Visualization Tips - The Secret Tool Of The Achievers
In studies of the most successful CEOs, NASA astronauts, brain surgeons, athletes, and artistic performers, researchers have discovered some common traits.
It seems that one of these traits is that these individuals have practiced success over and over in their minds using visual imagery (what is pictured in the mind).
While the final result may seem effortlessly performed to the average eye, for many of the top achievers, imagery exercise are often strong factors in the rise to success.
What's fascinating about imaging is that the mind can't tell the difference between actually practicing a goal using imagery and doing that goal on the physical level. When it comes time to perform, a mind and body that has been trained through imagery operates as if it has already accomplished the task many times.
Even in medical studies, cancer patients taught to practice visualization of tumors shrinking and cancer cells dying, demonstrated significantly better recovery than patients just receiving conventional therapies.
See this video from Dr. Bernie Siegel on the power of visualization, including the scientific research that exists which validates the potential of visual imagery. His discussion of imagery starts about half way into the video. Dr. Bernie Siegel received has M.D from Cornell University Medical College, served as a Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale, among other prestigious positions and accomplishments:
There are many great teachers throughout time who have agreed that the pictures in our minds play a large part in our creation of what happens in our lives. When I say creating, I mean actually metaphysically drawing experiences to you, such as visualizing a new job and someone walks up off the street, out of the blue, and offers you a new job.
If this creating your own reality concept is true, and an important element in the creation is what pictures we allow to exist in our minds, then that's even more of a reason to make sure we create the right pictures in our mental sketch books.
The reality is that the images we allow to exist in our minds play a large role in what we will experience on the physical levels in our lives. By taking better control over the pictures in your mind, you take more control over your own life. And by the way, if you're not in control of your life, something or someone else usually is. Here are some powerful steps you can take today to integrate imaging into your success plan for life:
Take the time as often as you can to daydream! Get yourself in a relaxed state by thinking about something soothing, or breathing deeply. Then start imagining yourself experiencing your desired goals - doing well while giving a speech, pushing yourself to the limit when exercising, holding large amounts of money in your hands that you have acquired, communicating gracefully with your partner, or whatever your goals may be. You can also imagine yourself experiencing successfully going through the steps of getting to your desired goals.
During the course of the day, get in the habit of always readjusting your visual images. When you get an image that in not in alignment with what you want to create in your life, without judging yourself, go ahead and replace it with an image that does align with who you want to be and what you want to create. The productive step to take, rather than beating yourself up, is to immediately switch your visual image to what you want to create, as if it's happening right now.
When you practice your imagery exercises, do it from an associated state - as if you were behind your own eyes, in your own body, and experiencing your desired goals, from that perspective.
Work on making your images clearer and clearer. Also, work on making them brighter (as in the shading of light). Studies have shown that these are important factors in effective imagery.
Work on aligning your self talk and emotional states with your imagery - "I am successful, I am in top physical shape, I am a phenomenal speaker, etc." (Keep an eye for our upcoming article on some strategies for getting better control of your emotions).
While they aren't a substitute for hard work, or more importantly working smart, imagery exercises can be a strong factor in helping to achieve what you want.
It may take some practice to develop the skill, but effective imaging can often be the element that determines your level of success in every area of your life. For field-tested techniques geared towards helping you develop a stronger ability to use visual imagery in your life, check out the Institute's Life Mastery Program.