by Aoife Gorey
What are your most challenging goals? How confident would you feel if you had achieved all of those goals? How would it impact your self-confidence if everything you tried worked out positively, and every day brought about another success? Stop for a moment and try to imagine what that would feel like.
Odds are, your self-confidence would soar, and you would feel as though you could do pretty much anything, right? Indestructible! Well, you don’t have to wait until you reach your goals to feel that way. Leadership Charisma shares two factors about visualizing success based on how the human brain operates:
Your brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined events
Your brain retains a memory of every real-life experience you have ever had. It also retains a memory of every experience you have ever imagined. The interesting thing is that it cannot tell the difference between events that have actually happened and those you have only imagined. When you vividly imagine an event, your brain experiences it in the same way as a real event, and it has exactly the same neurological effect on you as a real-life event. So if you imagine yourself giving a great presentation to your boss, your brain doesn’t know it only happened in your imagination.
Your subconscious mind is always on auto-pilot – in a powerful search mode that you program
Have you ever been in a busy place where there is lots of noise, and hundreds of simultaneous conversations going on around you? Suddenly, a single voice cuts through all the noise and catches your attention, tuning everything else out. Maybe you hear your name or a voice you recognize. Either way, it stands out through all the noise and grabs your attention. That’s your Reticular Activating System (RAS) in action. Your RAS is like a conduit between your conscious and subconscious mind. It takes orders from your conscious mind and relays them to your subconscious.
For instance, “Listen for my name.” Your RAS takes its orders from your thoughts and the images they conjure up. So, when you dwell on the potentially negative outcomes of a situation, you create a vivid picture of those situations in your mind. That picture is passed to your subconscious, with the order that the RAS should seek opportunities to make it happen. Of course, this means the opposite is true as well. You can deny the RAS any negative images and instead feed it positive images of what you do want. Visualizing the successful achievement of your goals programs your RAS to scan your environment for anything that will help you make that achievement possible.
How many times have you heard the expression, “Seeing is believing?” Somehow, when you actually see something it becomes much more real and much more credible. As humans, we’re all visual in nature. We even think in images.
So, if the brain can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined, doesn’t it make sense to feed it a steady diet of successful experiences that will build a stronger, more self-confident view of you? It’s like tricking your brain into believing you’ve enjoyed much more success than you have, with all the benefits that go along with such success.
At it’s most basic and accessible, visualization is simply a mechanism that keeps a clear and compelling picture of what you want to focus on from day to day. It’s why writers create outlines, movie producers use storyboards, and architects create blueprints. Without the ability to visualize the end product, it would be nearly impossible for anyone to complete a project or reach a goal.
Take a few minutes each day to visualize yourself succeeding. Establishing a routine is a good way to ensure you make time every day. Visualization is a powerful way to build self-confidence and find success in your daily and long-term goals.
Do you believe that visualizing success can affect your self-confidence?