When I started writing this blog yesterday, I was being all very adult about it. I wrote down some stats about the positive effects that visualisation has shown to have in a variety of scientific studies exploring athletic performance, and put forward some compelling arguments as to why you should include as a visualisation practice as a non-negotiable part of your “training workout”. I presented a pretty tight case if I do say so myself.
The thing is, when I read it back, it all seemed a little bit… dry. Boring even. And so I gave myself a stern talking to and deleted the whole lot. You know why? Because visualisation is so far from boring. It’s the polar opposite of boring. It’s like lets-bust-out-an-improvisational dance exciting.
Visualisation is, in fact, your creative super power. It’s useful (nigh on essential) for not only creating our most dreamed about future outcomes but for releasing the shackles of negative or substandard performances that we may have experienced in the past. That’s why when it comes to creating a mental fitness plan for both myself and for other rider, it’s an essential tier that I never, ever overlook. Visualisation, or imagineering is the process of creating the future in advance and showing our minds how it is that we want things to go. And I certainly didn’t want the gods of visualisation to release a thunder clap on my head for presenting it any other way.
Visualisation is your most powerful ally, and the reason for this is that is has a direct affect on the subconscious mind. Whilst on a conscious level we are able to discern between the real and the illusory, your subconscious mind is unable to make this distinction. Quite simply, it cannot tell the difference between something that has occurred in ‘real life’ and something that is vividly imagined.
Creating or envisaging a scene or movie in your mind, with great clarity and detail, creates a magnetic pull; it quite literally reorganizes your mental software. If you imagine or visualize something often enough and with enough feeling and detail, your subconscious mind comes to accept it as a given- it becomes so familiar to you that both psychologically and physiologically you feel as though this is the norm for you, that you have been in this position, living out this scene as you see it in your minds eye many times before. Then the decisions that you make, the actions that you take all work together to set you in alignment with this subconscious target, with this image that you have imprinted on your brain. It’s essential to creating a targeted and specified training routine to optimize your emotional and physical state for competition.
If you are on the fence about its efficacy, think of it this way. If you are faced with a challenge that you know you have the skillset or the competency to deal with effectively, and yet still feel unable to do so, the only barrier that exists that impedes your ability to follow through is in your head. The place to deal with it then is in your head also. Everyone situation that we think about we create a mental movie for, whether we are aware of it or not. Creative visualisation is simply harnessing the power that we are utilizing unconsciously in every moment and using it to our advantage.
See things as you want them to be. Focus on the outcomes you want to create.
Over and out!