Exercise 155 Activity Visualization

Research has shown that when hypnotized subjects were convinced they possessed a certain skill, they improved in that skill when they acted out the role under hypnosis. For instance, if a hypnotized subject was told he was a chess master, his chess playing ability improved dramatically under hypnosis. Studies have also revealed that when slower students were treated as if they were bright students, they performed better as well. The idea with both of these examples is that the more you are convinced that you can perform a certain way, the better you will respond in that direction.

If there is a special activity coming up in a few days, visualize how you want it to go. If you are troubled about the potential outcome of the event, work on all the areas that you feel could be troublesome, and have them come out perfectly in your mind. If you're playing a ball game, speaking in front of people, bowling in a tournament, going with someone you like to a special place, driving to the beach or attending your first ballroom dance -- run over the activity first on a mental 'movie' and see yourself going through the activity, step by step, in a calm and successful manner. Do this several times a day for each day prior to the event.

You can do this in a high speed time distorted fashion, and even slow it down to smooth out any imperfections (review "Exercise -- Time Distortion"). Doing a visualization before an activity allows you to feel more confident and expectant about a particular outcome. If you have trouble with this visualization, think of someone who is very good at the activity you're visualizing. Then imagine yourself as that person doing the activity. You can consciously involve yourself even further by acting as that person in reality when you do the activity.

When facing a new challenge with which you have not yet acquired the necessary skills, imagine yourself going into the future and uniting with your future self, drawing to yourself the knowledge that that future self holds. Imagine yourself 1 year or 5 years from now looking back at today and viewing the overall picture. Now link with your future self and that perspective and see how much easier it is to make decisions in today's time. You can even imagine you are talking to your future self with that future perspective. Time is the only thing that separates the two. Your future self is real and can help you know what to do right now and how to get where you want to go more quickly. Practicing these exercises will produce astonishing improvement.

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