Use Visualisation to Achieve Your Goals

Visualisation involves creating compelling and vivid pictures in your mind. It is an incredibly powerful tool used by many high achievers in sports, business and life.

Golfer Jack Nicklaus once said “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a colour movie. First I ‘see’ where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I ‘see’ the ball going there, it’s path, trajectory, and shape, even its behaviour on landing. Then there is sort of a fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”

Researchers have found that visualising an activity triggers the same brain activity as if you were actually completing the activity. Your brain sees no difference between visualising something and doing it.

This principle also applies to learning something new. Harvard University researchers found that students who visualised in advance later performed tasks with nearly 100% accuracy, whereas
students who didn’t visualise achieved only 55% accuracy. Visualisation allows the brain to achieve more.

When you visualise your goals as already complete, it creates a conflict in your subconscious mind between the visualised life and the current reality – the more you repeat the visualisation the more intense the conflict becomes. Your subconscious mind tries to resolve this conflict by creating the visualisation in reality too.

Although you can train your body physically by sheer persistence, it’s much harder to train your mind. All the visualisation did not come to me in a flash. I had to work at it, and learn how to use it… Negative thoughts lead to negative performance; the connection is as straightforward as that. The solution is to focus… This means firstly to keep the concentration as unbroken as possible, and secondly to try to change any negative thoughts into positive ones.

~ Sally Gunnell