Imagine you are having a nightmare where you are being chased by someone and you are very scared. You are climbing the stairs and as you are climbing, your leg slips and you slide down an entire flight of stairs- Pause! How many of you would have woken up at this point of time due to anxiety and stress of it all? Though the scene did not actually happen but you imagined it to happen so vividly and it gave you the torture of all the negative outcomes. That is the power of visualisation! As I stated in my earlier blog, everything happens twice- once in the brain and the actual event. In my last blog I had shared tips on goal setting and achieving them. This blog is in continuation of one such tip- ‘Visualisation’.
There are different ways in which visualisation can occur and I have listed the best 3 for your reading. What you would like to use is up to you, using all 3 may yield awesome results.
1. Mental Imagery
The first technique is mental imagery, where you imagine your goals happening in front of you with your eyes closed. According to research by using brain imagery, visualization works because neurons in our brains, those electrically excitable cells that transmit information, interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action. When we visualize an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to “perform” the movement. An example of this is the nightmare I had explained earlier, you find it to be so real that you wake up from your sleep perspiring. However, when used positively, it gives you abundant energy.
Athletes and elite businessman use this to better their performance. There is also a scientific study that was conducted on a few athletes that were looking to improve their free throws in basketball. They were divided into three groups:
Group 1: They physically took practice free throw shots during the day
Group 2: They only visualized making shots every day
Group 3: They physically took practice free throw shots during the day and before going to bed they visualized making perfect shots.
The results of the study were amazing:
Group 1 (only took shots): Improved free throw shooting by 7%
Group 2 (only visualized making shots): Improved free throw shooting by 10%
Group 3 (took shots and visualized making shots): Improved free throw shooting by 32%
How to mentally imagine what you want:
• Go somewhere quiet and private where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and think of the goal, mood, new behaviour or skill, you want to acquire.
• Take several deep breaths and relax.
• Visualize the object or situation you desire in your mind as clearly and with as much detail as you can.
• Add emotion, feeling, and your senses to your vision.
• Practice it at least twice a day for about 10 minutes each time.
• Persevere until you succeed.
• Maintain positive thoughts and a good attitude throughout.
2. Vision Board
A vision board is where all your heart’s desire and life goals are placed as pictures. It is a collage of all the things you would like to have or happen in your life. By having a vision board, it provides clarity to your goals and serves as a reminder every time you look at it. When we surround ourselves with positive images, it unconsciously sends a signal to our brain and helps formulate positive thoughts. It also serves as an inspiration to reach that goal- a visual reminder that gives you the motivation to face those challenges and go the extra mile.
One of the most amazing and inspiring vision board success stories comes from Lucinda Cross. As a young college student she made a bad choice that landed her in prison, but instead of becoming another sad statistic, she chose to learn from her mistake, take control of her life, and build a better future for herself.
Today she is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, speaker and life coach who has been featured on such prestigious media outlets as ABC, NBC, Black Enterprise, Essence Magazine and many more. She attributes all her success to vision boards and has literally built her business around them.
In her own words- “Whether you look at it from a spiritual or scientific aspect, this world is a huge vision board. Everything that’s here is because it started as an image someone had in their mind. You want to call it a blueprint, or a business plan? Fine. But first, they had to think about it and draft it. So a vision board? It’s like selling our own ideas to ourselves.”
Keeping a journal forces you to commit your goals to writing. When you write down your goals you turn vague desires into well-articulated targets you can clearly see and aim for. You’re taking the first step toward turning the desires in your head into something concrete that exists in the material world. You should force yourself to journal everyday, that way you can witness the progress of your goals and take corrective action if in case you are digressing from the desired objective. One other way of encouraging yourself to achieve your goal is to compliment yourself or express your feeling for having achieved your goal in the present tense. A typical example would be in case you want to reduce weight; you would write- “I’m feeling on top of the world as I weigh 60 Kgs now.” Another example would be if you want to buy a car- “I’m grateful that I’m driving my blue i10 car daily.” As you are writing these words, you mind visualises the mental image of that statement. This sets a conviction in you subconsciously to strive towards that.
There you go 3 simple but powerful techniques to achieve your goals. However, these 3 techniques without any action towards your goals will not help you achieve them. These techniques are only a support system to help you achieve your goals, dedicated action only will take you to your peak of success. All the best!!!
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