The power of visualization

January 27, 2012 at 10:00 am Leave a comment


One of the techniques used by many top athletes, sales professionals and executives is visualization. This technique is nothing new so I am surprised that more people are not adopting it.

Visualization consists of seeing yourself completing the event (achieving success) or completing the actions that will get you there.  Are you looking to get the promotion that will give you the corner office? Visualize what you would like most about that job. Is it the splendid view of a lake or the greenery? If so imagine yourself standing in that office and taking a few minutes every day in that office to enjoy that beautiful view.  On the other hand, if what appeals to you is the nice salary that comes with the position, go ahead and imagine all of the things that you will now be able to afford. 

But to get to that corner office, will require some work. What is it? Do you have to sell X amount? Visualize yourself making successful sales presentation after successful presentation. Go through the steps of a successful sale presentation. Are you making a mistake as you’re making that presentation? Correct yourself.

A lot of data have been collected when it comes to the power of visualization. One of the best known experiments is one conducted by Alan Richardson with basketball players. The experiment consisted of 3 group of basketball players: a) one group was made to practice free throws every day for 20 days; b) the second group shot free throws on the first and 20th day only (no practice in between); c) the third group like the 2nd group did not practice but they were instructed to visualize making free throws. As expected, the group that did not practice at all did not have any improvement. However, the group that practiced visualization did as well as the group that practiced every day (24% in improvement of free throws for the group that practiced every day versus 23% for the group that used visualization technique).

Start with one goal that you are trying to achieve whether personal or business. Visualize what it looks like once you achieve success. Also, visualize being successful at completing the activities needed to get there. For example, if you are looking to lose weight, imagine fitting in that size 10 dress versus a size 14 visualize walking into the office, going to a conference or going to church and getting all the compliments about how you look. At the same time, visualize getting on that treadmill 5 days a week; running in the neighborhood; running a 5k or a marathon and being in the zone…

Do I practice visualization? You betcha. I have been doing it for years even before I realized that such concept existed and had been studied. I’ve been always pretty good at imagining stuff as a kid such as going all the way with my education and the pleasure that would come from receiving all kinds of accolades. Later in life, I became more and more disciplined by writing down what I wanted to visualize. First I started with writing what I wanted to visualize on sticky notes that would go in my wallet to now having them on my IPad.


(if intrigued, I suggest googling “visualization technique” ; there are also many articles and documents related to sports and visualization that can be found using Google Scholar).

Entry filed under: Sport, Sucess. Tags: .

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