Make it Happen Monday: Visualization and Affirmations
It’s no secret that many of the top cyclists (and other athletes) in the world use visualization techniques to reach the top of their game. Today’s athletes are performing at levels that are at an all time high, and they all know that the mental aspects are just as important as the physical. But visualization and affirmations are not just for top athletes….all of us can benefit from tapping into our incredible powers of the mind.
I, personally, have tossed affirmations into my daily routine as often as I can remind myself to do them for the past ten years or more. I know the importance of them and how much power they possess, but still haven’t quite made them a daily ritual that I follow without even thinking about it.
Visualization is something that I totally believe in and feel is the secret formula in achieving greatness….but I have never been able to teach myself to do this properly. I close my eyes and begin to picture that which I’m trying to visualize, and then I either get distracted or can’t picture what I want to see.
So here I am with today’s Make it Happen post and providing information for myself….but I hope it benefits you as well. Here are a few affirmation and visualization tips to help you achieve all you want in cycling and in life.
Affirmation: Positive statements that describe a desired outcome or situation. They are repeated several times, in order to impress the subconscious mind and trigger it into action.
Visualization: Using your creative imagination to see something you want.
5 Steps to Effective and Powerful Affirmations
(from psychology today)
Step 1: Make a list of your positive attributes and negative perceptions of yourself, as well as any specific goals you have. Use this information to create positive affirmations that are clear concise, and written in first person (ie: I am).
Step 2: Rewrite your affirmation so that it is as effective as possible. You may want to use a thesaurus to find more powerful words to beef up your statement. For example instead of saying, “I’m worthy.” You could say, “I’m remarkable and cherished.” After you have written your affirmation then ask a close friend to read it to see if they have any suggestions to make it stronger.
Step 3: Speak the affirmation out loud for about five minutes three times a day – morning, mid day and evening. An ideal time to do this is when you’re putting your make up or shaving so that you can look at yourself in the mirror as you repeat the positive statement.
Step 4: Anchor the affirmation in your body as you are repeating it by placing your hand on the area that felt uncomfortable when you wrote out the negative belief in Step One. Also “breathe” into the affirmation while you are saying or writing it.
Step 5: Get a friend or coach to repeat your affirmation to you. As they are saying for example, “You are remarkable and cherished” identify this statement as ‘good mothering’ or ‘good fathering’ messages.
5 Important Visualization Tips
(from the personal growth library)
Relax: Visualization works best when you are completely relaxed. Before any visualization session, lie down or sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet on the ground. Keep your spine straight. Do a few minutes of meditation in order to quiet your mind and relax fully.
Set Your Intention: Identify what you truly desire. What do you truly want? Do you believe it can exist for you? Take time with this step.
Focus On What You Want, Not What You Don’t Want: We see what we look for. In visualizing, and in life in general, the more you focus on what you don’t want, the more you seem to get it. Keep your focus solidly on what you want. For example, instead of thinking “eliminate stress,” focus on “being perfectly healthy and relaxed.”
Don’t Struggle: Visualizing may be difficult at first, but don’t struggle or try too hard. People say visualizing is like holding a bird: hold it too loose and you lose it; hold it too tightly and you crush it. Keep your concentration as if you’re holding the bird. Also, if you’re having a hard time, return to your intention. Do you truly want what you’re visualizing? Or, is it something you think you “should” be, do, or have?
Express Your Highest Self: Visualizations work best when they express your highest self and your highest aspirations.
There you go….now it’s time to make it happen. Affirmations and Visualization are definitely are a great help in getting you there.