The Winter Olympics are now over, and after watching and cheering for our favourite athletes and teams, we now start getting back to our normal daily routines. Most TV viewers only get to see the athletes competing over this short period of time during the Olympics. What we don’t see and experience are the long hours of training, injuries, sacrifices and setbacks along the way, just to get to the Games.
It can be very daunting at times, and athletes at this level know it’s not just about winning, but immersing themselves in and enjoying the process of what it takes to achieve a high-level of performance. Throughout their career, these athletes have developed an enormous range of performance skills they use during training and competition. One of these skills is a very powerful skill of visualization, which can make a tremendous difference in performance regardless of whether you are a world-class athlete or preparing to make a big presentation. Visualization when used consistently can have a positive impact on anyone’s performance.
There are two types of visualization: internal and external. During internal visualization you are inside your own body looking out, and seeing yourself visually engaging in your event. This could be presenting to your leadership team. External visualization is where you are outside your body, and seeing yourself performing a task or using a skill. It would be comparable to watching yourself on TV.
People who are very good at visualization have the ability to include smell, feelings, sounds that would be associated with their performance when they are visualizing. They are able to create in their heads the full performance experience they are going to engage in.
Next time you are about to make a presentation or a sales call, try visualizing it before you actually do it. Close your eyes, relax, and let the images just generate in your mind. This may take some practice as you will be using the right side of your brain, which tends to not get used during our busy workdays. The more you practice visualization, the easier it will become and the images in your mind will seem more and more life-like. This will not only improve your performance, but it will also help you enjoy the process of achieving your goals.
All the best in achieving your highest performance.
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net