What do successful business owners have in common with major athletes from baseball to track? Many of them use the power of visualization to excel at their craft.
There’s an experience that athletes call “choking” in which they over-think and fumble the play. A clinch hit or raising the bar may cause a ball player to grip too tightly on the bat or the high jumper to stop too long before they launch. It’s not about ability – it’s purely psychological.
To combat that, many coaches in the sports industry teach positive visualization, the practice of seeing the desired outcome of the action in your mind before completing the action in real life. For example, a figure skater may imagine herself completing her triple luxe followed by a double spin over and over before tackling the jumps. In this way, the skater builds a sense of confidence and overcomes the tension that causes over-thinking or hesitation.
When you visualize yourself performing these actions successfully, then you are training your mind and preparing your body for the behaviors and feelings you’ll encounter. In this way, you are prepping yourself to be poised and ready instead of reactionary and anxious.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practicing positive visualization can be a quick process or included in a longer meditation. Here’s a quick overview:
- Find yourself a quiet spot (take your car to the car wash!)
- Think about the upcoming action that you must perform
- Identify the outcome you want (you can also write it down in your Best Planner Ever)
- Close your eyes and take three deep breaths
- Imagine the scene in which you will perform (meeting room, coffee shop)
- Think about the action you will take and see yourself accomplish it successfully
- Repeat, repeat, repeat
For a longer meditation, you may add more positive thinking in general and focus on motivational phrases too. This may help you associate the actions with a positive feeling such as power or pride.
When you combine positive visualization with the power of daily planning, then you will really maximize your results. If you are able to plan ahead, then you can give yourself time to practice visualizing before you need to be in the spotlight or under pressure. Visualizing the expectations will help you imagine yourself meeting them.
No matter how much you choose to engage in positive visualization, even a little bit will be beneficial. This is also why we’ve integrated Vision Pages into the daily planner. It’s super easy to just flip to the page and see the life you are working to create!