Visualisation – Is it just woo ??
Have you discovered the power of visualisation yet ?
Or are you still missing out by considering it just ‘ new age woo ‘.
Have you recognised that the biggest shift you can have in life is to see yourself as separate from your thoughts, learning to control them, rather than being at the mercy of your thoughts controlling you.
Visualising can be a powerful way towards that shift .
Sport is an area which has really taken the power of visualisation on board. Successful sportsmen, women and teams all consider mind training to be just as important as the physical training. Lots employ sports psychologists, who consider positive visualisation as one of their most important strategies to teach.
Visualisation works in two major ways.
When we really want something we often spend a lot of mental energy going round and round in circles.
I want it ….but am I good enough….yes I deserve it ….oh no I won’t be successful …. yes I can do it ….no, I’m not lucky …. I do have the skills though … but perhaps I’m not enough… something might go wrong … someone might be better …..
exhausting eh !!
Visualisation works by imprinting the belief in your mind that what you want has already happened. As it is now a fait accompli you can let go of that exhausting pattern of doubt. Getting rid of the “whether it will happen” questioning leaves room instead for the ‘ how will it happen ‘ strategy planning. A much more productive and positive place to be.
Then the second way visualisation can be used is as part of your strategy.
Australian Psychologist Alan Richardson did a famous study with basketball players, assessing their ability to make free throws. He had three groups, one who practiced 20 mins a day, one group who visualised themselves successfully making the throws and a control group that did neither.
The group that ‘only’ visualised had a similar improvement in their skills to those that had actually practised. It’s a pity he didn’t have a fourth group who practiced and visualised to demonstrate the synergistic effect of doing both.
So maybe now you can buy into the theory that visualisation works – but are still wondering how do you go about it?
During a hypnotherapy session we utilise the powerful effects of trance to enhance visualisation but you can mimic these effects in the comfort of your own home. What you are aiming to do is, by using all your senses, create all the images, sounds and feelings in your mind of the successful outcome you want and /or the improvements in your activity that will achieve this.
So how do you do it?
Relax, take a couple of deep breathes, let go of all the tension, and close your eyes. It works even better if you find a quiet spot where nobody will bother you. One of the best times to do it is just before you go to sleep or when you first wake up. A few minutes regularly is all you need.
Settle on an image that epitomises what you want. If you were going to make a short film that would instantly portray this, what would you be doing, saying, who else would be there, what would they be saying, what is the soundtrack to your film. What are you feeling. Try to imagine actually feeling that in your body rather than labelling the emotion. Edit your film, take some shots from the first person viewpoint and then some as if observing yourself. Enjoy the whole process and see if it remains the same each time or if different things pop up and embrace it all.
As you practice you set down those new neural pathways in your brain. The beliefs get stronger everyday and, with that doubt gone, you free up your imagination to find new ways to hone your skills. These also then become part of the process of getting where you want to be.
Visualisation can be used for absolutely anything you want in your life, successful relationships, work, performance or achievements. What you might not have appreciated is that you are already frequently visualising outcomes, but often not those that you actually want. Worrying about the future and imaging things going wrong is a prime example of this or wanting to be slim but focusing on hating being fat is another.
Why not make now, the time to change ? Take control of your thoughts instead of them controlling you. This famous Henry Ford saying is very apt
From today you could start to train your brain to use visualisation in a positive way !
The choice is yours !