Before any race or game a professional athlete will run that race or play that game 100’s of times in their mind first.
A runner will set up at the end of the track and run the race through visualisation time and time again. Noticing the power with which their legs are used to propel their body from the starting position and how quickly they reacted to the starters gun. They then feel their body lifting as the motors driving their legs push harder and harder. They love the feeling of the breeze in their face as they are now able to open their stride and gain maximum speed. The slow motion “mind movie” doesn’t make them feel that they are going any slower as they kick in the afterburner and cross the line Victorious yet again.
They will do this time and time again always perfect. There is no room for doubt because here the results matter. Here it is imporatant to have a balancing force against,or supportive of, their current reality.
When I am refereeing Jujitsu matches it is common that I can predict who will win. Not by any magic but by looking at their body language. The outer expression of their inner visions and self talk. They come to the ring looking like they are feeling – beaten. And Voila the winner is……the other guy. Again.
Most people think that all of our vision comes through our eyes. The truth is a little more amazing. In-fact when neuro-scientists look at the brain using imaging they see that a huge part of the brain lights up, signifying that a large part of what we think we are seeing is actually coming from our memory and the information coming from our eyes is really used to update what we already know. This is why our eyesight can be tricked and why people who are deprived of light for long periods begin to hallucinate. Not just visually, but with the lack of input the brain begins to feel like they are really there.
You physically do not have the time to process every bit of information that enters your eyes. You would go nuts. The brain has some amazing tricks to compensate for that like using your memory as the main data and just look for any differences in what the eyes see and another little know part of the brain -the RAS.
Understanding this is really important, because it means that when we visualise an event, the brain doesn’t know if its real or imagined. The internal images you are projecting are being compared against your existing data base and in that way we are congruent. All we are doing is making sure that what we “see” is what we want to happen.
A couple of nights ago I was dreaming that I was in my house and that people were trying to get in. Bad people. I was the last line of defence for my family and I was doing a great job of it but they were starting to come quicker and quicker. – A bit like a zombie movie I imagine.- Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed one trying to climb through the screen door and I leaped to the door to stop him. I shaped and awesome front kick and with great power I delivered a knock out blow. At that exact moment I was awakened suddenly and painfully with a gut wrenching cramp in my calf muscle. I woke up quicker than ever and began immediately to remedy the situation. The point of the story is that my muscle contraction was as a result of my kick. My mind thought I was really under attack and was firing off information to my legs to help in the battle.
So many people don’t take the time to shape their attitude through visualisation – consciously. I say consciously because we are always imagining things but a lot of time we are running the same old movie and not necessarily a good one either.
If you want to change what you see in the real world the best place to start is what you see in your inner world. Take time to influence the way you think about things through positive imagery. Just by visualising your bank balance being better, or the bully bowing to you, or the first place goes to …me, doesn’t mean that magically these things are going to change right away but with consistent effort you will begin to see the world differently and as consequence it will seemingly treat you differently.
Try it – you won’t be disapointed.