"Positive visualization can be ineffective and even counter productive "
Self help teachers have had it all wrong and now there is research to prove it! A lot of well intentioned people in the self help industry have actually been hurting their clients chances of success. These teachers have been teaching from anecdotal evidence but now we have solid research to show us what works and what doesn't. There is some really good news in recent research but first we have to expose the truth.
What happens when you visualize reaching a goal?
This type of positive visualization is ineffective and even counter productive. This only serves to drain you of energy and actually triggers a relaxation response. It's as if you have achieved your goal and there is no reason for you to call up the energy to pursure your dream because your subconscious acts as if you already have it . So instead of being motivated you become calmer and your energy level drops.
Now I'm positive that someone will read this and want to refute it with a personal story. But that's how we end up with these misconceptions....we go by someones anecdotal evidence rather than solid research. Yes its true, there will always be exceptions to the case but I'd much sooner have the odds in my favor wouldn't you? Hard and difficult sucks!
Maybe this explains why I didn't always get the girl? Visualizing her under the spell of my many charms but then too lazy to get off my butt and actually go ask her out. Oh, if I told you some of the things I visualized? Well forget that, I've told you too much already. How about you? What have you visualized but never got?
So Guru are you telling us that there is NO value in visualization?
No there is some good news. For instance lets imagine that you are stressed out or flooded with aniety. Visualizing everything working out beautifully will help to calm and even destress you. Your anxiety level will decline and you will feel much better. A good imagination can work nearly as well drugs and its free with no bad side effects other than a lack of energy.
But wait it gets better....
Now here's what the right kind of visualization can do?
* Do better on a test?
* Become a better negotiator?
* Improve your performance whether its sports, business or social encounters.
* Make a better speech?
* Make more sales?
* Become more creative?
This is beginning sound like one of those late night TV infomercials, right? Well friends, here's the good news....this is backed by more solid research! It works and you can try it out for yourself and I sincerely hope you will.
Here's how it works...
Imagine you are to give a public speech. You are nervous about the content and your performance. Here is the fun and easy solution. First...
DON'T...visualize a successful outcome.
DO.....visualize the best damn day in your life. And visualize it in as much detail as you can possibly recall. Visualize what was going on and how you were feeling. Really get into it and enjoy it to the max. Try to recall sounds, words, sights, smells and even touch if you can.
WHEN...visualize before you start writing your speech. Visualize before you give the actual talk.
There is no guarantee that you will be a super star but you will do much better than if you did nothing or if you visualize a successful speech. Your energy level will spike and you will have greater motivation to succeed.
One more way visualizing works to your advantage..
This isn't near as much fun as visualizing a successful outcome but it does work. Visualize all of the steps to your desired goal. Include all the possible challenges and setbacks. This type of visualizing is actually motivating and will be get you off your butt and moving in the right direction.
That's it! Now what are you going to do with this new knowledge. Write a book? Apply for a better job? Ask for a raise? Start a business? Just please remember don't visualize success instead visualize the best damn day in your life. How can that not be good?
P.S. Now I'm off to do some reasearch to find out if 'Vision Boards' work? I have my suspicions ...