One of my favorite tools and topics but first, a simple definition:
Imagery is quite simply creating images in your mind.
Rule of thumb: Don’t ask yourself how this works. It just does. Many people kill the benefit of an idea, tool or concept when it comes to Peak Performance since they spend way too much time on trying to understand how it works. If you wish to gain from this nugget of learning, don’t bother asking how it works – just apply this simple principle.
Athletes do it all the time and win so why would it not be the same in Business. It is in fact!
Philosophers over the ages had different ways of teaching us. Earl Nightingale wrote ‘What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve’ or ‘ You are, what you think about ‘. Of the many authors I have studied and read including Napoleon Hill’s ’Think and grow rich’, the words are different yet the message is the same.
How many times have you heard the famous Chinese proverb: ‘Be careful what you wish for?’
Most recently, Brain science is a research based method developed by a leading authority in Neurosciences called Dr. Srini Pillay where he explains that there are important areas in the brain that are affected when Imagery is activated.
Dr. Pillay states that Imagery acts as a precursor to action. Imagery warms up the action brain.
‘By imagining what you want, you stimulate the action centers of the brain. Also, if you observe other examples of this being achieved, it will make it feel more real. It is important for this to feel real and when you do imagine it, try to imagine yourself doing (or thinking in the first person) it so that you are in the picture’.
Another effective way of creating imagery is think and concentrate by seeing yourself do something ( or in this case, thinking in the third person). For example if you were running a race you could see yourself running, hitting the ground and looking at your opponents as you strive for the finish line. Alternately, try looking at yourself in the same race but this time in the 3rd person; in other words observing you in the race as if you are filming yourself from above looking at yourself progress to the point of coming from behind and winning the race.
In both cases (you, in the first person or third person) you are effectively creating a mental image of you, achieving something important.
Now apply this to your job or company; Closing that important deal, delivering an important presentation, winning a negotiation, getting the partner you need, getting that important funding approval.
This concept works. Case in point my nephew was a backstroke swimmer in the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Olympics. Before any race he would go through his imagery exercise; he would put a towel over his head concentrate and imagine himself in the pool, going over every move and turn, in/out of the water and seeing himself hit the finish wall.
His imagery method worked. It got him to represent Canada in both Olympics!
As a reminder of the rule of thumb: Don’t ask yourself how this works. It just does. Try it and you just might be shocked by the results.
In my next post, I will talk about Ask/Believe/Receive which is line with Imagery.