Your imagination is probably the biggest area of leverage to help you achieve your goals. Your imagination is much like anything else in that with practice it can become stronger.
To that end I help clients and groups boost their imaginations. It is generally good fun and I run an exercise per sense designed to boost imagination. For example I use an object of opportunity for visual, auditory descriptors of an event for hearing and a bowl of magic liquid for touch/feeling.
As a performance coach this has many benefits to my clients in that it will improve the effectiveness of the interventions they experience. These interventions range from goal setting, overcoming limiting beliefs, injury recovery, anchors, hypnosis and getting in the zone more often.
Try this exercise: Look at any object near you. Once you have it in your imagination close your eyes and then change the colour of that object. Then change the colour again, and again, and again, and again and then change it back to its original colour. You could now use your creativity to change other attributes of the object in your imagination such as the size so make it bigger, then smaller, then much bigger.
Now turn it upside down and give it Donald Trump’s hair, let your imagination go wild on how you see the object with your eyes close. If you lose the imagined image that’s great as you were pushing the envelope so open your eyes, look at the object to bring it back into your imagination, close your eyes and then go again. You will find you will be able to go longer this time.
The common key to effective performance coaching is when you think about positive experiences, make those thoughts as vivid and multisensory as you can. If you can do this then the experience may become even more enjoyable. As your mind enhances the experience you may find you remember other things about the experience that you thought you had forgotten! When I think about the first time I learned to play tennis and the joy associated with it I can feel the heat and can smell the court (it was in St Lucia and in the morning). Just thinking about that I can now hear the bird song and I’m feeling the joy. Joy is a resourceful positive state representing my physiology so now would be a good time for me to do something productive, so I’ll post this blog!
The exercise I have shared above, then applying the skill to recalling positive memories is in effect a psychological training session. It is also fun and can be used in teams or with children (warning – they are really good at it). I do this 30 minute session every day in addition to my other training programs and anything else I am doing to improve my performance such as Yoga.
I recommend you give a daily 30 minute imagination exercise routine a go and you will notice how it improves your own performance.