A Legend in Your Own Mind Article by: Jim Rohrbach
“Picture yourself in a boat on a river â€¦ “ â€” The Beatles
It’s that time of year again â€” New Year’s resolutions, goal setting, and updating your mission statement. However, this year make sure you graduate from random daydreaming about life to visualizing. In everything from sports to business, effective visualization is often the thing that separates the best from the wannabes.
Visualization is the ability to mentally rehearse successful outcomes in a relaxed state before they actually happen. All great athletes, from golfers to hoopsters to Olympians, practice visualization as part of their training regimen as well as when competing. For example, have you ever watched an NBA game on TV when one of the players is shooting a free throw? You’ll notice on a close-up shot that most every player has a little ritual he performs before tossing the ball up â€” he bounces the ball a certain number of times, takes a deep breath, and then looks up at the basket in a trancelike state. You may even see him move his lips as if to mumble some words to himself just before shooting. Then, hopefully, a swish. He is coached on this technique to improve his performance at the freethrow stripe. And this same technique can work for you in your business or career.
But before I get going, let me address a possible concern you might have â€” a reluctance to embrace becoming “a legend in your own mind.” I’m not suggesting you become arrogant, egotistical, self-absorbed, or narcissistic â€” I like to believe I’m none of these. I consider myself just another kid from the neighborhood â€” I graduated from a Chicago public high school with a 1.74 GPA â€¦ I was definitely not knocking the ball out of the park academically. What I do believe about myself is that I am actually “nobody special” doing something very special with each of my clients. And I visualize this every single morning.
Now you may have experimented with some form of mental rehearsal in the past, perhaps with mixed results, so you might be feeling some resistance. Perhaps you doubt that you can even do it â€” “I can’t ever seem to SEE anything when I try this!” If this is the case, let me gently correct your thinking â€” you’re ALREADY using visualization â€” you’re visualizing “FOOD” three times a day, right? That’d be breakfast, lunch, and dinner â€” tell me you never dream of that juicy steak you’re gonna have for dinner that has your mouth watering at 2 p.m. The truth is, most people put more effort into picturing what they’re gonna have for these three daily meals than they ever put into picturing success.
Also, you may have a concern that going into a relaxed state might be a black-magic meditation for some wacky new age religion or brain-washing cult. No â€” you don’t have to shave your head, chant a mantra all day long, or send me all of your money (although my bank account would love it â€¦).
Let me share with you my simple way of visualizing. Follow along with the process below â€” it should take you no longer than 10 minutes. ( I recommend you keep it short and sweet in the beginning so you don’t feel the burden of yet another task on your “to do” list):
Put Yourself in a
Relaxed Seated Position
Sit upright in a comfortable chair, on a sofa, or on the floor. (I do not recommend you lie down, as the desired state is conscious relaxation, not sleep.)
Close Your Eyes and Take Several
Steady, Slow Deep Breaths
Four or five should do it â€” perhaps count to seven for each inhale and exhale. Then just relax and breathe normally through your nose.
Notice Any Distracting Thoughts or
Sounds, but Let Them Pass By
Since the desired mental state is focused concentration, you’ll need to ignore distractions. This may be the hardest part at first, which you’ll overcome with practice.
Bring to Mind an Important Goal and
Picture Yourself Going Through the
Process of Perfectly Achieving It
This is where the rubber meets the road in visualization â€” you want to create a mental experience of having already “been there, done that.” Some examples:
- If you’re in sales, envision a picture of you and your prospects agreeing to do business together, that they’re eager to get started with your product or service and are handing you a large check. Make sure you see the amount on their check written clearly, whether it’s $1,000, $10,000, $100,000, or more.
- If you’re a business leader, see your people excited about your new marketing proposal you’ve presented at a company meeting and eager to carry it out.
- In your personal life, picture your relationship with your spouse as happier, more fulfilling, more fun. See the two of you enjoying yourselves at play, having deeper conversations, laughing together, etc.
- Likewise, see your body in the best shape ever â€” your ideal weight, trim and fit. Draw forth images of bulging muscles and toned abs or holding that challenging yoga pose. When you make visualization a daily habit, you’ll stay mentally on track to achieve any goal you’d like.
This habit will then help you to follow through on your goals, as you’ll have already “experienced” the results and the feelings associated with making things happen for yourself. You will start to have the feeling that you’ve been there before, as in the words of that great yogi, Yogi Berra: “It’s like dÃ©jÃ vu all over again.” You’ll become a legend in your own mind, on your way to becoming a legend in your own time.
Success Skills Coach Jim Rohrbach, “The Personal Fitness Trainer for Your Business,” coaches business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals on growing their clientele. He has helped hundreds of individuals to achieve their goals since he developed his first coaching program in 1982. To arrange a Free Consultation with Jim, go to www.SuccessSkills.com.