We dream with images. While there may be some talking in our dreams, they are mostly visual. So often more can be said with an image than can be expressed with words. When you see an image online, in most cases, you don’t need a caption to understand the message. However, to describe the same graphic without the ability to show it would require many words, and even then there’s no guarantee you’d get it completely right.
It should come as no surprise then that visualization works on our unconscious mind, too. When we create mental images of the life we want or situations we desire, it helps to solidify them and make them a reality.
Visualization is a great tool for public speaking and I use it often. If you are fearful of speaking in public or nervous about your topic or about the audience, I recommend doing a visualization ahead of time to help you feel more confident.
Here are 5 tips, 3 action steps and a few books to help you get started.
1. Internal vs. External Visualization
Try to imagine the outcome you want to achieve. Think of this as a first person exercise. When you have a clear picture of that vision, imagine the situation as if you were someone else watching you, like in a movie or on television. See yourself on stage or in front of the room. Imagine engaging your audience and allow yourself to really feel what it will be like when you knock it out of the park. Be sure to keep your focus on successfully delivering your presentation or speech and not to get caught up in the specifics of how it will happen.
2. Create an Image of the Whole Picture
Instead of thinking about all of those eyes staring at you, think about the applause, and all of the people who will want to work with you. Imagine getting paid and how you’ll use the money. Also, think about all the people whose lives will be affected by your success. Will you hire an assistant, take that beach vacation or put a down payment on that house you want? The more detailed you can get with this, the more likely it will happen. Have fun with it, and enjoy the preview of things yet to come.
3. Picture a Realistic Situation
You are not going to be Tony Robbins by next month if you just started speaking a week ago. While it’s perfectly feasible to become as successful as Tony Robbins one day, imagining that scenario in your early stages could lead to disappointment. While I encourage you to dream and to dream big, you must believe that it can really happen. Set a goal that will cause you to stretch but no so far out of reach you’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t happen right away and give up.
4. Visualize the Small Things
We focus much of our energy dreaming of the big things we want. Big accomplishments are typically built upon smaller accomplishments. So, in addition to the big things, we should also imagine those smaller accomplishments. Then, be sure to celebrate them as they happen.
5. Bring Back Your Imagination
When we become adults, we lose most of our imagination. For instance, if kids want to captain a spaceship, they simply imagine it. If adults publicly declare they want to captain a spaceship, and they don’t work for NASA, they are given a one-way ticket to a mental hospital. This causes adults to repress their ability to use imagination. Imagination can be a great way to make new discoveries, no matter how far out they may seem. Give yourself permission to sit and imagine the life you want. Then give yourself permission to go out and live it!
Use your imagination. For this task, sit for 10 minutes and picture yourself being incredibly happy. Pay attention to what is making you happy and really allow yourself to feel it. Try to keep this feeling throughout the day.
Before going to sleep, lie in bed with your eyes closed and “see” yourself succeeding at something you’ve been having trouble with. See yourself solving the problem with ease and being praised for skill. Don’t worry if you fall asleep while doing this exercise, your subconscious mind will continue to work on it in your sleep. Don’t be surprised if you wake up with a solution!
Participate in forums or groups geared towards visualization and the achievement of dreams. Find out what others have had success with and ask questions. Be an active participant and you will learn a lot about the art of visualization. You’ll be an expert in no time.
- Creative Visualization: Use the Power Of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life
- Visualization: The Fastest Way to Succeed: Setting Goals, Inspiring Others, and Achieving Victory
- The Creative Visualization Workbook: Second Edition
- Visualization Power
- Psycho-Cybernetics: Updated and Expanded