If you spend a good amount of time on goal setting, achievement, and bettering your performance in any category, then you have undoubtedly heard of the process of visualization.
In short, visualization is the act of “seeing” your goal achieved in your mind’s eye. It is the absolute first step in accomplishing any goal. Look around you and notice the objects. The drinking glass on your desk, for example. Someone had to actually “see” that glass in their mind before it was ever made. They saw the shape, the texture, the height, the width, the thickness, the curvature, they saw everything. They had to see it “before” they took action. Other achievements such as weight loss, competitions won, degrees earned happen the exact same way.
I would bet if you looked back at your life and reviewed your accomplishments, you would agree that you “visualized” those things happening before they actually became reality.
Listen to top athletes right after they win a championship. Without exception they say things like, “I saw this happening a thousand times in my mind in practice”. Superstar athletes of all sports have come to realize the importance of visualization, and many view it as a critical part of their game plan.
The problem is that most people do not visualize intentionally, meaning they have no control or direction of what they are visualizing. The images that you hold in your mind, good or bad, have a way of becoming our reality. If you worry a lot or picture things going wrong, there is a strong chance you’re headed in that direction.
It all starts with your self-image. One of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard is this…”You literally cannot outperform your self-image”. Think about it: have you ever been the “victim” of self sabotage? Lets use losing weight as an example. Have you ever started a diet and exercise program with fantastic discipline at the beginning, only to have your excitement fade after only a few days? Perhaps you were even seeing some results on the scale and in the mirror. Then for whatever reason, one meal you slipped back into old habits. The next day, you were completely off the diet, skipped the gym, and told yourself “Monday I get back on track”. Monday comes and goes, and you say “Ok next Monday is the day”. And on and on.
Ever wonder why you do that? Does it mean you’re weak minded? Does it mean you have no self discipline?
Nope. You are completely normal.
We will explore why you do that in the next part.