Have you ever observed an athlete right before a competition? The next time you watch the Olympics take a look at the high jumpers. You’ll see many of them standing very still just before they start running to the bar. Then they’ll close their eyes and you’ll see their head bobbing up and down as they imagine running up to the bar—but they haven’t even moved. Sometimes they even throw their head backwards a bit as they jump over the bar in their mind. Then they open their eyes, stare at the bar intently, and begin to recreate in real time what they just visualized. Downhill skiers do this too–they’ll use their gloved hand to pretend to ski the entire course (some imagine it quite realistically in their minds, and you’ll see them respond physically to imagined obstacles on the hill). Whatever the sport, these athletes are using visualization to achieve their desired results, and by imagining the obstacles they might face, they prepare themselves mentally and physically for the challenge. In fact, they have such a vivid vision of themselves performing, that it becomes completely instinctual.
The visualization techniques used by athletes should also be applied to business. I’ve had enormous success with the process after learning about it from an Olympic coach and sports psychologist. This coach worked with high performance athletes to help them visualize their task prior to the event taking place. He showed us a variety of examples of where athletes using a process of visualization would so strongly ingrain the success and actual performance of the event into their mind, that when they competed, they simply recreated the vision they’d burned into their memory bank. They could, in fact, ‘see themselves’ competing, and as a result, their vision of success became a reality. This has been core to my mentoring and coaching CEOs. All the CEOs I mentor have written Vivid Visions of their companies. email me – Cameron@BackPocketCOO.com for samples of some of the best.