Visualization, we all do it to some degree. But, some of us do it intentionally and some by accident. Those that can control and manage visualization can overcome great obstacles and create amazing success in their personal and professional life.

Professional athletes talk about their pre-game or event ritual. Almost all will describe themselves seeing the task ahead of time. In a study conducted by Dr. Biasiotto at the University of Chicago, players were split into three groups. For 30 days, one group practiced free-throws, one group was asked to sit and visualize their free-throws… while the other did nothing. The ones who ONLY visualized making their free-throws increased performance by 23 % and the group who practiced improved by 24%. The final group had no demonstrable change, as would be expected. Recognize this fact, by sheer visualization, the group improved almost equal to the group who practiced.

It’s the simple task of seeing yourself in that state or situation successfully. You do it with all your senses. Visually see it, try to feel it and hear it as it has happened. You can do this from personal goals, to sales calls, to an income you would like to achieve.

I have coached many leaders and sales teams individually, if one of the objectives they have is to reach a certain quota or $ attainment, I ask them to create a visual representation of what that would look like. The check stub, the commissions worksheet, the bank account, etc. I ask them to physically alter the document to create what the result is at the end of the year. Then I ask them to focus on this every night right before they go to bed. To visualize this result.

What is important is to notice what happens in the moments you are visualizing. The mind will talk to you, some good talk some bad talk, the key is to manage the talk and focus on the conviction and reorient the chatter to the positive. Without fail, those that do this nightly visualization in earnest, have all come back to me with the result being attained within 1%, even when the goal was audacious. Now, I am not suggesting this is all you do, that would be too easy. The next thing is doing the work. Whatever that is, you can’t become good at a musical instrument just by visualizing it. But you do by doing the work and practicing.

Here is what many have discovered. If you are focused on the goal and you are managing the chatter in your mind, and you are doing the work. You will find answers you need, you will also pick yourself up and overcome obstacles. In the end, its about getting the personal goal you are trying to achieve. Amazingly, everyone I have coached has shared that something presented itself to them to help achieve it.

This same visualization technique is happening right now if you’re not controlling it. Meaning, what you are focused on, and repeating to yourself, you will continually find again and again. I call it the upward spiral of success, or the downward spiral of distress.

Henry David Thoreau, said it best “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Try it, pick something, and focus on it. Visualize it. Oversee the chatter and the focus and guide it.

Let me know how it goes. If you do the work, and manage the talk, you will be pleasantly surprised. I promise you.

Best of success.

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As Founder and CEO of Visualize, Scott spearheads the company’s overall strategic direction, planning and execution. Scott has over 25 years of experience in sales and sales leadership, building profitable companies.