Most people focus on not failing, the trick is to focus on succeeding and visualise in ways that drive higher personal performance. If you are curious if visualisation works, I have two stories for you.
But what is visualisation? Visualisation is a mental rehearsal technique often used in sport but can also be applied to business and personal growth. It is an extremely powerful tool and here are just two examples of how it has worked to improve results without any physical interaction.
University of Chicago Basketball (1996)
A doctor conducted a study that asked a group of randomly selected students to take a series of Basketball free-throw, which were then tallied. The students were then divided into three groups and asked to perform three separate tasks over 30 days.
🏀 The first group was told not to touch a basketball for 30 days, no practicing or playing whatsoever
🏀 The second group was told to practice shooting free throws for half an hour a day for 30 days
🏀 The third group was to come to the gym every day for 30 days and spend a half-hour with their eyes closed, simply visualising hitting every free-throw.
After the 30 days, all three groups were asked to come back and take the same number of free-throws they had at the beginning of the study.
🏀 The first group of students who did not practice at all showed no improvement
🏀 The second group had practiced every day and showed a 24% improvement
🏀 The third group, however, the group which had simply visualized successful free-throws, showed a 23% improvement
As you can see, the improvement in the group that purely visualised the exercise was virtually the same as the group who had physically practiced, and that I find truly amazing.
James Nesmeth the average golfer (Vietnam war)
James Nesmeth was an average golfer who regularly shot in the mid-nineties (for non-golfers that isn’t great 😉). During the Vietnam war, he was captured and became a prisoner of war, where he spent seven years imprisoned in a small cell.
To stop himself from going mad he found a way to kill some of his time. Every day he imagined playing his favourite golf course. He would visualise the experience to the highest level of detail possible. He imagined the clothes he’d be wearing and the smell of the freshly cut grass. He’d see every tree and envision every slope of the course.
Then he would grasp the club, imagine his stance and lift the club’s weight in his hands as he started his backswing. He visualised taking his practice swing, addressing the ball, and hitting his shot.
His imagined golf round took just as long as if he were physically on the course playing a real game. And he did this every day for 7 years!
When Nesmeth was finally released and went home after some rehab he decided to play golf at his favourite course. Amazingly, he shot a 74. He hadn’t swung a real club in 7 years and had undergone massive physical deprivation, and yet he had cut 20 shots off of his average! And that is wowsers level improvement.
Why and How did this happen?
Our reality is really about perception. The thoughts, feelings and emotions that go through our minds are what ultimately determine the content and quality of our lives. We have the ability to intentionally reshape our brains through our thoughts and experiences.
Today modern neuroimaging has shown that imagining an event or circumstance triggers the same brain chemistry and functionality as actually experiencing it in real life. So this means that we can train our brains and develop talents and, therefore, results purely through the process of visualisation.
How can it be applied?
If you want to achieve a goal personally or professionally, the best thing to do is visualise the accomplishment of that goal in your mind and how you will feel when it is done. When we change how we view ourselves, our lives and our future, we change the results we get each day. Don’t get me wrong it takes time and we need to change habits.
The key to this is desire and so visualise yourself as a successful person and spend a few minutes each day visualising becoming that person and embedding it into your subconscious.
Professional athletes visualise to win before each important activity so why wouldn’t you do that in your daily life and work?
I’ll leave that thought with you……
And if you think you can’t do it then let me know and I’ll show you how to achieve it.
Feel free to contact me on 07879411186 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org,uk