Visualization- The Lazy Man’s Tool for Success???
When I ask participants in either my sales or presentation skills training programs if they visualize, I often get a blank stare back at me. I then go on to explain that visualization is a mental practice that can help you achieve more of what you want in your life and prepare you mentally for success. The great news is that you can do this from anywhere, sitting on your couch or lounging in your backyard. It requires no accessories or tools. Whether you are mentally rehearsing your next presentation, your golf swing or asking for a raise, you are setting yourself up with a better chance for success.
Some research shows that mental practice is almost as effective as physical practice and by doing both was more effective than doing each one alone. Many athletes both novice and seasoned create very detailed mental practices engaging all their senses to enhance their performance. Tiger Woods has been doing this since his pre-teens.
Jack Nicklaus, World Champion Golfer has said: “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.” Muhammad Ali, Heavyweight Champion used different mental practices to enhance his performance in the ring such as: affirmation; mental rehearsal; visualization; self-confirmation; and the most powerful epigram of personal worth ever uttered: “I am the greatest!”
We have learned from brain studies that our thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions. We can train our brain through our mental practices. This can result in increased effectiveness, improved motivation, increased confidence and simply setting yourself up for the expectation of success!
So how can you use this at work? Great question!
Start by getting very clear about your desired outcome. Imagine you are looking at a TV screen and you are watching yourself in the future, having already achieved what it is you are wanting to achieve. Engage as many of your senses as you can. Notice how you are feeling once you have achieved success. Notice if there are other people involved, what are they doing and saying? Practice, practice, practice! It is good to practice just before going to bed or just when you wake up.
The next time you have an important presentation to deliver, practice it in your mind as well as physically go through your presentation. You will be amazed at how much more you will be in “flow” and confidence you will feel.
If you are in sales and have a new client you want to impress. Of course, you will do your due diligence and thorough research about your potential client, but this time you are going to go one step further. You are going to step up your sales game and spend some time before the call visualizing how the call will go. You will see yourself connecting with the prospect and watch in your mind’s eye how you easily and effortlessly you interact with this person. You will visualize how the call will end and see agreement to your desired outcome. I recommend doing this several times before an important meeting.
The next time you have to engage in a difficult or challenging conversation, see yourself with the other person working things out so it is a win win for everyone. By mentally rehearsing in such situations can help calm your nerves and help you stay more present during the actual conversation.
Doing visualization exercises doesn’t guarantee that you will get everything you want but studies have shown that results increase when they are combined with practical practice.
“Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.” ~ Cherie Carter-Scott