Olympic athletes use visualization when preparing for their event. Not only do they visualize the win but they visualize the obstacles they might encounter during the event and how they will move effectively through each. By seeing possible obstacles ahead of time, they are setting the stage for success by coming prepared with tools to manage them.
Does this mean we have to be, train, or compare ourselves to olympians? No, but we can learn from them. They spend time thinking about their goals and contemplate their actions ahead of time; we can apply this technique too. When I first started out as a trainer, I couldn’t do a pull-up. Honestly, I didn’t believe I could. You don’t see many women doing pull-ups and I knew women didn’t have the muscle mass men do so I put it out of mind. I didn’t even consider it as a possibility even though I would have loved to be able to do them.
One day as I was walking through the gym, I saw a woman do 10 pull-ups in a row. I was amazed. She wasn’t muscular looking or even skinny; she looked like a normal person. Witnessing her that day changed my life. She helped shift my perspective to see that it was possible for me to do the same.
Once I saw it in my mind, that allowed me to be able to do them in real life. I began doing a pull-up (jumping at first) every time I passed the pull-up bar. The more I saw the possibility of being able to do them, the more excited I got and the more I practiced. Before seeing it in my mind, I didn’t even try because I didn’t believe I would be able to do them.
Do you see your goal or wish as an achievable prospect clearly in your mind? Can you see yourself possessing or being that goal? If you can’t, it won’t come to be, likely because you won’t even consider it. Our ego tells us many stories but we have the power to decide whether we believe those stories or not. Sometimes it takes something or someone to make us see things in a different way. If you have a longing for something, check in with yourself through visualization or journaling. Can you pull out the story of why you aren’t allowing yourself to have what you want? When you become conscious of the story, you may realize how absurd and limiting it has been. Only then are you free to choose a different story to tell yourself.