The Power of Positive Visualisation
‘A technique involving focusing on positive mental images in order to achieve a particular goal.’
Visualisation is one of the most powerful tools that I have used, and it has dramatically changed my life. I played about with this concept for many years, not knowing the power contained within this simple technique.
I remember the time when I worked for a local radio station Metro Radio in Newcastle, and I first came across this concept. You will no doubt have heard of people putting a picture of something they want on a fridge and looking at it every day until they receive it.
My dream car
At the time, I really wanted a Jaguar car, so using this principle I found a picture of the car I wanted and put it up on my wall next to my desk.
Then, I went to a Jaguar garage and sat in a brand-new Jaguar. I felt the leather of the seats and the steering wheel and smelled the leather. I imagined that I was driving the car as I sat in it, and I even told the salesman that I would be back in the near future to purchase one.
At first, I looked at that picture every day, then as time went by it was every other day then every week until I stopped imagining driving that car. It won’t be a surprise to you to know that the car never appeared in my life.
A simple yet powerful technique
Now, 30 years later, I have brought this concept back into my life, but this time I am taking it much more seriously. The difference this time is that I have taken visualisation to another level. I now get an image of what I want to achieve and look at it every day.
The actual visualisation technique I use is an NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) technique, which makes the whole process much more powerful. This involves using all my senses of hearing, smell, taste, and touch to bring the visualisation to life and to also feel the emotions associated with the visualisation.
You won’t be surprised to learn that I am now driving my dream car which is an Audi A6.
A very effective technique
This time, I visualised driving the car every day, I saw it parked outside my house and I could even see myself driving through the Derbyshire Peak District. I had someone next to me (at that time I didn’t know it would be my wife, Julie).
I wouldn’t let a day go by where I didn’t see myself in the car and feel the feelings of owning this car. I saw myself driving from inside the car looking out, and also from the outside imagining that I was approaching it to get in and drive off.
“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” Jamie Paolinetti
I currently have a Dream Board with 38 images of things I want to appear in my life, and I visualise all of these every morning. These include places to visit, things to own, people to help, and things to achieve. 22 things I have visualised over the past few years have come into my life and they are now on a different board.
Dame Kelly Holmes
Dame Kelly Holmes is a remarkable example of the power of visualisation. She was a very good athlete who performed well but unfortunately never fulfilled her potential until the 2004 Athens Olympics.
The year before the Olympics she was training hard and knew she was past her best at the age of 33 and that this was her last chance to win an Olympic gold. With just one year to go, she received severe leg injuries and she gave it all up. She was devastated.
With the huge pressure she faced, she took medication and it seemed like her dream was over, but she was reminded of something she had said as a 14-year-old girl, which was fundamental in the amazing turnaround she experienced to win the double gold.
This is what she said: ‘Since the age of 14 I’ve believed that whatever barriers come my way one day I will be Olympic Champion.’
As a youngster growing up, she visualised standing on the podium with a gold medal around her neck and the national anthem playing. She visualised this scene plus crossing the line in first place so many times that it created a pathway in her brain which was triggered when she was reminded of this.
Because of this she spent the next 12 months totally committed to winning a gold medal.
What Happens During Visualisation?
Every time we visualise, we create a pathway in the brain that gets broader the more we visualise. Chemicals are released into the brain, which create this pathway. There comes a point when the pathway is so broad that it causes us to do things subconsciously.
For example, swimmers will get up at 4am every day to get to the pool and swim. This takes great dedication and effort, and the ones who make it to the top are the ones who visualise themselves training and racing over and over again.
By doing this, they have created a very powerful pathway in the mind that gets them up in the morning without their conscious mind being aware of it. The subconscious takes over and they do things automatically.
This is what happened to Dame Kelly Holmes, who was reminded of this commitment she had made. Because of the pathway she had created during her career, she made an automatic decision to get back to training, no matter what pain she was in, and to start working towards the finals in 2004.
And as they say the rest is History.
Thoughts for the week:
- Have you ever tried visualisation?
- Do you have a bucket list of things you want to do in life?
- This week think about the things you would like to do/have/achieve and write them down.
- When you have done find an image of one of these things and print it off.
- Each day shut your eyes and imagine having this in your life and what it feels like.
Well that’s it for this week have fun visualising and enjoy the bank holiday weekend.