Visualization techniques for success

Performance Psychologist Michael Gervais, PhD explains how to use visualization and imagery to successfully achieve your goals
Visualization Techniques For Success
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Visualization techniques for success

There's a science to visualization. There's a science to imagery. And what's at the center of this is researchers wanted to be able to understand how people are able to excel in performance states. And one of the themes that came about is athletes would talk about seeing it before they did it. So when we start to unpack how that was developed and cultivated, this is something that children do naturally. They play in the sandbox and they create experiences. They see and feel and are engaged as if it's lifelike. And it's happening in the brilliance of a sandbox, every day all across the world. So when we can learn from that, and put a science and wrap around it what athletes have been able to do is to focus their minds by creating lifelike images. And the more lifelike it is, the more our brain and our body assumes it might be real. So the essence of imagery is creating an idea in your mind that is so crystallized that it feels as if you are actually engaging in it. So the science of imagery is to create pathways in our mind and our body that are grooving excellent performance. And that grooving of performance is the foundation of being able to see ourselves in amazing environments the things that we're most interested in performing on a world stage, those opportunities, whatever they are. So imagery, really clean idea, is being able to see and experience in your own mind what's possible. Imagery is actually easy to understand. But there's a challenge to be able to do it. So the idea is that you're going to spend some time and create an image that is as lifelike as possible. And that means activating the smell, the sounds, the touch, the feel, the color, the nuances of an environment. What we ask most athletes to do is to do imagery sometime throughout the day, not at night. So if we're going to do this thing that is stimulating and electric, and it's difficult to do imagery because our minds want to wander away from this moment. And imagery is requiring us to create an idea or a visualization in our own mind that is requiring us to be present for a long time. So we ask them to do it some time throughout the day. And we'll ask them to start with three minutes. See yourself for three minutes experiencing the skills that you want to refine, the skills that you're working on and activating. And for those non-athletes, it can be anything that you want to be better at. It can be walking into a room at a party that's maybe intimidating. it can be walking into a board room and feeling present. It can be approaching someone that you've had a difficult time with in the relationship. And that imagery would be about us experiencing ourselves in an optimal way in the environment that matters to us.

Performance Psychologist Michael Gervais, PhD explains how to use visualization and imagery to successfully achieve your goals


Expert Bio

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Michael Gervais, PhD

High Performance Psychologist

Dr. Michael Gervais, a licensed psychologist and industry visionary, is a founding partner of Pinnacle Performance Center. He focuses most of his time on people at the "top of their game," from NBA players, to Olympians, to military personnel. Dr. Gervais has a clear understanding of how performers become and consistently excel at a world-class level. Spending years in the trenches of high-stakes circumstances, Dr. Gervais has developed clarity for the tools that allow people to "thrive under pressure."

Dr. Gervais is a published, peer-reviewed author and a nationally recognized speaker on issues related to high performance for those who excel on the largest stages in the world.

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