Visualisation has been considered pretty woo-woo for many many years…but is it really?
In a word…no.
Visualisation literally increases the strength of your neural connections and allows your brain to believe you are already doing the thing you’re visualising.
It increases your confidence, decreases any fear, mental blocks or anxieties that are stopping you from taking action towards the things that you want to achieve. It makes something you’ve felt was impossible seem possible and hugely increases your motivation.
It really enables you to live your life as if you’re already where and who you want to be and you’re MUCH more likely to get there when you see and KNOW how possible it all is and it gets your brain on board with what you want to do and stimulates the right areas of the brain that will help push you towards achieving your goal rather than the areas that actively take you away from it and stop you taking action (oh hello amygdala…you again!) It allows you to trust that it’s all coming your way, which will make you relax and go with the flow much more.
There is a HUGE amount of science behind visualisation and what goes on in your brain and how it can literally change it by creating new neural connections…and it’s something that successful athletes cottoned onto a long time ago.
How many times have you heard an incredible athlete being interviewed and asked how they did it and they’ve said something along the lines of ‘I visualised the shot exactly as I wanted it to happen.’ or ‘I just visualised the win’. Mohammed Ali was known for being big on visualisation, he defined it as ‘future history’ and he would be able to predict rounds. Michael Phelps uses his ‘videotapes’ every night where he plays through his race. Michael Jordan and Tiger woods are also amongst a whole host of others who use visualisation as a tool for their success.
If you look for it, the evidence of people doing the impossible are happening all the time, and the common theme that runs through their achievements is that they all visualise the end goal before it’s actually happened.
There are even countless reports of being able to lose weight, gain more money and cure ailments through visualisation alone…i mean, worth a try right!
Right now, Imagine one of your favourite smells, perhaps freshly baked bread or pastries…got it?
Is your mouth watering now?
Visualisation activates the same areas of the brain as if you were experiencing it in real life.
The brain doesn’t distinguish between what’s real and what’s imagined or dreamed. Your body and brain will have the same physiological reaction as if it were really happening.
Think of a memory that you love, a time when you were really happy…got it?
Are you smiling?
Do you feel the same way as you did when it happened, the same emotions?
The most famous evidence of visualisation is a study of basketball players. There were 3 groups, the first group would practice shooting hoops for about 20 minutes per day, the second group would only visualise getting the ball through the hoop and the 3rd group didn’t do anything at all. The group that only visualised making the shots were just as good as the ones who were practising every day!
There’s even studies with weightlifters where one group lifted weights every day and they increased their muscle mass by about 30% but then the group that just visualised doing the same thing still increased their muscle mass by almost half….mind blown yet?
You can apply this to any area of your life and it’s especially beneficial in your business. You want your brain to work WITH you, not AGAINST you when it comes to doing things that are new, outside your comfort zone or perceived to be ‘not for everyone’.
All your limiting beliefs will come up at certain points when you’re starting and running a business or launching a new product…along with all the inevitable mindset gremlins (you know…imposter syndrome, comparisonitis, self doubt, procrastination and all that good stuff) and using visualisation can dramatically decrease the effects of these and push you forwards.
Repetition is important with visualisation. You can’t just do it once and think everything will magically happen. You are retraining your subconscious mind to get in line with what your conscious mind wants.
You’re getting your thoughts and beliefs in alignment which will calm the fear centre of the brain if it’s activated but also allow your brain to ‘see’ what’s possible. You’re also telling it what opportunities to filter out for you.
There is an area of the brain called the reticular activating system and one of its functions is to act like your brain’s natural spam filter. You can only take on so many sounds, images and sensations that you’re bombarded with throughout the day and your brain learns what you want to see and what you don’t.
So it will ignore certain meaningless or useless stimuli but be sensitive to the important stuff that you need. But it LEARNS what is and isn’t important to you so you need to tell it!
It will show you the opportunities you need to see. Ever had that thing where you see a particular car that you’d love to own and then all of a sudden you see it everywhere? Or when you think about something you need that would push you forward and then you meet someone or see something with that thing right there ready and waiting for you? Uh huh…that!
Taking the time to visualise what you want for your life and your business is one of the best and quickest ways to get it. When you’re REALLY clear on what you want then your brain will work WITH you to help you get it. I have a printable designed to help you do this all about visualising and getting really clear on what your ideal day looks like.
You can use vision boards too. A super ‘pretty’ and fun way to make sure everything you want is always front of mind and as a constant reminder to your brain of what you want. Get a load of magazines or print out images and stick em all on a board. Everything you want. Do you want to write articles for Psychologies magazine? Put it on there, do you want amazing testimonials? Write your dream client testimonial and put it on there! Want a new qualification? Put it on there! What monthly income do you want? Put it on there!
It’s as if youre training your brain for the physical event itself. It will increase your motivation too as you realise and teach your brain how possible it really is for you.
It helps you link your thoughts and behaviours which is the key to getting what you want. When there is congruence between what you want and what you know is possible then you will take the action that you need to get it.
So, now for the practical.
When you do this do it at a time when you know you will be able to do it regularly.
Decide if you’re a morning person or if you’d rather do it before bedtime. Which are you more likely to stick to?
Close your eyes and sit in a quiet place without distractions and just start daydreaming.
But daydream in full blown technicolour!
What do you see, what do you hear, what can you smell?
Really engage with the visualisation and get as clear as you possibly possibly can.
Who are you with? Where are you? What are you doing?
Really feel the feelings as if you’re actually there and your brain will handle the rest!
So….are you willing to give it a try?
If you want to explore this further, have any questions or want some accountability then come join me in my private community below or book in a free discovery call here to see if we’re a good fit to work together!!
Fran Excell, Subconscious Success Mentor – Helping Business Owners Overcome Self Sabotage & Get More Done In Less Time at www.franexcell.com
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© 2023 Fran Excell. Success mindset mentor for entrepreneurs & executives.
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