The brain is an amazing machine, it has the power to create and the power to destroy. Unfortunately many people use it to their disadvantage as they don’t understand how to use the tools we are all born with to create a better life.
Successful people in all walks of life have a vision for what they want to achieve.
But the first and most important function of our brains is to keep us safe and alive. This means it is brilliant at magnifying any potential dangers and threats so we can steer clear of them.
Another fascinating element of how our brain works is that it does not know the difference between what is imagined and what is real. This means we can control the way we feel just by thinking about something in our minds. Unfortunately most people spend more time worrying about the things they don’t want to happen and the things they want to avoid, while successful people are focused on what inspires them and where they want to go.
Positive visualisation is simply using the power of our mind to imagine and create a vision for our future. Practising it can help you in these five ways;
People tend to do things for one of two things, to move towards the feeling of pleasure or to move away from the feeling of pain. The trouble with moving away from pain is that while it can be a good catalyst for change, it is very taxing and a draining way to motivate yourself to take action.
Thinking about what you want to achieve in the future, staying focused on positive outcomes is a powerful way to keep you feeling inspired. The more inspired you feel the easier it will be to take action towards your goals.
No matter what your goals are, you will face obstacles and setbacks along the way. They are part of the process and if you are not equipped in the right way then they can easily derail you and often bring your progress to a grinding halt.
One of my sports clients, Rochdale FC footballer Joe Thompson, used the power of positive visualisation to overcome the most incredible of setbacks. He conquered cancer, not once but twice on the road to achieving his goals. He was able to use his mind to stay focused on what he wanted to achieve when everything around him was crumbling and ultimately his life was on the line. He stayed focused on the future and returned to professional football twice to score the winning goal that saved Rochdale from relegation on the final day of last season.
If you are leading a team to achieve your goals together then keeping them positively focused on the future is a vital piece in keeping them motivated.
In every business there are tasks that can become monotonous and uninspiring. If the team does not have a clear focus of where they are going and why they are going there, then they can lose their sense of motivation pretty quickly. Consistently reminding them of the positive vision for the future is a vital part of inspirational leadership.
As I have explained, the brain is better at recognising the things that go wrong because it is designed to protect us from danger. But when we are more tuned into what has gone wrong as opposed to what has gone well, we can feel pretty low.
Studies show that happier people are more productive people and this has a powerful cumulative effect when it comes to teamwork.
By focusing more on what has gone well, you shift the emotional state of people which results in better performance. A simple way to introduce this is to start each team meeting by reviewing all of the things that have gone well, where as most start with the problem.
Somebody who implemented this to great effect was the England Rugby World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward. He was always keen to learn from mistakes but he said he was more interested in ‘concentrating on success’ so they always analysed their wins in more depth than their losses. Success leaves clues.
In sport, positive visualisation is used in practice so that when the athletes get on the field of play, they have more chance on executing their skills when it matters.
The more they think about executing their skills successfully, the more chance they have of doing it when the time comes to perform.
You can take this into all kinds of situations, like giving a presentation for example. A lot of people fear public speaking in case they make a mistake and look stupid in front of their peers, so they spend more time worrying about it going wrong than imagining it going really well and seeing themselves speaking with confidence, clarity and composure.
You must see it to believe it.
Build the practice of positive visualisation into your life today and watch how your results start to soar.
Keep making it happen,
Martin Robert Hall
Get in touch via the contact page if you would like to take your results to the next level.