5 top tips for using imagery for performance success

Whether you are a top athlete, a noted musician or a successful business person, there will be situations where you really need to perform at your best.

Studies have shown that imagery – or visualisation if you prefer – can really help improve performance in these testing situations. If this is something you’d like to try, here are our five tips for creating an imagery script that will really help you achieve your goals.

1. Be clear on what you want to achieve

If there are particular situations that make you stressed or if you are preparing for a particular event, think things through in advance and identify the key moments or triggers that could unsettle you. Think about the feelings you get at those times and think about how you would like to be feeling instead. By identifying these trigger points and how you would like to be feeling, you can tailor your images/script to suit.

2. Think carefully about the images you decide to use

Images are very personal and there are no rules; what will work for one person, won’t work for someone else. The images you choose will need to appeal to you; for example, if you are a creative person, you can perhaps imagine sitting on a tropical beach without needing to have been to one. Some people will become distracted by images unless they are really focused on their goals, such as concentrating on the crowd applauding at the end of a gymnastic routine rather than visualising the perfect landing.

3. Practice

Once you’ve mapped out your image/script (either on paper or just in your head), practise it. It can take concentration to stay focused and not be distracted by other people around you or your own thoughts. By rehearsing the event in your head, how you want to feel and how you want to perform, it will be much easier to revisit on the big day.

4. Make time to relax!

We know it’s hard but take the time to clear your mind, relax and just focus on the images you have chosen. Images can help reduce feelings of negativity and demotivation, so you need to make time to talk or think through your images or script to achieve the most positive impact you can. Close your eyes, relax your whole body and just focus on your own breath before going into your images.

5. Consult a professional

If you think you might need some help with any of these steps, we’d recommend working with a professional coach or psychologist. Someone experienced in imagery techniques can help you work out your trigger points, decide on what images or script could work for you – and even help you learn to relax! Maddison Coaching can help or you can find a Chartered Psychologist using the Directory on the British Psychological Society website:

If you are interested in finding out more about the power of imagery, Maddison Coaching is pleased to be holding a one-day symposium in London on 10th October.
To read more about the event or buy a ticket, please visit our Eventbrite page.

03 September 2018

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