I coach people in the areas of business, sports and life, and the common thread is that all of us want more, that we have goals and desires.
But the reason I get involved is that people are overwhelmed with how to achieve those goals and they want support in formulating – and sticking to – a plan. Depending on the area of focus, there are many tools that come into play, but one of my favorites is visualization.
Visualization is pretty common, especially in sports, however I find that most are doing it wrong. #sorrynotsorry
Typically we employ visualization because we are trying to manifest a specific outcome – a perfect presentation at work, a stellar performance on the field or a tough conversation with a loved one. So we run through the moment in our head a couple times and we think we’re ready. #soclose
Typically two things happen when we set out to visualize an outcome. First, as we are running through the future moment, we get to a point where something goes wrong and down the proverbial rabbit hole we go. Secondly, we forget to employ our emotions in the process and therefore the exercise is much less “sticky” or meaningful.
Researchers have proven that when we are really in the visualization zone, the brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and the exercise. To the brain (and I am way oversimplifying here), it’s a form of memory. And we all know that what makes some memories more powerful than others are the emotions involved.
Therefore, if we really want to up our visualization game and manifest those desired outcomes, we need to do two things: 1) Practice or rehearse the moment with the desired emotions and 2) Repeat the rehearsal until we do the whole thing correctly.
It sounds simple, and I guess it is, but rehearsing in this way will take some practice. #pardonthepun
Go to work
Let’s do an “easy” one. Think about your next commute into work. Start from the moment you leave the house: what are you doing? Are you carrying something? What are you wearing? Now, how do you feel? Let’s assume you want to feel calm where you usually feel rushed – does this part take a do-over or two? Now into the car, starting it, pulling out of your driveway, heading out … Every moment layer on other senses: If you have coffee, how does it smell? What are you listening to? Are you singing along? Laughing? Can you picture a smooth commute that is emotionally pleasant?
I’m glossing over this exercise for sake of brevity, but I’d like you to really try to rehearse your entire commute – from driveway to parking lot including every road and turn. Is it hard to rehearse a delightful trip? Most importantly, how do you feel when you arrive?
This is the QUALITY of rehearsal that will drastically improve your visualization practice and improve your outcomes everywhere you apply it. Want to manifest a new car? Rehearse the whole process, from dealership to garage. How does it feel to drive it? Want the winning performance in your sport? Rehearse the whole thing, over and over again, mistake free and layer on those emotions.
Here’s to manifesting those desired outcomes!