BY: Janine Mitchell
Change consultant / Changing mindset
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What are your thoughts on visualisation? You might have simply heard of it and thought its just a load of old codswallop. You may have wondered what it is, and wondered how it may be able to help you. You might have had a go and thought it didn’t work. You could have tried and had amazing success. Or perhaps this has been something that you have been taught as part of your job role, or you have learned on a personal level – and experienced great results.
I am going to tell you more about visualisation, what it is, why it is so powerful, and how it can help you, in the most incredible way. I will also provide some ideas and top tips to help you along your way.
Firstly, what is visualisation? It is the art of creating a compelling image in your mind of what it is you wish to achieve. In my view, it is by far, one of the most under-utilised tools we have at our immediate disposal.
Your subconscious mind, which controls the most part of your powerful resource doesn’t actually know the difference between reality and imagination. So your brain see’s nothing different between doing something and visualising it.
There has been much research conducted around this, whereby control groups and experiment groups are asked to repeat a task, so learn something over a period of time, such as playing a piano. One group was told to actually rehearse the task. The other group was told simply to imagine, or visualise rehearsing the task. When both samples were tested, there was actually no difference between the performance of the group who actually practiced the routine compared to the group that simply visualised the task. Amazing hey! That is just one example, there are several more.
Did you know that sports psychologists and peak performance experts have actually been practicing visualisation techniques since the 1980’s? So this concept isn’t some new, or ’woo woo’, as you may initially be thinking.
So if peak performance experts and olympic sports performer practice the art of visualisation to achieve their supercharged goals, why can’t you?
Clients will usually come to me because there is something they want to change. It is with frustration and bemusement, that they can’t change what they need to. Like yesterday. We all want immediate and quick wins don’t we. So why is this the case, why can’t we change something quickly? Firstly, we have been thinking this way for a long time. Secondly, because we often focus on what we don’t want, or what we don’t have, rather than what we actually desire or wish to change. The mind is often in lack. Then guess what? – We will attract more of what we don’t actually want. We actually create mental rehearsal images as we do so, thus repeating the same behaviour.
Lets then turn this around. Lets visualise and imagine what we want, rather than what we don’t want.
If you would like to start visualising to achieve success in your life, here are some tips and ideas to get you started.
- Visualising is actually really simple. It takes no effort whatsoever. You simply need to relax, close your eyes. And show up. Ideally every day.
- Have a think what is it you actually want. Don’t be fluffy and go around the houses. Be specific and have firm intention and focus.
- Spend five minutes every single day just after you wake up, closing your eyes and visualising what it is you want. Make the images dramatic, bold and detailed. Imagine yourself being exactly where you want to be. If for example it is being in your dream house, imagine walking though every room in the house and using all your senses to be there. Imagine the sight, sounds, and the feeling as you walk round. Really be in that scene.
- Fill any images you focus on with real emotion. And imagine you are there right now. Not in the future, or anywhere else. You are there and you have achieved this fantastic life for yourself, whatever that may look like.
A quick caveat. Clients will often say to me that they can’t visualise very well, or that they can’t actually see anything. No problem at all, it simply means you are either not used to it, or you are more of a feeling person like me. If that is the case, once again close your eyes, and really imagine the feeling of the event or the scene you wish to create. Also remember that the subconscious mind thinks in pictures. So if I said to you, whatever you do, don’t think of purple elephant wearing giant poker dot wellies. …. You get the picture. See what I did there!
I want to leave with this. It works!! I use visualisation in my life, in order to create the life I want as part of my daily routine. And all those experts are using it to their advantage, so they can achieve their desired goals and successes. So what are you waiting for? Go for it! – I’m looking forward to hearing how you have been getting on.