by Natalie Ledwell
Believe it or not there's a "secret" that super successful people from all walks of life across many different markets, industries and countries use to push them forward and help them reach their goals.
Many of them know they're using it; they do it consciously each and every day. But, there are also thousands of others doing the exact same thing without really realizing that this powerful secret is the key to new opportunities, resources and connections in their lives.
So, what is this amazing "secret?"
It's something called visualization… and it's likely that you've heard of it in one form or another over the years.
A lot of people think it's a bunch of "woo woo" nonsense, but the truth is a whole lot more complicated. The process of visualization has been practiced by people over hundreds of years in different forms and has been a powerful companion to many successful people across the world.
Many famous people throughout history, from world leaders to prolific inventors, have used the power of visualization to stay motivated and focused on their goals.
In fact, two particular famous people would say it is the opening of their minds to possibility that actually allows their goal to become a real and tangible truth…
Gandhi once said:
"Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning."
Echoed incredibly precisely by Henry Ford, who famously said:
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't… you're right."
These two amazing men, in completely different situations, one embattled for the freedom of his very country and one a captain of industry, use very similar words to convey the power of visualization.
It was true then, and it's even truer today. Some of the most elite athletes in the world rely heavily on the power of visualizations to get them into the state they call "flow" right before a big game or competition.
When asked what the "one thing" they use to keep them mentally focused like a laser on the outcome, time and time again these elite performers say that "seeing the result in their mind's eye" before they even start the competition, makes all the difference.
So why is visualization so powerful?
At the core, it's really simple.
Humans have some interesting ways of always getting the outcome they want, or that they "think" they want deep down on the inside.
Scientists have a theory on why it works the way that it does.
Recent research suggests that the way that our minds actually experience the real world, and the imaginary world… is remarkably similar.
Dr. Aymeric Guillot, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Lyon in France, has been studying visualization in elite athletes for some time and his discoveries are really quite remarkable.
In a recent study conducted on elite high jumpers, Guillot discovered that by using visualization and mental imagery alone, these high jumpers were able to increase their success rate and form quality, in a series of 10 jumps by roughly 35%.
When asked why the results were so clear, Guillot suggested that the mental imagery that the jumpers were creating was a powerful stimulant and helped them actually "see" themselves jumping higher, clearing the bar better and overall doing their jumps with incredible form.
This study, amongst several others, strongly suggests that what we experience mentally can actually be as powerful as what we experience physically. Furthermore, when the mental and physical experiences are aligned, they become synergistic and actually increase the likelihood of a positive result.
So the question becomes this… are you using any kind of visualization in your professional life to be more confident in your successes and specific goals and outcomes?
If not, here are some very handy and powerful tips to get you started using visualizations for increased clarity, focus and success in your business and life overall.
#1 - Use total immersion
Many people, when they first learn about visualization, believe that it is "seeing pictures in your mind", but that's only one part of it. The real power however, is trying to tie in as many of your senses as you can to help you perceive the event, the success or the goal 'in real time' so to speak. When you imagine the outcome of that major presentation you're giving, or the result of your upcoming business meeting, don't just see a picture of it. Make sure you're seeing it as you would while you're participating in it, not as an observer or bystander.
Try to dial down the details as much as you can. For a presentation, you might imagine not only the act of you presenting… but also the delighted reaction of the crowd, the rustling in seats, the applause, the scent of coffee in the venue, the feel of the clicker or microphone in your hand. Try as best you can to make it seem like it's actually happening in that moment.
#2 - Practice, Practice, Practice
This seems like a no-brainer, but the old adage remains true… practice makes perfect. The key to really successful visualizations is doing them over and over again to really hone down the outcome you want to experience.
If you're new to this process, it will take you a little time to really get the hang of what you're doing. At first your brain will try to just let you play a little snippet of what you plan to do. The key is actually letting the entire scene play out in your head, in 'real time'. Don't just focus on the beginning and then skip to the end - the parts in the middle make up the foundation that your mind will use to build your desired outcome on.
Think of it like a great novel. The author introduces you to characters, folds in the plot, and adds in action and intrigue and all the things along the way that ultimately culminate in the big takeaway. Sure, you could try and skip to the end, and you'd ultimately know what happened… but you wouldn't know what it took to get there. Don't leave any blanks for your mind to try and fill in - it should take you approximately the same time to go through your entire visualization as it would take to do the thing itself.
#3 - Write it down
I know, I know. You're thinking, "But wait! You said this was all mental!" And it is, but here's the thing. Instead of leaving your visualizations up to chance every time you start to try and see your desired outcome… write it all down after the first time you actually do your visualization. This will give you a baseline to start from and allow you to tweak it more and more as you do your mental imagery over and over again. The simple act of writing it down will let you see where it's most powerful, and where it could use more focus or more work to get you the outcome you're looking for!
Whether you're currently using visualization as a tool to enhance your success, or this is a brand new concept to you, I hope that you give it a shot and see just how impactful it can be to your business and in your life in general. These 3 tips are just the "tip" of the iceberg when it comes to the real strength of mental techniques like these to improve performance across many different areas of your life.
About the Author
Natalie Ledwell is a best-selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs such as Mind Movies and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.
If you've ever tried to visualize but failed, or you just want to know how to easily achieve your dreams and goals, then this video with Natalie Ledwell and Bob Proctor is a must watch!
And just for watching you'll also be getting your hands on 6 Pre-Made Mind Movies, the ultimate 3 minute a day visualization tool specifically designed to immediately and dramatically increase your success!