Picture Your Way to Success!

            LESSON 3

Picture Your Way to Success!

You must first clearly see a thing in your mind before you can do it.

— Alex Morrison

In a recent television interview, singer Celine Dion was asked if she ever dreamed at the start of her career that someday she’d sell millions of records and be on tour, singing in front of tens of thousands of people each week. The singer replied that none of this surprised her, as she had pictured the whole thing since she was five years old!

   She was not bragging, and has worked unbelievably hard to earn every bit of her success. What she learned at an early age was her ability to tap into the power of holding a vivid, powerful image... to picture the star she wanted to become.

   World-class athletes also incorporate the power of imagery to reinforce in their mind exactly how they want to perform. Whether it’s a figure skater completing a difficult jump... a tennis pro acing his opponent with a perfect serve... or a golfer driving the ball long and straight down the fairway, many top competitors mentally envision a successful outcome before actually achieving it in the “real” world.

   Visualization, however, is not something reserved solely for singers, athletes or movie stars. In fact, it’s something you’ve used since childhood to create the circumstances of your own life.

   Let me clarify what I mean. Visualization is often described as “movies of the mind,” “inner pictures” or “images.” We all store pictures in our minds about the type of relationships we deserve, the degree of success we’ll attain at work, the extent of our leadership ability, the amount of money we’ll earn and accumulate, and so on.

Mental Movies From Childhood

Where do these pictures come from? Well, we begin to develop our “mental movies” early in life. If we were criticized or felt unworthy as youngsters, we record the events (and the feelings associated with those events) as images in our minds. Because we frequently dwell on these pictures (both consciously and subconsciously), we tend to create life situations that correspond to the original image.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

— Albert Einstein

   For example, you may still hold a vibrant image of being criticized by a teacher in elementary school. You felt humiliated in front of the whole class. Later on, when you were tempted to offer your opinion in school or in a group of people, you held back and kept quiet... all the while remembering (even if only on a subconscious level) how painful it was when you were criticized. The picture remains in your mind and exerts tremendous influence over your present actions.

   Unfortunately, many of us have not updated or revised our childhood movies, so we’re continually producing results that fall short of our full potential. What follows are some techniques for using the power of visualization to improve virtually every aspect of your life.

 Take Responsibility For Your Own Movies

 Not all mental pictures can be traced to your childhood. You’re constantly generating mental movies based on your relationships, career experiences and other events. No matter what the source of your mental images, there’s one point that I want to drive home: You — and only you — are in control of your own movies.

   Let’s try a short experiment. Think about an ice cream cone filled with your favorite flavor of ice cream. Does that create a picture or image for you? I’ll bet it does.

   Okay, now think about an elephant. Can you see it? Change the color of the elephant to pink. In a fraction of a second, you formed an image of the pink elephant. Can you bring back the picture of the ice cream cone? Of course you can.

   Can you see what I mean? You have control over the pictures that occupy your mind. However, when you don’t consciously decide which pictures to play, your mind will look into the “archives” and keep re-playing old movies on file in your mental library.

Change The Meaning Of The Old Movie

It doesn’t serve you to deny what happened in a past experience, no matter how painful or disappointing. You can’t, for instance, change the fact that you were criticized by the teacher. You can, however, alter your interpretation of the event.

   That is, at the time you were originally criticized, the meaning you might have assigned to the experience was “I’m not good enough” or “My opinions are worthless.” While this was the interpretation of a child, you may have inadvertently carried it into your adult life. Today, though, you can consciously choose to view the situation differently— for example, the teacher may have disagreed with you, but it wasn’t a statement about your intelligence or your overall worth as a person!

Create New Pictures

We can create new mental movies whenever we choose to do so. And when we develop (and concentrate on) new images that evoke powerful feelings and sensations, we’ll act in ways that support those new pictures! So, the first step is to create an image of your desired outcome. You are limited only by your imagination.

   As you know, most people are terrified about public speaking. In survey after survey, it is listed as the #1 fear that people have — ranked ahead of the fear of death! So, when most people are asked to even consider making a speech, what kinds of pictures do they run through their minds? They see themselves standing nervously in front of the audience. Perhaps they’re having trouble remembering what they want to say. Run these images over and over on your mental screen and you can be sure that you won’t have much success as a speaker!

   Instead, form a picture in your mind in which you’re confidently giving your presentation. The audience members are listening to your every word. You look sharp. Your delivery is smooth. You tell a funny story and the audience is laughing. At the end, you get a warm round of applause. People come up afterward to congratulate you. Do you see how these kinds of mental images can help you to become a better speaker?

   Recognize, however, that the pictures in your mind are not fulfilled overnight. But, by being patient and by persistently focusing on these mental images, you’ll automatically start acting in ways that support your vision.

Picture Your Way To Sales Success

If you’re involved in selling any product or service, it’s vital that you see yourself succeeding on a consistent basis. If you’re not getting the results you want, there’s no question that you’re holding onto pictures of sales mediocrity...or sales disappointment... as opposed to sales success.

   Right now, think about your next meeting with a prospect. In your mind, how do you see the encounter? Are you confident and persuasive? Are you enthusiastically explaining the benefits of what you’re offering? Is the prospect receptive and interested in what you’re saying? Can you vividly see a successful outcome to your meeting?

You have control over the pictures that occupy your mind.

— Jeff Keller

   Remember that you’re the producer, director, script writer, lighting coordinator, costume designer and casting director of your own mental movies. You get to choose how they turn out! By mentally rehearsing and running successful outcomes through your mind, you’re paving the way for success in your sales career.

   Of course, if you currently run images through your mind where the prospect rejects your ideas and has no interest in your presentation, you’ll attain very limited success from your sales efforts. You’ll attract those people —and those situations — that correspond to your negative images.

Relax And Involve Your Senses

What’s the best method to use when concentrating on your new images? It’s been proven that your mind is most receptive to visualization when you’re calm and not thinking about a lot of things simultaneously. So, sit down in a comfortable chair at home, close your eyes and do some deep breathing exercises to clear your mind and relax your body. Now, develop images that involve as many senses as you can. The more sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches you put in your pictures, the more powerful the “pull” for you to make your vision a reality.

   Here’s an example. Let’s say you’ve always dreamed of owning a beach-front house in the Caribbean. Picture the white and peach-colored house. See the green palm trees slowly swaying in the gentle breeze. Smell the salt air. Feel the warm sand between your toes. Feel the sunshine on your face. Isn’t this paradise?

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible to others.

— Jonathan Swift

   And all this can be yours if you hold onto this image and do what it takes to achieve it! Also, remember that those images associated with strong emotions have even more power, so be sure to add positive feelings to your vision. For instance, when visualizing your ideal job, combine the vivid mental picture and the physical senses with the terrific emotions of pride and satisfaction you’ll have working in that new position.

   Finally, don’t be concerned with the quality of your images at the outset. Some people can create lively color pictures while others have trouble getting anything more than a fuzzy image. It’s also possible you may only be able to get a particular feeling at the beginning as opposed to a clear image.

   In any case, don’t worry about it. Do the best you can and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Your images will become sharper over time. The key is to spend several minutes each day running these new movies in your mind.

Write A Check To Yourself

It’s extremely powerful to formulate images of successful outcomes — and to run them through your mind. But, there’s another technique you can use to accelerate your success. You can create visual aids to move you toward what you want.

   In 1990, while he was still relatively unknown, comedian Jim Carrey wrote a check to himself for $10 million for “acting services rendered.” The check was postdated Thanksgiving 1995. As Carrey explained, it wasn’t about money. He knew that if he was making that much, he’d be working with the best people on the best material.

   Carrey earned about $800,000 for his work in Ace Ventura and The Mask. Then, in late 1994, he was paid $7 million for his role in Dumb and Dumber. In 1995, he earned many more millions and is now getting $20 million per movie!

  Jim Carrey’s “postdated check” exercise is a great example of the power of the subconscious mind to actualize a goal that is held with deep conviction and feeling. Thinking about your goal and forming images in your mind will go a long way to creating the success you desire. However, when you also use a tangible representation of your goal (such as a check), your chances of success are even greater!

   Now, I’m not sharing this example simply because it’s an interesting story about Jim Carrey. This same technique can work for you, too!

   Why not tear out one of your checks right now and postdate it three or five years from now with the amount that you want to earn for “services rendered”? Make sure to look at that check at least once a day... and believe that you’re moving toward that goal.

Getting The Job You Want

You can use visual reminders to your advantage in a lot of ways — it’s not limited to checks. Here’s an example involving a friend of mine, who we’ll call Robert Jones. Robert received his party’s nomination for a judgeship, and he’ll be on the ballot in an upcoming election.

   While Robert stands an excellent chance of winning this election (and realizing his dream of becoming a judge), he’s still a little nervous... and doubts creep into his mind now and again. I suggested to Robert that he make a handwrit-ten sign that reads JUDGE ROBERT JONES and that he put that sign where he’ll see it every day (for example, on his nightstand and on the bathroom mirror). I also recommended that he write these words on a card he can carry in his wallet.

If you can dream it, you can do it.

— Walt Disney

   By looking at those words throughout the day, Robert is conditioning his mind to view himself as a judge. He’s going to start thinking about wearing the black robes. He’ll see everyone rise as he enters the courtroom. As these images become stronger and stronger, Robert will take those actions that will bring this picture into reality. He’ll campaign more. He’ll make sure his party is doing everything possible to get the voters out on Election Day.

   While Robert could have formed strong mental images without the use of the sign, it has so much more power with the visual aid! The sign is a reminder to Robert to think about being a judge... and to run successful images through his mind.

   Of course, there are no guarantees that this will work for Robert — or that it will always work for you. But, once you try this for yourself, I think you’ll find that it’s an incredibly powerful aid to help you get what you want!

   So, is there a position that you want to achieve? Sales manager... supervisor... attorney... owner of your own business? Whatever it is, create a visual aid and your mind will get to work to bring that picture into your life.

It Works Both Ways

Be very careful when using visual reminders. Some people use negative aids — and with very serious consequences. Bumper stickers offer a prime example.

   While riding in my car a few years ago, I noticed a bumper sticker on the car in front of me. The bumper sticker read, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.” In the last few years, I’ve seen this same bumper sticker over and over. It’s obviously quite popular. Just a silly little rhyme, right? A harmless joke?

   Wrong! There’s nothing funny or harmless about this message. When you put something like that on your car, you are programming your mind to keep you in debt!

   Think about someone who puts this bumper sticker on her car. We’ll call her Alice. Every morning, Alice steps outside to greet the day and sees the statement “I owe.” When it’s time to leave work, she goes back to her car and sees “I owe.” This idea will become embedded in her subconscious mind. She’ll form mental pictures associated with being in debt. And, if you recall Lesson 2, Alice will always attract what she thinks about most. In this case, she will attract lots and lots of debt.

   If you ask Alice why she never has enough money, she’ll say that she has bad luck. The truth is, Alice is careless about what goes into her mind. The “harmless” little bumper sticker of today becomes your reality tomorrow.

   Alice is a perfect example of someone throwing more mud on an already dirty attitude window. If attitude is everything, then Alice’s predominant attitude is “I’m a debtor!” With an attitude like that, what do you think her future will bring — prosperity... or more debt?

We both know the answer to that question.

Lights... Camera... Action

Well, there you have it — some suggestions for creating and benefiting from your own mental movies. Remember, if you don’t take control and develop your own movies, you’ll continue to replay the old ones. If the old movies are serving you, that’s great. But if they’re holding you back in any way, get started today and use the incredible power of your mind to picture your way to greater success!


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