Have you ever wondered what a professional footballer thinks about when they are about to take a penalty to win a match in the 90th minute of a season-defining match?
Take a moment and reflect.
They’re performing in front of thousands of people in a stadium and potentially millions across the world. They will be feeling nervous and imagining all the possibilities of doing something wrong.
Will I slip? Will I put it wide? What happens if hit it over the crossbar and out of the stadium? Or they could be 100% confident they know that ball is going to end up in the back of the net with the keeper sprawling to reach it!
If I was in that situation, you can bet I might be wanting the ground to swallow me up! However, a well-trained athlete understands they should never visualise potential mistakes, especially in such a high stakes situation
It’s no secret that if you visualise yourself making mistakes or poor performance, the probability of making mistakes or poor performance is increased.
In this blog, I’m going to be talking about the power of visualisation, how you can use visualisation in your life and some visualisation tips to set you off on your way.
Your own secret weapon
When searching for a definition of visualisation, I came across this one which Bo Bennett, an author of many books that relate to critical thinking, stated:
“Visualisation is daydreaming with a purpose.”
This definitely struck a chord with me as visualisation creates a strong mental image of a future YOU.
So, I want you to imagine you have a big work event coming up and you’ve been asked to deliver a presentation in front of your team for the first time.
You’ll be feeling an array of emotions from nervousness to angst to worry as you are taken out of your comfort zone. In this particular moment, instead of letting negative thoughts intrude your mind, try visualisation. Take it for a spin!
Picture yourself at the front of the room, knowing your speech is a winner and delivering it with confidence. You could picture and hear the round of applause from your peers and the congratulations you’d receive from your manager. This sounds a lot more appealing, doesn’t it?
The associated benefits of visualisation can revolutionise the way you think and level up your life.
The benefits of visualisation
Increase your confidence
Visualisation is a brilliant booster for self-confidence. By seeing yourself succeed in your mind, you truly believe you can do it. Jack Nicklaus, 18-time Major winner and arguably the best golfer to ever play the game, visualised every single shot he made. This was both in practice and in competition which made him coin the quote, “I never missed a putt in my mind.” This is the level of confidence visualisation can achieve.
Practice makes perfect
I think we’ve all heard the phrase above, but visualisation helps you practice success. When you imagine each step of an upcoming event or a workday, you can engage your mind and body to make those first steps in real life.
A gift from within
In 1942, a boy in Louisville, Kentucky was born. A descendant of slaves of the antebellum South, he was dyslexic which led to difficulties in school and was subject to racial segregation, wherein one instance, he was denied a bottle of water from a shop purely because of the colour of his skin.
This boy grew up to be one of the most significant and celebrated sportsmen of the 20th century and his name was Muhammed Ali. He was a true believer in the power of visualisation and certainly took advantage of his inner treasure.
No one is saying you have to be a personal development expert to use the power of visualisation achieve your goals.
As Ali says it, “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.”
Uno, dos, tres
Now I want to share with you the three-step process I use to help you visualise and achieve your goals.
It starts off pretty simple. Ask yourself what you want and focus on it. Try to picture one dream or goal. Something along the lines of a successful meeting you’re leading in a week or so.
2. Picture Perfect
Now start imagining the place. Where is the room? What are you wearing? How many people are there? What can you hear? What else can you see in that room? Be sure to engage with all of your six senses to heighten your visualisation experience.
3. Visualise your way to success
What will you have to do to make sure your presentation is successful?
You must identify each step that takes place for you to achieve your desired goal. Picture each step as part of your visualisation process. Ask yourself:
- How will I open my presentation?
- Why am I doing this presentation?
- What are you wanting your audience to achieve?
I for one advocate the importance of visualising the talking points you’ll use and what you’ll say for each phase of your presentation. Take it one step further and picture how you will move your hands and imagine looking at everyone as you address the room.
Focus solely on what you want and not on what you don’t want. Your aim is to feel relaxed and confident, not filled with angst or forgetfulness.
Be positive and strong in your visualisation. It’s in your head; make it a positive place to be, then watch the benefits seep out into your day-to-day life.
Let your mind be free
Visualisation is a gift from within and when you use it in your life, expect good things to happen. However, understanding how to use visualisation correctly can be quite a mountain to climb. At Big Knows, I can help you find your focus and purpose by helping you discover your strengths and achieve your life goals.