Mythical Monday – Visualization.

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There is nothing wrong with a little self-help. In the end, you need to live with your illness or troubles or past or stress. I would presume, people do what they can think of to make their life better no? That’s just nature.

Trying to better you situation will also be the case for some people trying to catch and mislead people who are suffering. They sell false information or mostly half-truths for their own gain in the form of adoration, attention, money, status, greed, ego, I don’t know what else. Fact is that when you’re ill, you need to be careful!

The other kind, the good kind of self-help, grounded in research  is also available to those who help themselves. Just keep in mind that even the best self-help may be too simplistic to manage complex problems, and that research, with its emphasis on straight science, may not always offer a clear course of action.

With that all being said, let’s bust some myths!

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Myth: Visualize your goal, and you’ll help make it come true.

Self-help says: Hold the image of yourself succeeding, visualize it so vividly, that when the desired success comes, it seems to be merely echoing a reality that has already existed in your mind [1].

Research says: Sports psychologists have shown the power that visualization has on improving performance, but simply imagining that you’ve achieved your goal won’t bring it any closer.

Shelley Taylor, Ph.D., a psychologist at UCLA, has reservations about visualizing your goals. “First of all, it separates the goal from what you need to do to get it. And second, it enables you to enjoy the feeling of being successful without actually having achieved anything. That takes away the power of the goal.”

Better would be: In addition to picturing your goal as a fait accompli, you should figure out what the steps to get there are, and then mentally rehearse them. This can close the gap between only thinking and actually taking that first step towards your goal.

In an experiment, Taylor asked some students preparing for an exam to imagine their happiness at having received an “A” on the test, and others to picture themselves sitting in the library, studying their textbooks and going over lecture notes. Those in the second group performed better on the test, and experienced less stress and worry.

 

For short-term goals, Taylor recommends running through the steps you’ve laid out once a day; for bigger dreams, you can revisit your plan every time you make some progress, and see if it needs adjusting.

 

 

Resources.

[1] Example of self-help on YouTube

Full article click here.

Picture 1 click here.

Picture 2 click here.

 

 

 

17 thoughts on “Mythical Monday – Visualization.

  1. What I recall hearing, although it’s possible that I’m making it up, athletes benefit from visualization when they’re picturing themselves executing a gold medal-worthy performance rather than picturing themselves standing on the podium.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The focus should lie on the performing part (and steps to take) instead of the ‘resting or rewarding’ part. I can imagine that dreaming of the podium will maybe lead you to a carpenter instead 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I used to hear a lot about visualisation after the stroke. It was from people who meant well, but in relity it was bs. Not that it was wrong, it was just blindingly obvious. The person who is remarkable is the person who can get their functionality back *without* visualising things.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s not for everyone but I used to love practising evidence-based visualisation with patients and seeing their progress. I also love practising it myself. Because I’ve done it for years, as soon as I close my eyes and think of the last time I had a real belly laugh, it immediately makes me smile 🙂

    My next post was visualisation for anxiety and depression. Would you mind if I quoted your post Kacha? Caz x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes there is so many ‘garbage’ out there and pseudoscience or pop-psychology.
      The sad thing is that when your in distress, you’re willing to try everything. I tried a lot of those things against my better judgement and in the end I have only myself to blame which even increases the sh*t factor in life.
      Nice to see people who think alike 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  4. Great post, thank you for writing 🙂 I do believe I have tried it ALL though the years! I always come back to stillness and letting go.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is very practical help. I especially liked the final sentences: “In addition to picturing your goal as a fait accompli, you should figure out what the steps to get there are, and then mentally rehearse them. This can close the gap between only thinking and actually taking that first step towards your goal.” Too often this step is ignored, and yet it is essential.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes and when you practice it like that, preparing yourself for all the small steps needed, it think it can get you somewhere and it can be good advice if you like that method.
      Thank you for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, visualization alone is not enough. You can’t just sit while imagining you’re doing strength training and then expect to bench 50kg. I’m not sure if it’s Shelley Taylor or Mark Robert Waldman I heard about who suggests the best way to make visualization more powerful is to think of your goal and then think of what obstacles are keeping you from that goal. That gives you an idea of what you need to accomplish to get from now to then.

    Of course, the trick there is not becoming overwhelmed and anxious at how many obstacles are in your way. 😉 That’s why I like your way of putting it better, Kacha. The word “obstacle” sounds intimidating, but “steps” sounds more neutral and remind us that we just need to take it one moment, one move, at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I love your example of strength training 🙂 Sometimes visualization is ‘sold’ that way. I really believe that some people believe it does work that way. The sad part is that it hold a great deal of disillusion.
      Steps do sound more natural in my opinion too. Life is a journey and you can hop from one step to the other when you’re feeling it or take a nice, slow stroll when the steps need more attention. And as always the person’s tempo is important, like you said one moment, one step at the time.
      Thank you for your inspiring words, they motivate me and remember me of the importance of one step at the time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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