Visualisation

Visualisation is when you create positive imagery in order to manifest desired results in your life. Athletes, entertainers and salespeople have been using visualization for decades, and it can be used to improve your ability in many aspects including keeping calm under pressure (for example when public speaking, during interviews, performing, taking a driving test and more), and even to improve actual motor skills (dancing, any sport, driving and more).

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What is Visualisation?

Visualisation is when you create positive imagery in order to manifest desired results in your life. Athletes, entertainers and salespeople have been using visualization for decades, and it can be used to improve your ability in many aspects including keeping calm under pressure (for example when public speaking, during interviews, performing, taking a driving test and more), and even to improve actual motor skills (dancing, any sport, driving and more).

How to visualise

Visualisation is really quite simple. You sit or lie in a comfortable position, close your eyes and imagine โ€” in as vivid detail as you can โ€” what you would be looking at if the dream/goal you have were already realised (or was becoming realised).

Above: Closing your eyes helps you visualise.

Imagine being inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes at the ideal result. To mix things up, try and view yourself from a 3rd person perspectve as well.

To multiply the effects, add sound, smells, and tastes. Most importantly, add the emotions and bodily sensations you would be feeling if you had already achieved your goal. The more passion, excitement and energy we muster during visualisation, the more powerful the results will be.

Prepare for the interview by doing some background research on the company, people who work their, what the job will entail.

With your eyes closed, visualise yourself waking up on the day of the interview and preparing for it: getting dressed, eating the right foods, having any paperwork ready to go… feeling GREAT!

Now visualise yourself arriving at the interview location. Even meeting other candidates and building rapport with them to help ease their (and your) nerves. Your posture is open and not slouching. You are smiling.ย  You have a good vibe about you.

When it’s your turn, you walk into the interview area. Use your senses to imagine the colors, light, shadows and objects in the room. In your mind, hear the interviewer’s voice when he greets you. Notice your emotions are calm and confident as you shake hands.

When you meet the interviewer, imagine you are smiling warmly, and they are smiling back at you. You confidently introduce yourself, and as the interviewer begins to ask questions, imagine you answer them spontaneously and easily. You feel confident and comfortable. Ideally, at the end of the interview, you might imagine hearing the interviewer say something like “You’re hired” or “Welcome aboard!”

The next time you hit a shot that goes exactly the way you want, whether on the range or out on the golf course, make a point to remember everything that you can about that shot:

  • Before, during, and after the shot, how did it feel?
  • What could you see throughout the shot?
  • What were you thinking, before, during, and after the shot?
  • How did your body move throughout the shot?
  • How did the club feel in your hands?
  • What did it sound like?
  • What was your emotional reaction to the shot?

Store this memory in as vivid detail as you can, ready to be retrieved next time you try the same shot.

Prepare

When you find a quiet 5-10 minutes, sit and relax. Find the reason why you want to stop smoking that makes sense to you, deep inside:

  • Is it the smell?
  • The coughing?
  • Yellow teeth?
  • Amount of money it costs?
  • Hate having a negative habit

This stage will need you to take a careful look at yourself to find out exactly what about the life without cigarettes could have such a strong appeal to you.

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Next, visualise this reason you want to quit smoking, but turn it into a positive. For example, try picturing the following things in great detail:

  • Dislike your smell of cigarettes? Think about how you’d smell (to other people) if you didn’t smell of smoke. Visualise other people noticing this in a positive way!
  • Hate coughing/being short of breath? Try imagining waking up in the morning and taking an undisturbed deep breath.
  • If you aren’t a fan of the famous yellow/browny teeth obtained from smoking, visualise how much your teeth will improve over the coming months if you stop smoking. Not only will you have a great smile, your breathe will smell so much better too.
  • If it’s the cost of smoking which annoys you, you can imagine that you have saved the money you used to spend on cigarettes and bought something nice after a few months or year.

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If you can visualise it, then you can do it.

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Go deeper…

Visualise yourself in a bar with your friends, having a good time. Discover as many details in your imagery as you can, including:

  • Who is there with you
  • What your table looks like
  • Is the ashtray full of cigarette butts?
  • How is the light in the bar, can you see the other people clearly?
  • Is someone dancing?
  • What is the music like?
  • Is it too loud to have a conversation?
  • A girl that approaches you, what is she saying, what does her voice sound like?
  • The smell of that girlโ€™s perfume is mixed with the strong smell of tobacco smoke, and it bothers you.
  • Taste your drink โ€“ what are you having?

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Third person view

Now play all the scenes that confirm that you made the right choice: your friend is trying to tell a joke, but the cough interrupts his story; another friend has to leave to buy cigarettes; an attractive person you just met at the bar is saying how they could never kiss someone who smells like cigarettes, as they gently approach you. You refuse to light a cigarette that someone is offering you.

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First person view

This is where you become fully aware that your willpower has conquered the addiction, and that thereโ€™s so many reasons to celebrate the decision to quit smoking: youโ€™re free from cigarettes, you breathe deeply, youโ€™re stronger, and you can get the partner that you like. Itโ€™s all there, be proud of yourself!

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Wrapping it up

You know that you wonโ€™t be getting back to that bad habit; you can let it fade away.

Visualisation Exercises

Performing the following exercises will improve your ability to visualise, which can then be used to improve your chosen skill.

Carefully study a picture. Then close your eyes and recreate the picture in your mind. Try to remember colors, background, foreground, details. Look at the picture again. How does it compare to your visualization of it? Repeat this exercise until you get the hang of it.

Take an object and examine all its details. Close your eyes and mentally see the object. Then, in your mindโ€™s eye begin to rotate the object to visualize details from different angles. Also, see the environment where the object is. Zoom in (to focus on details) and zoom out (to observe its surroundings). Repeat this exercise with different objects, for optimal results.

Choose a person you know well. Try to picture them in the mindโ€™s eye, in different locations/situations. For each location/situation, picture the person with a different facial expression. Repeat the exercise a number of times, each time using a different person.

Think of an environment and place yourself in it. Concentrate on the details in your chosen environment. To make the visualization even more real, allow all your senses to work to the fullest โ€“ concentrate not only on what is seen, but also on the sounds and even the smells in this particular environment. Repeat the exercise, but change the environment (or change the season) for a different experience.

Supporting research

Visualisation is powerful! Physiology experts are of the opinion that a healthy individualโ€™s visual system processes aboutย 70% of their total sensory input (Google) ๐Ÿ——. We also know that images play a vital role in memory retention โ€“ a phenomenon known as theย Picture Superiority Effect (Wikipedia) ๐Ÿ——. Not only does visualisation also aid in increasing your motivation, research also shows that visualizing an action, even while your body is at rest, may stimulate the neural pathways in your brain just as though you were actually doing the action!