Recently British Marines ski instructor was trying to help a few of us with some generic tips and he told a story about how ridiculous a group of highly trained soldiers look when they are really visualising a complex move. Standing in a line , eyes closed moving in unison through a series of movements. They may look a bit odd but it’s a commonly used technique in all sports. Visualising and mentally rehearsing something is almost as good as actually doing it. He also reminded me that key to good technique was looking where you were going – ‘lead with head’. All very interesting but as I am not planning on skiing this year perhaps not that relevant.
Or is it?
You see this concept of visualising your goals works in all areas of your life, not just sports. If you visualise having that tricky conversation with your boss or partner and achieving the outcome you want it really helps to keep you on track when you have the real conversation.
And if visualising a successful outcome helps us achieve success what happens when we get anxious and visualise all the things that can go wrong? If we focus on what we don’t want surely we are setting ourselves up to fail. Anxiety is a reminder that we are not thinking about what we want, but the opposite.
So as we are at that time of year when we tend to review the past year and look ahead to the coming one I suggest that, as maintaining the status quo is unlikely, we all focus on whatever we want to achieve. At the very least it reduces anxiety and that in itself feels like a positive step.