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Visualization: A Tool for Success? or for Inner Peace?

Updated: Mar 20




My son plays drums in a high school band, just like his dad did back in the day. My younger daughter had pink drums in her room in high school. We are a musical family - everyone has musical talent and I love my home being filled with beautiful sounds.


My son's band Homie Baloney competed in a local Battle of the Bands and ended up going on to compete in the Regional competition! It's now a few days before the big event, and we were just chatting in his room.


I could sense he was a little nervous - none of the kids in his band have ever done anything like this before. They have been playing together as a group for less than six months. I give them all kudos for getting out of their comfort zones and publicly showcasing their talents. Playing piano live always scares the heck out of me!


As we talked about ways to look at this opportunity, I conveyed to him that ironically, the less they stress about winning the competition, the more chance they have at winning it. They'll be more loose and relaxed and therefore more able to play well AND they'll be able to enjoy the moment (this will be one of the epic memories that last a lifetime!), PLUS as they have fun, the audience will sense that and connect to it, and so just having fun will actually INCREASE their chances of winning!


These ARE the good old days! Happening right now!


But then, in giving him the best advice I could think of as a parent, I stumbled on a valuable insight...


I suggested that he visualize himself and the band playing well at the competition, having a great time and then being announced as winners. I said to imagine it happening, and then watch that scene over and over like a movie or a short music video in his head.


And then I said something for him that made me stop and take note: "Most people visualize for success, but you can use this to feel more relaxed and ready".


I am very familiar with dozens and probably hundreds of success books that preach the value of visualization (anyone ever heard of The Secret?). It is primarily used to help"manifest" the things you want in your future into coming into your life. I have done a lot with vision boards and I even have a short course on Vision Mapping which is a spinoff on that technique.


I am familiar with therapy techniques and life coaching tools that use visualization as a method to revisit past memories and "edit " them in a way that helps people deal with past traumas more effectively and move on to a brighter future.


But I had NOT YET actively used visualization as a means for self-calming and a pathway to feeling peaceful inside.


As I talked with my son, I advised him to IMAGINE THE SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME OF THE SITUATION YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT TO GIVE YOUR MIND DIRECTION AND TO ALLOW YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS TO TAKE A BREAK FROM COMING UP WITH CRAZY, FEAR BASED PROTECTION SCENARIOS IN AN ATTEMPT TO SCARE YOU AWAY FROM TAKING THAT BIG, BOLD ACTION.


You see, if you do NOT give your mind a path to run down, it's self-preservation default is to find it's way to past paths and evidence of hurt, rejection and worst case scenario so that you are alerted to not do those things again so that you avoid pain. (Aw, subconscious - that's so sweet / misguided of you...)


BUT WE ARE THE GREATER FORCE! Our free will, when exercised properly, wins the day over past patterns and default behaviors. But it takes effort.


And visualizing what's not there, especially when it's uncharted and possibly dangerous emotional territory for us, can be some of the most challenging and grueling work we can do.


Yet what a reward! Not only do we in this process gain more clarity, find solutions, and increase confidence in our ability by visualizing what we want, we also get the the bonus side effect of being able to experience some relief on a subconscious level because instead of searching around for possible drama, our mind is free to roll with the sequence of events that WE HAVE INTENTIONALLY CREATED , thereby getting some much needed time off for itself and giving us a choice in how the story ends.


So just in case you needed another reason to pause, close your eyes, and create the sensational blockbuster inner movie of your fabulous, upcoming life - here I've presented one more reason.


And the best part? You don't have to wait to experience the benefit. Those peaceful, at-ease feelings are available to you within seconds of closing your eyes or even just zoning out! Day dreaming is where it's at!


Enjoy the journey... and enjoy your show!




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