Have you ever seen someone fail badly when attempting something new? Whether it’s a skateboard maneuver or public speaking or trying to de-claw a cat? After they fall, stammer, or get sliced, did they say, “I knew that was going to happen…”?
If you knew it was going to happen, why didn’t you do it a different way?
They didn’t know they were going to fail. They imagined that they would fail, which increased their chance that they would fail.
“Creative visualization” is a tool used by professional athletes and many successful leaders and experts. It is essentially imagining yourself succeeding at a task. Golfers paint a vivid picture in their mind of making a successful putt or drive before they step up to the ball. Basketball players imagine the ball swooshing through the hoop before they take the foul shot.
There has been tons of research and many books on this subject, but suffice it to say, that your autonomic nervous system cannot tell the difference between you physically performing an action and you carefully imagining performing that same action. It’s “virtual practice.”
So by visualizing yourself succeeding at the task before you attempt it, you increase your chance at succeeding. After all, you’ve already done it once before, right? But by worrying, by holding a failure picture in your mind before you execute, you are practically begging to fail.
Because he was worried about falling, the skateboarder wiped out. And because she was worried about being embarassed, the speaker blew her presentation. And let’s face it, your cat can smell your fear.
Imagination is a powerful tool. But if you are not using it to help you, you are probably using it against you.
I always talk about spending 15 minutes a day performing some activity that will move you towards your goals in life. Maybe right now, you don’t have a job or business vehicle to take you where you want to go. But you can spend 15 minutes dreaming. Creatively visualize. Paint a crystal clear picture of the life you want to live and the person you want to be. Write it down, imagine it, envision it. It will help prepare your mind for success and enable you to take advantage of the next opportunity that you come across.
Am I advocating daydreaming as a course of action? Yep. It will help you a whole lot more than worrying about not being able to pay your bills.
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw