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#visualization Archives - Link Endurance

Mindset & Meditation: Reflection

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Reflection…

 

 

“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflection on experience” – John Dewey

 

 

As I have mentioned in previous posts about learning from failures and facing obstacles head on, it is important in your breathing and visualization practice that you reflect on those times. Reflect on what you could have acted, responded, or chose better and learn from that moment. Also, reflect back on the good choices that you made during times of stress, doubt, or conflict and log those moments into your mental memory bank so that you can refer back to them when needed.

 

Reflecting back to a time or situation where you made a better choice, response, etc. and really reliving those moments can have a profound impact on your ability to make better choices in the future. Let’s say for example you had to deal with a client, co-worker, boss, friend, or relative that was challenging and negative. Reflecting back to a time where you were able to remain calm and respond vs. react to diffuse the situation, you can mentally prepare yourself for the next encounter with a similar situation with this person. As doubt, anxiety, or even fear creep into your mind before the next meeting, reflect back on your win and say to yourself, “I was able to control this situation before, that means I have the power to do it again.” Then go into the meeting confident and mentally prepared.

 

Daily reflection is also important and can help you not only with clients, but also with life itself. It is quite easy to do and can be done at the beginning and end of each day. Here is how it works:

At the beginning of each day ask yourself these questions…

When doubt, fear, worry, or anxiety become present today I will:

1.

2.

Two positive things I will do today are:
1.

2.

 

I will be mindful of my reactions/responses by:

1.

2.

3.

 

At the end of each day answer these questions…

Today I was able to control my fears, doubts, worries, and/or anxiety by:

1.

2.

 

Things I could have done better/responded better to were:

1.

2

Tomorrow will be a great day because:

1.

2.

 

I encourage you to get a notebook and write out each question from above along with your answers. Do it daily and in doing so, you are creating a reflection journal as well as creating your own roadmap to success. Look back, learn, succeed.

 

 

Mindset & Meditation: Visualization

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Visualization…

 

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, was written in the 5th Century B.C. and the quote above is referring to being prepared for battle mentally by visualizing your enemies’ moves before they execute them. Knowing the lay of the land before you step foot on the battlefield. As your enemy draws his sword, visualize your defense and counterattack. Visualize every movement you make before engaging in battle with your mind until your body responds without thought.

 

Fast-forward over 2,000 years to the most recent winter Olympics. I watched athletes before the start of the Super-G downhill ski race visualizing and moving their bodies as if they were on-course for their run, or the snowboarders visualizing and mimicking the twists, spins, and flips prior to dropping in on the super pipe. Every great athlete, just as every great warrior uses visualization to prepare both body and mind. I use it before every race, and coach my athletes to do the same. Particularly in long events like Ironman triathlon. An Ironman is such a long day with months of preparation and the likelihood of everything going right on race day is slim. I coach my athletes to visualize how they want the race to unfold, but also visualize obstacles. Someone knocks your goggles off in the swim, now mentally rehearse how your will resolve this. You get a flat tire. Visualize how you will shift your gears, come to a stop, take off the wheel and change the tire. Or your body begins to cramp/hurt/shutdown. Visualize how you will calm down and overcome these hurdles. When my body and lungs begin to hurt in a race or while training, I visualize a one-eyed scarred up lion. He will stop at nothing to complete his mission. I swear to you that each time I envision this lion running after his prey, with mouth open, relaxed but focused breathing, blank but focused stare, I emulate this. And I start to run faster…. Every time…

 

One pretty well known experiment is the one done with basketball players shooting free throws. Thirty athletes were separated into 3 groups. Group one shot free throws everyday for an hour. Group two mentally rehearsed shooting free throws for an hour. Group 3 did nothing. The test was conducted over a 30-day period. At the end of the experiment group 1 improved by 24%. Group 3 showed zero improvement, and group two, who again only practiced by visualization improved by 24%. This test has been replicated several times with very similar results. The intense visualization created a neuromuscular firing pattern that creates motor unit recruitment and therefore response and proper performance. Read more about the basketball study here. Former Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine tells a similar story about visualizing a college swim time in his book Unbeatable Mind.

 

Taking visualization out of sport, you can visualize conflict resolution in business, preparing yourself mentally to respond to objections or criticisms. People have even healed themselves from devastating, life-altering injuries using visualization. Dr. Joe Dispenza is known for healing his broken back with fracture & compressed vertebrae by visualizing intensely without waiver for 12 months. You can read about his healing in his book You Are the Placebo. He mentally built his spine visualizing every vertebrae and every disk in exact detail and focus. Told by medical professionals that he would never walk again, he began walking 9.5 weeks post injury and healed himself. You can read more about his accident and healing here. I have personally seen quadriplegics begin to get movement and muscle firing back in once paralyzed limbs by intense visualization.

 

Regardless if you are using visualization for personal or professional reasons, for sport or for healing, the evidence has been abundantly clear that it works. The catch is you REALLY have to focus. You can’t simply “think” about yourself being good at a sport, or responding better at the office. You have to see it, feel it, and make it as real as possible in your mind. It will take practice and you must be patient. Begin with something simple like writing a letter of the alphabet. In your mind see and feel the pen in your hand. How does it feel when you pick it up? Which fingers are holding the pen? Which finger has more pressure than the others on the pen? What does it feel like when the ballpoint of the pen touches the paper? Get my drift here. You must be VERY descriptive in your mind in order for visualization to truly work. It may seem like a lot of work, and it is, but trust me, it will be worth it.

Episode 108 Interview with Michael Mark: Have you “hit the wall” or Are You Just not Mentally Prepared, OCR Sports Agents, and Much More

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If you’ve ever “hit the wall” in racing or training, you may need more of a tune-up above the shoulders than below them! Learn about the mental side of the game, listen to us talk about sports agents in obstacle racing and the recent push to get OCR into the Olympics in this episode with our good friend Michael Mark.

CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes or Stitcher

See what Mike is up to here:

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