15 September 2009
The Power of Imagery
Using your imagination for success
Mental Imagery
 
Before every shot I go to the movies inside my head. Here’s what I see. First, I see the ball where I want it to finish on a specific small area of fairway or green. Next I see the ball going there—its path, trajectory, and behavior on the landing. Finally, I see myself making the kind of swing that will turn the first two images into reality. These “home movies” are a key to my concentration and to my positive approach to every shot.
Jack Nicklaus, Professional golfer.
 
Good imagery skills can be used any time to help you make a contingency for situations that may occur during your work day, at home, or during any goal that you want to accomplish. Many of us rehearse scenarios for work so that we act professionally, accurately, and successfully. But how many of us use imagery to accomplish personal goals. Are you training for an event? Attending a party and worried about avoid eating foods not good for you? Just wanting to get an exercise plan started? Are you anxious about taking an exam?
 
Use these tips to learn and turn imagery into your advantage:
  1. Be calm and relaxed: Imagery is most often effective when the mind is calm and the body is relaxed. Stop and get yourself to focus. Use deep breathing to help you be calm. Let the distracting thoughts and images float past as you reflect on the image.
  2. Use all your senses: Besides visualizing yourself and your surroundings, it is equally important to feel, hear, be aware of your body position, and even what the smell and taste will be during your experience. Paying attention to details will help make your imagery more vivid and real.
  3. Control your images: Make sure you see yourself and feel yourself accomplish your goal and performing as you want to perform. If you want to successfully exercise, image what you will look like when you exercise and how you will feel and look afterwards. If you want to avoid foods, focus on practicing smell and visual imagery to help you make the right choices. Keep your images positive especially if the event is stressful.
  4. Keep it simple at first: Practice in a safe, quiet environment at first. Use non-threatening and non-stressful situations until you are more confident in your imagery skills. When you feel more confident, pick a situation that you really want to accomplishing but isn’t too difficult. As you become more familiar with imaging, start each day by imaging your self accomplishing what is most important to you. Spend a few minutes every morning or every evening with imagery.
  5. Use your sense of “feel”: Make your images more vivid by imaging your body movement. Once you create a body experience to match what you are imaging, the image will strengthen. This is especially important if your goal depends on body movement.
Use imagery just like a professional athlete and you will be successful. 
Next blog : The Power of Journaling. Journaling is actually a good way of connecting thoughts to imagery. Give it a try!!
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