisation
Lots of people comment that positive visualisation doesn’t work for them. But when you explore how they are visualising their success the most important ingredient is missing – themselves! As we look out into the world, we don’t see ourselves, we see through our mind’s eye. But, for your visualisation to be effective, you need to be the centre of that visualisation, otherwise, it can just appear as a fantasy on a tv screen.
Don’t just look around you, engage all your senses, what do you feel and hear? Are there things you can smell, taste and touch? By using all of your senses in your positive visualisation, you put yourself in the feeling zone, where your goal almost feels real. This is where we get the saying ‘I could almost taste it’ from.
- Include How You Will Manage Yourself
As mentioned above, visualisation is not just a fancy day-dream. Positive visualisation works best not when we end our visualisation at the success, but when we look at how that success impacts our lives. Further, the best positive visualisation examines where our personal weaknesses might be likely to sabotage our efforts. By examining these and putting a plan in place to deal with them if and when they arise, our positive visualisation is much more likely to be effective.
- Take Others on the Journey with You
If you manage a team, or at home, have loved ones who you would like to be involved in achieving a group goal, you must take them with you. That doesn’t mean dragging them along kicking and screaming! While you are engaging in positive visualisation to help you achieve your goal, you must remember that those around you are not privy to the incredible results you see in your mind’s eye.
In order to motivate those around you to invest in the roadmap you are laying for all of you, get them involved in the positive visualisation so that your vision becomes a shared one. When you share your vision, others can feel part of something bigger than themselves and are more likely to engage with the process.
As always, implementing this doesn’t need to be a big ordeal. Take a few minutes to read this, choose one or two approaches you’d like to try and work with them for a month or so. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you start to see a difference. I use positive visualisation a lot in my work at Coaching by SMK, it’s a great tool to help shift our perspective to what’s going wrong right now to how great things can be in the future.
If you’d like to find out how I can help you using positive visualisation and a whole range of other strategies, book your free 30-minute consultation today. We can have a chat, see if my approach will suit you and take it from there.
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