Positive visualization helps us “see” ourselves in winning situations. It can motivate the actions and feelings we need to get to where we want to be, and psych us up for what’s ahead. Visualizing can help us run further, push harder and perform better. This is especially helpful if you’re feeling tired or deflated.
Athletes often envision themselves winning Gold, having medals put around their neck, holding up trophies, and crossing the finish line. It gives them the extra edge that drives their competitive spirit. But it’s not just the good times that get visualized. Many athletes have learned to develop mental toughness by “seeing” themselves face-to-face with potential challenges. By picturing potential adversities, and envisioning yourself successfully overcoming those obstacles, you can become more confident in your abilities.
Visualization is also not just about imagery; it’s a multi-sensory experience. Consider the senses of sound, smell, touch and taste. Dr. Krista Chandler from the University of Windsor, Canada, surveyed 150 athletes to learn about the effects of imagery on mental toughness, and found that more vivid visualizations help athletes reach their best.