Mark Plaatjes used the power of visualization to win big in the World Championship for Track and Field in 1993. Plaatjes used pictures of the marathon course that he would be facing in Stuttgart, Germany and he used those pictures to practice his visualization techniques.
He knew every single inch of that course, so much so that he had essentially already run the course before he ever touched down in Germany.
It is a powerful tool that can be used to visualize your way to success in many situations that includes improving your body.
- Visualize It
This does not just mean visualizing success, when you visualize success always expect the unexpected, and then plan a way to overcome it. The idea is to prevent your mind from sabotaging your success by planning for every eventuality.
Psychology Today published a study that was completed by exercise psychologist Guang Ye, of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio shows that studied the brain patterns of weightlifters. Their brain patterns were activated by lifting weights, as well as by imagining lifting those weights.
He also spent three months studying everyday people split into two groups, one that actually went to the gym and one that instead completed their exercises mentally. Those that went to the gym saw muscle increases of 30%, while those who had only lifted weights in their mind saw an increase of 13.5%.
The power of the mind is truly incredible.
- Seeing is Believing
The power of visualization is being used for all manner of things, even for arthritis therapy, encouraging patients to take the time to visualize their goals for improvement and then carry them out physically.
You cannot just rely on visualization to improve your body and mind; you have to use the power that you are creating by actually taking the next step in the process.
Action is just as important as harnessing the power of your mind. Plaatjes would never have won the gold medal if he had simply imagined his success without going to run that race. If you want it, you have to reach out there and grab it.
- The Details
There have been a few real life instances noted here, but there are others: Tiger Woods, Muhammed Ali and Natan Sharansky, a computer specialist that spent his 9 years in a Russian prison playing chess in his mind and later went on to beat the world champion.
You do not have to be an athlete or a genius to apply these techniques to your life and your own wellbeing.
The first step is creating a specific goal, whether it is to add muscle mass, or lose weight – be specific.
Once you know what you want to achieve, take the time to imagine the goal as your future, keep that picture in your mind as though it is already true and imagine it in as much detail as you possibly can.
Look around the picture your mind has conjured up: who is there, what are you wearing, can you smell anything, is there any noise, which emotions are bubbling up inside you? Feel what you feel, see what you see and hear what you heard. Really make the picture as real as you can as your unconscious does not know the difference between real or imagined.
The best time to run yourself through these visualizations is right before bed, or just after you have woken up. If any doubts crop up simply eliminate them, this is a method of meditation that you can combine with positive self-talk, choose relevant affirmations to you and your goal (I will succeed, I am a strong person, I am brave, etc.).
The positive affirmations will contribute to building your self-confidence, which is a key ingredient to chasing your visualization to completion.
There are many books and online resources that offer visualization exercises that can get you started on the right path.
I have always been a big day dreamer, so I love doing visualisations it is like dreaming your desired life in reality.
Have you experimented with visualizing your ideal body?
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