A Research Paper By Tuba Mutlu, Personal Development Coach, UNITED KINGDOM
How to Make Use of the Power of Visualisation
Success begins with a clear goal. Your goal could be anything from losing weight, getting a new job, moving to a new city, or getting into a relationship. Whatever your goal is, whether big or small, having a goal gives you a purpose and direction. Then reaching your goal requires determination and hard work.
Although we start our journey with good intentions, sadly, many of us get stuck at the goal stage. As a result, we lose motivation and touch with our inner why and why we had a goal in the first place. So how do we get ourselves from the stuck to unstuck? The answer is through visualising.
As the old adage says: ‘ we must see it before believing it.’
What Is Visualisation?
In simple words, visualisation is about creating mental images or pictures as if we reached a specific goal or imagining an action or situation. Visualisation can help one to experience any case as if it’s confirmed by creating emotional and physiological responses to the situation you are picturing. As our subconscious mind can not differentiate between what is real and what is a pretending image, the visualisation technique can give us a chance to experience any situation as if it was real.
You can use the technique to give you a glimpse of what your desired future can look like. Bearing in mind visualisation is a well-developed technique supported by scientific evidence, and many people, including athletes, use it.
Some studies show that visualisation techniques can increase athletic performance by improving concentration and motivation and reducing anxiety around a specific task. For example, when Jerry West, a former NBA player known for hitting shots at the buzzer, was asked how he did it, West explained that he had rehearsed the shots countless times in his mind.
Most of us use visualisation techniques daily without even realizing them. For example, picture the food we want to eat when we are hungry, what dress to wear to work, or worrying about the future. However, it is essential to mention that whatever you focus on, you attract it. Therefore it’s crucial to focus on how you want your life to be rather than what you don’t want to experience.
The science behind visualisation technique and how to use it to achieve your goals:
Suppose you are still getting familiar with visualisation techniques. In that case, you may wonder if it works or how you could use it to achieve your goals.
When you repeatedly create mental images and use the visualisation technique, your brain makes new neural patterns. This is because when you visualise a particular event, the neurons (which refer to the excitable cells that transport information) in the brain don’t distinguish between actual life activity and imagery.
As you visualise, the neurons interpret the imagery as happening in real-time and the brain generates an impulse ordering the neurons to act. The brain generates an impulse for the neurons to act, helping create new neural pathways. As a result, new behaviors and memories are made.
One thing to remember is, you attract what you focus your energy on. Therefore, it is essential to divert your energy and focus on the goal or task you want to achieve.
A study published by the Journal of Consulting Psychology looking into the power of visualisation resulted in higher success in the group taught visualisation techniques than other techniques. The leading group got divided into two subgroups. Both groups, one and two, received career counseling and interview coaching. However, the second group was also taught how to use visualisation techniques. By visualising actual interviews and getting the job, the second group trained their brains and learned additional essential techniques. After two months of training, the %66 of the second group found new jobs compared to the %21 finding a new position in group one.
How did the second group achieve more success finding a job? The answer is that the second group participants were prepared for job interviews mentally by visualising actual life interviews and the outcome they wanted. As a result, their subconscious brain already believed that they got the job which improved their confidence during the real-life interview. In conclusion, giving your subconscious brain a clear message combined with the right emotions and physiological responses can put you on the right path to bring the actual experience to life.
When you are visualising, you are emitting a powerful frequency. Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the messages that you feed into your subconscious. Life Coach Ayesha Giselle Dornelly
Anyone can benefit from visualisation, whether you are a student preparing for an exam or putting together a presentation in front of a large crowd and looking to learn a new skill for work. You can use visualisation techniques to anchor yourself to your goal. It can help you to get motivated and achieve your goal. Visualisation techniques can help you see new potentials, boost motivation, and create new behavior patterns.
The Two Types of Visualisation Techniques
There are two types of visualisation techniques. However, it is more beneficial to use both styles together to get more efficient results. The first method is “Outcome Visualisation”, which focuses on envisioning yourself achieving your goal. The latter is “Process Visualisation”, in which you focus on the actual journey toward achieving the goal.
Outcome Visualisation mainly focuses on emotions and physiological effects when you reach your goal and requires you to use all senses.
To start with, close your eyes and imagine yourself reaching the finishing line of the marathon you just ran and holding that image in your mind. Remember how hard and long you trained for this marathon. All the hours and sweat went into it. How does it feel to you to run under the banner? What thoughts popped up in your mind, or what did you think as you ran towards the finishing line? What do you feel in your body? Where do you feel it? Who is waiting for you to arrive at the finishing line? Who is there to greet you and share your success with?
Imagine all the long hours of preparation both physically and mentally paying off. Imagine the excitement and the satisfaction you feel at that moment of achieving your goal. Picture the cheers coming from the crowd as they greet you at the finishing line. How does the sound of claps feel?/How does the sweat coming down from your cheeks feel?/How fast is your heart beating with excitement?/What thoughts come into your mind?
Process visualisation is the technique that focuses on imagining completing the small steps you are taking toward achieving your goal. To practice, find a comfortable place to sit comfortably and close your eyes. Imagine yourself preparing for an important work presentation. What would be the first step you can take before your real-life presentation? Can you imagine the slides going through smoothly, one after another and your computer functioning without a glitch? How would you like to feel during the presentation? Imagine yourself feeling relaxed, calm and confidently making eye contact with everyone during your speech. What do you feel as give you give your presentation with ease?
Visualisation is daydreaming with a purpose. Bo Bennett
For those who find mental imagery difficult, you can use vision boards filled with images of how you want to be as a person and your ideal life. For example, you could put a picture of the car or dream house on your board at a visible place to motivate yourself to achieve what you want.
Visualisation techniques can help with various issues, from helping to boost one’s confidence to increasing motivation and gaining clarity.
As mentioned earlier, imagine yourself achieving your goals or the journey to achieving your dream by creating emotional and physiological responses. This process can cause your mind to react as if the action is happening in real-time. That experience can give you a glimpse of how you could be, who you could be, or even how your life could be.
How about you imagine yourself giving a talk to thousand people filling up a large room?
How would you like to hold yourself during your speech?/How would you like to interact with the crowd when they ask questions regarding the subject?/What do you want to feel during the speech?
Imaging ourselves doing the movement and focusing on how we would feel going through the actual experience helps the brain become familiar with it. Then, when it comes to a real-time event, as we are familiar with the feeling, we can go through it with ease and confidence.
Visualisation Increase Motivation:
People often need to remember why something is important to them and their motivation. When they encounter difficulties, their motivation tends to decrease, and they start questioning whether to continue or give up working towards achieving their goal. Visualising how you want your future to be can help to revisit the ‘why’ behind your goals and help you to reunite with your motivation.
Why not try to create images of how you want to see yourself and feel about it, the next time you feel overwhelmed with the roadblocks you encounter and feel stuck by visualising yourself one year into the future? Where do you see yourself?/How do you want to feel in a year?/Who do you want to be as a person? Where do you see yourself?/Who do you see yourself with? Visualising the answers can help you revisit your why and reboot your motivation to progress toward your goal.
Visualisation Offers Clarity and Reminds Us of the Choices We Have:
If you are trying to decide which path to take or need clarification about a career choice, moving, etc… you can visualise different outcomes or situations. Visualising different results or scenarios can help to ask yourself which scenario you feel most aligned with your goals and values. For example, which one makes you feel happy and genuine with yourself? Visualisation can help you become more explicit about your choices and create a clearer choice or work towards a clear goal.
Suppose you find it difficult to create mental images or pictures in your mind. In that case, you can create vision boards using cut-out pictures or images to remind yourself of your goals or how you want your life to be.
In summary, a visualisation is a powerful tool used by many, including athletes. Because the subconscious mind can’t differentiate between the actual experience and the visualised experience, when visualised experience is accompanied by relevant emotions, the mind perceives the action as happening in real life in real-time.
It is important to note that you attract what you focus on. Therefore clarity about motivation and goal is needed to achieve what you desire.
Suppose you find it difficult to create mental images or pictures in your mind. In that case, you can create vision boards using cut-out photographs or images to remind yourself of your goals, how you want your life to be, or what you want to achieve using the visualisation technique.
The visualisation technique can be used to increase motivation, gain clarity about the choices available to us and boost our confidence as it gives us a glimpse of how things could be and feel when we achieve a particular goal.
Remember, everyone can use visualisation techniques to increase motivation and gain clarity about a particular situation.
In conclusion, giving your subconscious brain a clear message combined with emotions and physiological responses can put you on the right path to bring the actual experience to life.
There Are Two Types of Visualisation Techniques: One focuses on the outcome and how you feel when you reach the result. The second technique focuses on the process where you focus on the actual event and how the experience feels and looks like. It is recommended to use both methods together to get more successful results.
What are you going to use visualisation techniques to achieve next?
‘Aim not for what you are, but who you could be. Lucas Kellner
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