The Power of Visualization

The goal of visualization is to create images in your mind of what you want to be able to do and mentally practice them over and over again. This might sound crazy to you, but research has shown us that the technique of visualization is just as effective in creating an auto-pilot routine as actually performing the desired steps.

An Australian psychologist named Alan Richardson performed an experiment with a group of basketball players to demonstrate the power behind creating images that are rehearsed in the mind. He took a group of basketball players and tested them on their ability to make free throws. Once they were tested, he divided them into three groups. The first group would practice free throws every day for 20 minutes. The second group would only visualize themselves making free throws with no physical practice and the third group would not practice or visualize. The results were surprising. The group who only visualized improved their free throw shots by 23%. Only 1% less than the group that actually practiced. Isn’t that amazing? Visualizing yourself doing an action over and over again is almost the same as actually practicing it.

If you’re familiar with the actor Jim Carrey, would you be surprised to know that he credits visualization with helping him reach his career success? Jim Carrey was broke and trying to make it as an actor. He would drive to the top of Moholan Drive and visualize his success and steps he would need to do to achieve it. He actually wrote himself a check for 10 million dollars and dated it for Thanksgiving of 1995. On the bottom he wrote, for acting services rendered. He carried the check in his wallet and looked at it every day. Six months before Thanksgiving of 1995, he learned that he would be paid 10 million dollars for his work on Dumb and Dumber.

Visualization should not be confused with the “think it and it will be it” advise pedaled by popular self-help gurus. It is not a gimmick, nor does it involve dreaming or just hoping for a better future. Visualization is a proven method to help you achieve your goals.