A Key To
Achieving Your Goals
Visualization is an important personal development tool. Just
can help you motivate yourself and focus better to achieve your goals
so can using visualization,
or mental imagery.
Although it has only become really popular as a personal
development technique since the late seventies and early
eighties, we as humans have been using mental imagery since the
beginning of time.
Whenever we have an idea or notion to do something we
visualize it first. For instance, if we're hungry and want to eat we
picture different food possibilities; whether we want to cook a meal or
go out to eat, and whether or not we want company at our meal. When we
have a function to attend we picture what type of outfit to wear and
where we might shop for it.
What is Visualization?
It is the use of the imagination through pictures or mental
imagery to create visions of what we want in our lives and how to make
them happen. Along with focus and emotion it becomes a powerful,
creative tool that helps us achieve what we want in life.
Used correctly it can bring about self-improvement,
maintain good health, help you perform well in sports
, and accomplish your goals
In sports, mental imagery is often used by athletes to improve
their skills by picturing the achievement of a specific feat, such as
hitting or shooting a ball, skiing a hill, swimming or running a race,
among other things.
Using it as a technique invariably results in a much
better performance and outcome. This also holds true in business, or in
life, such as in delivering a speech, asking for a raise, or any other
situation that requires preparedness and forethought.
How does it work?
Visualization or mental imagery works because when you imagine
yourself performing perfectly and doing exactly what you want, you
physiologically create neural patterns in your brain, just as if you
had physically performed the action. The thought can stimulate the
nervous system in the same way as the actual event does.
Performing or rehearsing an event in the mind trains
it and creates the neural patterns to teach our muscles to do exactly
what we want them to do.
In the case of competitive sports, not only are exceptional
physical skills required, but so is a strong mental game. Most coaches
preach that sports are 90% mental and only 10% physical. That's why so
many athletes train in visualization or mental imagery along with their
To be effective, like any skill, mental imagery needs to be
practiced regularly. The four elements to mental imagery are
relaxation, realism, regularity and reinforcement.
When To Use Visualization
- For successful outcomes - See yourself
skills at a high
level, achieving your goals, being who you want to be and living the
life you want.
- To motivate - Envision yourself
achieving your goals
vividly to remind yourself of your objective and what you need to do to
reach it. Many athletes, actors, and singers "see" and "feel"
themselves performing a routine, program, or play several times
perfectly in their minds before they actually do it.
- To familiarize or set the stage for a
performance/event - Mental imagery can be used
effectively to familiarize yourself with the surroundings before an
event, such as a competition site, a racetrack, a stage or a difficult
play or routine prior to a competition.
- To do a run-through - Athletes
performers often do a complete mental run through of the key elements
of their routines. This helps them to focus and eliminate some
pre-performance jitters, thus making them more comfortable when the
time comes to compete or perform. It also serves as a warm-up or mini
Visualization is a wonderful tool for preparing for anything, and
everything. It invariably results in a higher level of performance.
How to Visualize What you
- Go somewhere quiet and private
where you won't be disturbed. Close your eyes and think of the goal,
mood, new behavior or skill, you want to acquire.
- Take several deep breaths and
- Visualize the object or
situation you desire in your mind as clearly and with as much detail as
- 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.
The Benefits of
Helps you focus better in order
to achieve your goals
Inspires and motivates
Helps you improve in a sport or
Can be used to rehearse and
then acquire new,
by using positive, pleasant imagery to alter
Helps build self-confidence.
Affirmations - How to
Make Them Real
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