I received an email today from James Nikolaidis from hrmweb.com.au, a star graduate of our Executive Intelligence program. He sent me through today’s Seth Godin’s blog on mental rehearsal saying that it clearly reminded him of what he had learnt in the program. The blog reads…
Rehearsing failure, rehearsing success – Seth Godin
The active imagination has no trouble imagining the negative outcomes of your new plan, your next speech or that meeting you have coming up.
It’s easy to visualize and even rehearse all the things that can go wrong.
The thing is: clear visualization, repeated again and again, doesn’t actually decrease the chances you’re going to fail. In fact, it probably increases the odds.
When you choose to visualize the path that works, you’re more likely to shore it up and create an environment where it can take place.
Rehearsing failure is simply a bad habit, not a productive use of your time.
As you know our brain is a powerful agent for creating our future. Our ability to imagine and visualise our desired outcome is probably one of our most powerful abilities.
In Peak Performance, Dr Charles Garfield shares his research on the world’s top athletes and several successful business people. His findings show that nearly all of these people use their right brain to visualise their desired end results. They see, hear, feel and experience every detail of what they want before they take action. They mentally rehearse their desired outcome.
This works because our brain consists of trillions of neurons which form neural pathways or “neuronets”. Neuronets, or bundles of interconnected neurons, fire together and produce an outcome. The trigger for the stimulation of a neural pathway is our thoughts (We have about 60,000 – 80, 000 thoughts a day). When we think about something we automatically run that neural pathway. This is a physical process occurring in the brain which must run its course to the default outcome of the thought. Neurons that fire together wire together. When we repeat a thought the neuronet become thicker and more dominant, which makes it easier to recall it. This can serve us or not serve us depending on the actual neuronet.
Everything we create first occurs on the mental plane through thought, and then manifests on a physical plane. All creation has two phases – mental, then physical. Whatever we put our focus to we create, so our life to date is a result of our past thoughts that have produced particular neural pathways and concomitant outcomes.
We all have the power to create our life by using our imagination to visualise and mentally rehearse what we want in a highly vivid and sensory rich manner. This means picturing the positive outcomes we want and imagining the detail of it – where we will be, what we will be seeing, hearing, doing and how we will be feeling.
The beauty of this is that the mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and not real, so by using our creative powers of visualisation we run the neuronet that move us towards what we truly desire. In the process of doing this we will be enjoying a range of positive feelings which make us feel happy in the present moment because we simultaneously release serotonin and dopamine, our feel-good chemicals, into our neurology. It is a positive virtuous cycle.
This is all well and good when we are thinking about what we want and focusing on positive and empowering things, however, often I see and work with people who have very negative “programming”. These people are constantly thinking negative thoughts, thinking the worst and that is very often their experience, and so they often say when things turn out negatively, “I told you so”.
Life is a continual process of creation. If we are not getting the results we want, then we need to do something different. The brain is infinitely plastic which means that it is continually changing based on our thought processes. When we change our thoughts we change our outcomes.
Mental rehearsal is a practice that enables us to create the neuronets for the results we desire. To do this we need to be really clear about focusing on what we want, clearly and vividly visualising the end result we want and then be grateful, in advance, for it manifesting perfectly in our lives. Then we can relax and be truly grateful as it unfolds before us. The more times we run the neural pathways of what we desire, the stronger and faster our thoughts processes will be and we will be on track for creating our desired future.
I begin every day by mentally rehearsing how I want my day, or any specific activities, to go and then feeling the feelings of being grateful that it already happened, exactly the way I want it (remember Einstein stated that the past, present and future happen simultaneously on the quantum plane). If it works for me it will easily work for you – enjoy!
5 Tips for Effective Mental Rehearsal.
- Focus on what you want – be outcomes focused.
- Use positive language.
- State it in the present as having already occurred.
- Imaging it often – repetition speeds up and “strengthens” the process.
- Be grateful in advance for the positive outcomes.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
The mind is everything. What we think we become. Buddha.