Episode 22 | (00:00)
Hey there, friend, are you ready to start hitting your midlife goals today? We're going to be talking about how visualization can be the missing piece to your success. You know, I picture... I visualize visualization is kind of a little mind movie. It's a movie I play over and over in my mind, and it always has the perfect, happy ending. How cool is that? You ready to go? You ready? Yeah, I know. I know, me too!
Hey there, Easy Ager. Before I get started today, I wanted to remind you if you are not already on the Easy Aging® Insiders' list, go to TheEasyAgingShow.com right after this episode and sign up today, okay?
Today we are talking about visualization and how it can be the missing piece to your success. You may have heard of this study. There was a well-known study done at the University of Chicago by a sports psychologist named Judd Biasiotto. And from this point forward, he'll just be called "sports psychologist guy" because I'm not sure I'm pronouncing his right name correctly. ;)
He split undergraduate basketball students into three groups to perform free throws. So the first group practiced free throws for an hour every day. The second group visualized themselves making free throws. And the third group were told not to practice free throws and not to think about free throws.
So at the end of the month, Sports Psychologist Guy tested the students again. And the third group that weren't supposed to practice or think about free throws showed no improvement whatsoever.
However, the first group who had actually practiced the free throws for an hour a day improved their initial scores by 24%. And the second group who had only visualized making free throws improved by 23%.
That is 1% less than the group that actually practiced the free throws for an hour a day. Can you believe that?
I mean, the second group that visualized making the free throws literally sat on their behinds and did nothing but visualize...and they were only 1% behind the group who actually practiced. This is crazy, yet this is the power of visualization.
If you have a goal in any area of your life, whether it's sports or business, or you have a personal goal, or you want to create healthy habits, whatever that is, there is always going to be a gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
If you get really good at visualizing, you can use your brain to help you achieve your goals. Because here's the deal: your brain cannot tell the difference between a vividly imagined event and a real one. Let me say that again: your brain cannot tell the difference between a vividly imagined event and a real one.
So it's this mental rehearsal that is going to get you ahead on your goals. It may even be the missing piece to your goals. If you can create a strong mental picture of where you'll be and just visualize yourself over and over doing it again consistently, your brain will find a way to get you there.
What we're trying to do here is create this strong mental picture of where you are going to be. You visualize it day after day after day consistently, and your brain is gonna spring into action.
It will find some way to get you there, even though it may not seem possible when you get started.
I want to talk about Michael Phelps. Yes, the Michael Phelps. Swimmer guy, Michael Phelps. His swimming coach, the US Men's Olympic Swimming Coach Bob Bowman said:
"For months before a race, Michael gets into a relaxed state. He mentally rehearses for two hours a day in the pool. He sees himself winning. He smells the air, tastes the water, hears the sounds, sees the clock."
Basically he's saying that Phelps experiences all of this — he experiences his victory — before he even puts a toe in the water.
Is he practicing? Is he swimming? Yes, absolutely. He's doing the work, but it's his mental game that gets him ahead is what this gentleman is saying.
What fascinated me the most is that his coach said he mentally rehearses for two hours a day. Two hours.
That's part of his practice. And when you rehearse something for two hours a day, that's a long time to just be visualizing over and over and over and over again.
But you know, by the time he steps up to that block on that little platform where they dive off of, he's already swum that race hundreds of times in his head before he even gets up there.
So when he gets on that block, he goes on autopilot. His body already knows what to do because it's been doing it so many hours, it knows because of so many hours of practice.
His brain switches on to what he's already visualized. He's already visualized his success. He's visualized getting the gold medal. And then boom, he just goes out and does it. For him, this is just another day at the office because he's has it so clearly ingrained in his mind.
Now Phelps says that you should visualize what you want it to be, what you don't want it to be and what it could be. And that includes the not-so-great-stuff too. That includes visualizing the things that could go wrong and the things that you can't control.
He practices all these scenarios in his head. He mentally rehearses all of these before he ever steps up on that little block. So if his suit rips or if his goggles fill up with water, he's prepared for it.
And because he's prepared, he doesn't panic. He just takes care of it and he moves forward. No big deal.
Phelps also says that he visualizes from different perspectives. He watches this movie sometimes from the outside, when he's in the stands and he's being an observer watching himself swim. And then sometimes, he says I'm in the water and I'm doing the swimming.
So different perspectives are going to help you as well when you're doing your visualizations.
You don't have to do two hours a day to start seeing some benefits from visualizations. And because we are all about fun-sized actions, because we are all about taking little bite-sized nuggets of action, we are going to start with... what is it? What is it? You know this by now — yep, just two little minutes.
So before you get started, think about what your movie will look like. What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to create a healthy habit or go after a new goal or maybe start a new hobby? This is a really normal place for us to go. You know, we go, "Oh, I want to get out of debt" or "I want to lose weight" or whatever that is.
This time, I want you to tweak your mindset just a little bit...
...so you can think a little bit bigger about other goals and other things that you would like in your life. Because you can use visualization for a number of things.
For example, you may have an emotional trigger that makes you angry. And when you get triggered, you can't control your anger. So what do you do? You create a movie where the ending is — after you've gone through the situation and experienced the trigger — you've then controlled your anger.
Pretty straightforward, right? You want to create your movie to have the outcome that you want the most.
Before you start, you may want to sit down and think about, or maybe even jot down some notes so you can get things out of your head and onto the paper.
Get a general idea of what you're going to be visualizing or what you're going to be mentally rehearsing, and think about what you want to happen, what you don't want to happen, and what could happen. Put yourself in different scenarios.
Think about the good, the bad and the ugly. That's basically what I'm saying here.
And don't worry if it's not fully developed. Don't wait until it's perfect to get started. I mean, you can get started immediately and just develop it further after you've done it a few times.
You'll start thinking, "Oh, I missed a gap here," or "Oh yeah, I could just have this entire scenario look like this." You're going to be getting more ideas the more times you do it. You're also going to get more confident of what your movie looks like the more times you do it.
So here's what we're going to do: number one, put yourself into a relaxed state. That will do wonderful things and help you get more and more clarity as you go along. Number two, get comfortable.
Now I wanted to throw out an idea...
I don't know if this helps other people, but it seems to help me release a lot of tension. I lie down on my back on my yoga mat. My knees are bent and the souls of my feet are flat on the floor.
I don't know what happens here but it feels like my back, especially my lower back, just starts relaxing, like I'm almost melting into the yoga mat. It feels great.
So that's a great way to release some tension, or you can just sit up or lie down or stand on your head, whatever you're comfortable with, whatever "get comfortable" means to you.
And number three, for two minutes, you're going to start playing your movie. Now, remember, you're watching your movie as a spectator from the outside, as well as watching it from the inside as you are doing it. Do this every day. Play your movie, develop your movie, keep adding onto your movie and adding more and more details.
Because the more details you have, the more you're going to be telling your subconscious brain, "Hey, this is what we need to have happen." This works because your subconscious brain responds quite quickly to images.
And if you keep putting these images in over and over and over again, your subconscious brain is going to go, "Oh, okay. Yeah. Got it." And things are gonna start happening! It's kind of crazy.
The key to this visualization is consistency. If you do it once or twice, you more than likely are not going to get any results. You need to set up a time of just two minutes in your day so you can go through it over and over and over.
And the more you run this movie, the more details you're going to be adding and the more confident you're going to be of it. You're going to start getting clearer and clearer on what exactly you want.
That's a nice little by-product. You might start out a little fuzzy about what it is and the more you run your movie, you're like, "Hey, now I'm really clear on what I want!" So that could happen too.
To recap, set up your movie, make sure you you cover what you want it to be, what you don't want it to be, and what it could be. Practice a number of different scenarios, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and view your movie from different perspectives. View it as an observer from outside yourself and view it from the inside, looking out.
So that's pretty much it for today. Once again, if you haven't signed up yet, go to TheEasyAgingShow.com to sign up to be an Insider. Until next time, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!