One of the things I use is the power of my imagination. Commonly known as visualising, don’t be put off by this term if you are not someone who thinks in images. I do think in pictures, but my husband doesn’t, so I am well versed in the challenges of people who don’t ‘see’ things in their mind’s eye, but rather hear, or feel, or even just sense things instead.
Whatever you do in your head, the term ‘imagine’ covers them all. And the power of your imagination is incredible.
The mind does not know the difference between what you perceive as ‘reality’ out therein the world, and what you may think of as ‘just imagination’ in your head. Which is why it is very easy to dismiss a powerful thought or imagining as not very important. But in the world of sport, your imagination is treated with considerable respect. Every top athlete or professional sportsperson uses their imagination to help them win their competitions.
Dennis Taylor, ex-World Snooker champion, has been quoted as saying “Success is 70% in the mind; if your mind’s not straight then you won’t win”. And that’s exactly what successful champions do – they imagine themselves winning. The positive effects of this are amply demonstrated with this experiment conducted many years ago in the University of Chicago.
Three groups of high school basketball players were aiming to improve their ability to get the ball in the basket from the free throw line over a period of 20 days. Group 1 practiced in reality 20 minutes per day, Group 2 did no practice at all, and Group 3 visualised their throws in their mind’s eye for 20 minutes per day.
What were the results? For Group 2 there was no improvement; for Group 1, they improved by 23%, and for Group 3, who had been practicing in their mind’s eye only, the results were an improvement of 22%. Pretty impressive I thought!
One man who had been listening in on the interview and heard me talk about this, told Paul that the next day he woke feeling inspired by the call, and determined to put into practice this idea of visualising. That day, everyone who came into his shop he focused on seeing them signing a contract. Result – he doubled the number of contracts he usually sells in a day. Now that’s the kind of story I like to hear! So if you haven’t put your imagination to work yet in this very positive way, try it out and see what happens – and let me know!