Actual vs. imagined response.
One of the biggest distinctions between those of us that are a little more successful and those of us that may be a little less, is the ability to consistently take positive actions.
Not smarts, or knowledge necessarily, but ACTIONS.
It may be cliché but those who “do” will always fair better than those who “don’t”.
Another common thread that connects successful people who take action is their ability to use, as the sport psychologists would say “mental imagery” or a fancy more professional way of saying you’re imagination.
While simply using your imagination is important, like perhaps visualizing your coach’s death via burpee’s, it seems that the way you use your imagination is very important.
Here’s some tips to make your imagery more powerful:
1 – There is a book called the “Talent Code” written by Daniel Coyle, in this book the author writes about an athlete trying to learn a movement, and keeps messing up. The athlete was told to sit down get a pen and paper, and write down each step through the movement. When they got stuck, they’ve found a gap in knowledge that needed to be filled. They filled it and the athlete started nailing the movement.
You have to find knowledge gaps and fill them.
You have to constantly be relearning the movements to make imagery more and more powerful.
2 – You want to be as vivid and real with your imagery as you can be. The more information you can write down, the better it will be.
What does the ground feel like when you squat?
What is the sequence of unracking a barbell?
What is the sequence of stacking joints and coordinating muscles to support a movement?
Successful lifters visualize each and every rep, performed the way they want it to be performed, elite athletes visualize each and every shot.
3 – Mental imagery should be ACTION based, not OUTCOME based.
‘Visualize yourself not falling off the wall.’
The most successful people use VIVID, REALISTIC, imagery to mentally practice ACTIONS that they will need to perform to attain a goal.
They don’t sit there and picture the outcome over and over. That is still a small part, it is still important that your imagery be positive and result in a positive outcome, but that outcome is not the only point.
Focusing solely on the outcome you may actually make the task harder to attain, because on a mental level you’ve already experienced attaining it.
Even in the morning, just before you get out of bed, simply taking a couple of minutes to imagine the important things you will tackle that day can have a huge impact.
Remember every day is different, your day may not go exactly as you imagined it, and it’s not necessarily supposed to.
What is important though is that you prepare yourself for the harder things. If you visualize yourself going to the gym after work, and visualize a tired, stressed out version still making the effort to go to the gym it will help.
Visualize taking the action anyway.
The same goes for evening nutrition, the time in which most of us are most likely to backslide. Visualize the stressful drive home through traffic, somebody cutting you off, being starving and having nothing made.
What action will you take?