If you can dream it, you can do it.
We all have the ability to visualise, i.e. create mental pictures in our heads, for example of people we know or places we have visited. However, we can equally visualise absolutely anything we care to imagine, and it is this capability which is at the root of all human creativity and inventiveness.
Visualisation is largely a right brain function, and we can be trained or learn to use it more effectively. It is frequently used to help people to move beyond their current boundaries and to achieve targets they thought were impossible. It is a method employed in NLP, Inner Game and Autogenic Training, and it has many applications, including confidence building, sports training and the treatment of cancer.
Some Key Features of Visualisation
The following are some of the key features of visualisation:
- Relaxed State
It is first necessary to get yourself into a relaxed, meditative state. This can be achieved by using a range of relaxation techniques, including music, diaphragmatic breathing and the tensing of muscles. You might also choose to visualise yourself in your own 'special place'.
- Creating a Mental Picture
You then create a mental picture of yourself in the circumstances you desire for yourself, for example completing a challenging project or excelling in your particular sport. You try to make the picture as multi-sensory and real as possible, by incorporating pictures, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings.
- Revisiting Your Picture
You regularly revisit your visualisation, with all its positive associations, until you successfully accomplish your objective. The visualisation is a mental rehearsal for the real thing, and over time it can raise your expectations of what is possible, become part of your normal perceptual framework and ultimately develop into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
For further information about visualisation see:
- The Effects of Mental Imagery on Athletic Performance by Annie Plessinger
Imagination, Mental Imagery, Consciousness and Cognition: Scientific, Philosophical and Historical Approaches by Nigel J T Thomas