What if you could experience a situation before it actually happened?
You can!! Your brain can make this happen and aid your ability to perform and achieve at your very best.
Athletes, speakers, actors, performers, and average people like you and I have learned to use the power of visualization to reach their goals.
Jerry West, a former NBA all-star who was known for making clutch baskets at the last second was asked why he was so good at it. He explained that he had practice making shots at the buzzer thousands of times. Other great athletes like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Tiger Woods have talked about the power of visualization in their routines.
Famous golfer, Jack Nicklaus said: “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.”
It’s not just athletes who can benefit from the practice of visualization. Anyone can increase work performance, increase confidence, boost motivation, and improve ability in just about any skill. Giving better presentations, stopping a habit, exercise effectiveness, eating less, and even sleep quality can be aided by implementing visualization in your life.
Visualization works because the process of creating images in your mind simulates the experience as if it were actually happening. Visualization is a way to mentally rehearse a scenario. Brain scan research actually shows your brain increasing neural activity or “lighting up” in the same areas that increase when the activity is actually happening. Studies show this process of mental imagery increases motor control, focus, planning, and memory.
I learned to use visualization when I played baseball in high school. Visualization helped me to better identify different types of pitches. I learned this technique at a time when I was struggling to hit the ball well as a natural right-handed batter. I used visualization to learn quickly how to bat left-handed and within just a couple of months began hitting the ball better left-handed than right handed in games. It helped me bust through a hitting slump and hit from both sides of the plate.
Baseball was more than 20 years ago, but now I often use this technique before giving a presentation. I use it by closing my eyes, visualize the room I am speaking in and the participants in the audience. I visualize myself giving the presentation with confidence, while the audience is smiling and highly engaged.
The technique of visualization only takes a minute and I do it just before I present. I will often spend time the morning or day before the presentation thinking through the whole speech with my eyes closed and visualize the physical actions I plan to use throughout the presentation.
It’s easy and the more you do it, the more you will learn to utilize it to your advantage.
Here are 5 steps to harness the power of visualization.
1. Know your goal and the behaviors that will help you reach it. Before you can visualize effectively, you have to determine the behaviors you will rehearse mentally.
2. Visualize the setting before you visualize the action. Create a mental picture of your surroundings and how you will interact with it.
3. Visualize the action with success. Think about what it looks like to be the best in the world at what you are doing. Then visualize yourself being the best in the world doing it.
4. Use first-person and third-person points of view. Visualize as if you are seeing through your eyes. Then visualize again as if you were seeing yourself through the eyes of another person watching you.
5. Visualize the impact. Visualize how others respond. Visualize people reacting well and congratulating you on your performance or achievement.
We’ve all been told about the power of our brain. This is one technique you can use to tap into that power.
How have you used visualization successfully in your life?
Image Courtesy of Ambro at Freedigitalphotos.net