By Elise Smith
Let’s have a look at how you can use your imagination to improve your performance at anything you do.
Practicing in our imagination gets outstanding results.
Do you ever mentally play a golf shot, rehearse an interview or mentally reverse into a car park before you actually do it? That is mental rehearsal and many of us do it without thinking in our daily lives, its value is enormous.
Whenever you carry out an action, for example, hitting a golf ball your body is responding to “programmes” on your brain cells which, like a computer programme, say “do this and do that.” If you have a good programme, you will hit good shots. If you have an “I can’t do it programme”, then you’ll do a lot of walking in long grass! As you practice out on the course, you gradually refine your automatic programmes such that you hit better and better shots.
Many people would believe that the only way to improve a skill in this instance golfing, is to physically practice. Not so! Certainly you can repattern your brain cells through physically playing the game, but it is not the best way. The faster way to improve at anything is to combine regular physical with regular mental practice.
When you imagine yourself performing a task, you alter your mental programmes as you do when you actually perform it. Your brain undergoes electro-chemical changes within its cells which produce new behavior.
For best results, we need mental as well as physical practice. You can improve your golf game, your public speaking, your confidence, your driving skills and any other abilities you choose, by sitting in an armchair and mentally rehearsing.
I do not wish to negate the value of actual work and practice; I wish to stress the fact that visualizing perfect end results helps us to realize our potential much sooner and with less effort.
The great value of mental rehearsal is that you can create patterns on your brain cells for perfect performance. In your imagination you need make no mistakes.
From this we also learn that if we constantly imagine the results that we don’t want, we will get those results!
Many people live their whole lives that way – thinking about what they fear most and wondering why it always happens to them!
Make a habit of refining your abilities through your imagination.