Visualize What You Seek
February 19, 2022
I often share this social experiment with many people to describe the power of visualization.
Many years ago, in 1996, researchers at the University of Chicago conducted a powerful experiment.
A large group of randomly selected basketball players was asked to take a specific number of free throws to establish their baseline capability. Once the baseline capability was established, the researchers divided the random group of players into three separate groups.
Group A was told to practice free throws for 30 min a day for a month.
Group B was told to do nothing, no practice of any sort for a month.
Group C was told to come in every day for 30 days to visualize in their mind free throws without ever touching a basketball. So the task for this group was simply to imagine completing the free throws successfully.
After a month, the researchers then got the players to take the same number of free throws as were taken initially. The idea was to compare the performance of all the participants with their baseline scores.
The players in Group A, who practiced every day, on average improved their success percentage over baseline by 24%.
The players in Group B, not surprisingly, showed no improvement.
The surprise came from the players in Group C(the ones who imagined successfully taking free throws). Their success rate went up by 23%, nearly as much as players in Group A who practiced for real.
This experiment created a lot of buzz because someone was able to scientifically and empirically establish the power of visualization for the first time.
What Does It Mean To Visualize?
Visualization is the process of consciously imagining in your mind that something is happening the way you want it to happen, in specific detail.
If you are in a sales situation, visualization could involve imagining the actual sales process, what you say, what the prospect would say, and how you would handle the conversation.
Or, If you are an entrepreneur, you could visualize yourself pitching your idea to the investors in vivid detail, and they agreeing to write you a check for a specific value that you also choose to imagine.
Believe In The Possibility And Picture The Details
Here’s the thing about Visualisation. To visualize something, you have to believe in the possibility of that which you want. But, apart from believing in the possibility of the outcome, you also have to visualize the details. The specific message you will give, how you will handle an objection, or the specific value you want to see on the cheque.
Your mind is the starting point for every outcome. When you believe in your own potential and make an effort to picture the future, magic happens. Your mind begins to notice those opportunities that you would have hitherto missed. You start getting problem-solving thoughts and ideas that you previously never had.
Success and achievement are never by accident. So you have to start by first believing in and then visualizing that success and achievement you want for yourself.