Visualize Your Success

By: Angela Stringfellow
I can remember being a little girl, practicing shooting baskets in my driveway with my dad. Don't ask me where I found this information, but somewhere I had heard or read that visualizing the ball sailing through the hoop before actually taking the shot would greatly improve your success. Although it was a technique that I certainly did not completely understand at such a young age, I tried it and sure enough, it worked wonders.

I stood out there for hours, just practicing foul shots, over and over again. Each time I imagined the ball gliding smoothly through the air and sailing through the hoop it would do just that. After doing this for awhile I would test my theory and just take a shot for the heck of it, without taking the time to imagine the outcome. Although I didn't miss all of those shots, I certainly experienced a much higher success rate by visualizing making the shot beforehand.

I suppose this phoenomeon, if we stick to the sports examples, could be related to hitting a baseball as well. I was never a big fan of playing baseball, quite frankly, because I was terrified that the ball was going to smack me right in the face. Needless to say, I wasn't much good at hitting the ball either. I can recall countless times being told to just keep your eye on the ball, swing the bat, and they will connect. The few times I managed to suppress my negative thoughts and simply watch the ball, I would indeed hit it.

Is it possible that visualization techniques that we are taught as children could carry such a deeper significance that no one ever explained to us? Are these coaches and other adults teaching children a valuable lesson that could lead to amazing success throughout life? If so, why didn't anyone bother to teach us how to use this in other areas of our lives? I believe the answer is because those who are teaching us these tricks don't really understand the full significance of what they are practicing either. This is not unheard of in science. Often we search so long and hard for elusive answers that end up being right under our noses. Sometimes it's even something we're very familiar with but just never totally understood.

How many illnesses are there that we have medications to treat even though we don't fully understand how the disease works in the body? Visualization is very similar in that strategies exist to manipulate our subconscious even though science is not yet advanced enough to completely understand how the subconscious part of our minds work. Even though this technique has been tried and true in the world of sports for many years, not everyone believes this power is transferable to our own minds. It is perhaps this doubt that causes the technique to lose power in thier own lives. But really, what are we acting on, even in the sports examples, if not our own minds? Certainly we are not influencing the ball to magically find its way to the basket.

If you believe that visualization can work for you, and you practice it diligently, you can make amazing things happen in your own life. Visualization can be used for anything, in any aspect of your life that you want to change or improve. It can be used when gearing up for stressful situations, by imagining the perfect outcome, such as imagining yourself delivering the perfect presentation or speech to a group of executives at your company. Imagine the crowd clapping and screaming with joy after your performance. Imagine yourself in the home you have always dreamed, living life the way you have always wanted. It works.

So how do you do it? First, clearly define what it is you want. Next, eliminate all doubts and negative thoughts and energy surrounding this desire. Then, take several minutes each day, or even several times a day, and just imagine, as vividly as you can, including every minute detail (the clothes you're wearing, the smells, sounds, etc.) yourself in the situation or completing the task - successfully, of course. Always imagine the best, most positive, ideal outcome. See it through your own eyes, don't watch yourself do it from above or from a third-party perspective. Keep repeating this exercise, think positive thoughts and act as though you will get what you want, until you achieve your desired outcome!

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