In our last blog, we talked about being fearless and shared a few simple but effective techniques to overcome the fears that can so easily hold us back and make us feel stuck.
The next step in our preparation for a fantastic start to the new decade is to move from that place of feeling stuck, and give ourselves permission to be successful.
We talk a lot about how we communicate with ourselves more than we communicate with anyone else – so doesn’t it make sense that giving ourselves permission is often our biggest step forward?
And one of the most powerful things you can do to actively give yourself permission to succeed is to visualise your success.
PAINT THE PICTURE OF THE FUTURE YOU WANT
We are huge fans of visualisation. Whether you scratch the surface of it or go deep, it’s powerful. It boosts our confidence by reducing the fear of the unknown – and it plays helpful tricks on our brain.
You see, our brains are evolved to keep us safe above all else. And so our brains are wired to keep us in our comfort zone. To be fair to our brains, they don’t really care what our comfort zone means to us – whether it’s staying in the cave far away from marauding lions, or staying in the cosy familiarity of our daily lives. All our brains know is that if we stay put, we stay safe.
No wonder it can feel like we’re waging a battle with ourselves when we want more. A promotion, a bigger job, more recognition, a new business – whatever our professional desires are, they require us to step out of our comfort zone.
But that’s where our brain likes us to be! How do we persuade it otherwise?
This is where visualisation can be most powerful. By visualising the future you want, you’re not only focusing your actions on that outcome. (We steer where we stare, and all that.) You’re also showing your brain a new situation, over and over, until it believes it is your current state – and, therefore, your comfort zone. Nice and safe and familiar…right where it wants you to be.
Successful visualisation depends heavily on detail – so the work we did together to clarify your goals, in our last blog, will really make a difference to the impact of this exercise.
So when you visualise the goals you defined in our last blog, get as creative and as specific as you can. Picture a scene that represents your success. For example, standing on the stage at a major conference, having just given the keynote presentation. Moving into your new office, having been promoted onto the executive team. Shipping products having opened your own workshop or studio. Driving your dream car off the forecourt. Whatever it is…
We want you to visualise beyond simple statements: I’m speaking at a conference, I have a corner office, I’m selling products, I’ve bought a Maserati. Close your eyes and paint enough detail in the picture to really bring it to life.
Here’s a simple structure to help you, based on our five senses:
WHAT CAN YOU SEE?
If you’re giving a speech, picture the room in detail – what colour are the walls? How many people are sitting in the audience? What’s on the screen behind you? How big is the blurb about you in the glossy event programme?
What colour is your new car? What kind of flowers did the salesman give you when you arrived to collect it (oh yes, it’s that kind of car)?
What furniture do you have in your new office? What view do you see from your window?
WHAT CAN YOU HEAR?
How does the MC describe you when they introduce you to the stage? How long and how loud is the applause after your speech? What are people in the audience saying about you as they break for coffee?
What small-talk do you make with the courier as they collect your latest, record-breaking order? Do they note how often you are booking their services? What sounds do you hear as the boxes are loaded up and the van drives away?
And what can you hear in your beautiful dream car – the soft creak of leather as you get into your seat, and the throaty roar of an engine springing into life? What song begins to play as you switch on the sound system?
WHAT CAN YOU FEEL/TOUCH?
What are you wearing for your keynote speech that you can feel – a silky scarf perhaps, or the cool touch of a chunky bracelet? What are you holding – perhaps a glass of water, a prompt card, a crystal, the gizmo to run your video or illustrations?
Can you feel the smooth surface of your new desk? Can you feel the small of your back supported in your new desk chair?
WHAT CAN YOU TASTE?
The crisp refreshment of a sip of water as you speak? Snacks of fruit or chocolate as you work at your new desk? Perhaps even the bubbles of a celebratory glass of champagne…
WHAT CAN YOU SMELL?
Last but not least – is there anything quite as evocative as a smell for bringing back memories? Well, smell can be just as evocative for visualising the future.
Will you be wearing perfume when you make your keynote speech? What does your workshop or studio smell like – paint, ceramic, glue, enamel? Perhaps you have a coffee machine in the corner of your gorgeous new office? The smell of leather in your new car?
There’s an old saying about the sweet smell of success – but in a good visualisation, success has a look, a sound, a taste, a sensation. And the more of these you use to create your picture of success, the more real it will become.
And the more real your visualisation, the easier it is to give yourself permission to go all in to bring it to life! You see, your brain will know you are safe because the picture is now so familiar.
And it’s so much easier for you to prioritise all your resources when you have so much texture and detail in your goals.
Take some time this week to really visualise what success will look like for you. Get creative, get detailed, and have some fun with it.
And in our next blog, as we continue our free preparation for maximum success in the new year, we’ll be helping you make sure that your vibrant picture of success is aligned with your values – so that you get more of what you want, but honestly, authentically and happily.
Don’t forget – let us know if you want the blogs sending directly to you so you don’t miss anything. (There’s a sign-up box alongside this, and we promise we will never ever spam you.) And do come over and say hi on our Facebook page – we would LOVE to hear some of your visualisations!
Until next time,
Lucy & Emma | The Communication Coaches