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- The truth about visualization and manifestation
The truth about visualization and manifestation
How to manifest your dream with visualization and the law of attraction
In this week's newsletter, I'd like to talk about visualization and manifestation...
It's often said, whether in mental preparation, performance or self-accomplishment, that if you visualize what you want, especially your success, it will manifest itself.
But in concrete terms, where does fantasy fit in with reality, and above all:
How does it work?
You're about to see :
A letter I wrote 10 years ago, then everything manifests…
What is creative visualization and how do I practice it?
What are the best practices for visualization and mental preparation?
What can you do to boost your confidence and your "level of play" in any discipline (career, sport, personal...)?
What about the Law of Attraction?
Here are the nuggets I've planned for you.
I've taken the time to really develop the subject, so it'll make for good reading. The subject is super interesting and important, and it's also going to make sense of a lot of the advice we see a lot of (and debullshit some things) so I invite you to sit back and read quietly...
💌 I wrote this letter 10 years ago :
February 2, 2014, I wrote this letter to today's "future me":
Hey man, you must be old now!
I'm at my physical prime right now, according to science, but I hope you're still healthy and keep up the sport.
If you've lost some explosiveness, I'm sure you've got a lot more experience and stamina.
I hope you've enjoyed your loved ones, I don't know if the grandparents are still around, but I'm sure you've continued to make the most of those you love...
The "little ones" are grown up now, probably students or finishing their studies. I hope you're still loving each other and spending time together as a family. Keep watching over them!
You must be rich by now (lol), at least I hope so, seeing as I'm investing in the next 10 years! But the most important thing is that you're happy and free, working on the projects that matter to you.
At least I hope it's taken off with the amount of content I'm creating.
You must have traveled a lot and seen a lot of the world.
I hope you're with someone you love and who loves you, that you make a great team.
I don't know what the next few years will bring, but you're strong, resilient, persevering, and I have no doubt that you'll have encountered trials that will have made you stronger.
You've already been through a lot, so I'm not worried about you.
The most important thing for me is that you don't lose your benevolence and your values. I hope you're better at dealing with critics and haters, and that it still doesn't stop you. You know better than I do, but the best way to respond to the haters is to make your own way and succeed.
Don't forget that in the year you turned 27, you were full of dreams, hopes, desires and energy. I know we're the kind of people who always think about the aftermath, but don't forget where we came from and enjoy the journey.
Johann version 2014
I'd seen this exercise several times, which consisted in visualizing where you'd be in 10 years and sending yourself a letter. I was studying visualization and the "art of manifesting" a lot that year. I'm the kind of person who likes to experiment and do, rather than stick to beliefs.
But does all this visualization, vision board, 10-year vision and other stuff work?
The art of manifestation and visualization
I have practiced visualization a lot since I was very young, especially in competition: Karate, Football, Basketball... and later in my studies and my work: public speaking, conferences, professional performances, interviews...
The trainers and coaches I met always advised me to "visualize success"...
But what is visualization?
Visualization involves creating a mental image of a future situation or goal. The stronger and more connected this "image" is to our 5 senses, the more powerful it is.
It could be imagining passing an exam, visualizing a goal or basket scored or a match won, rehearsing in your head a fight you've won...
Visualization allows us to work on neuronal transmission. I'm summarizing, but the more neurons are used to being called upon, the faster they function, as communication via synapses becomes more rapid. This creates automatisms through repetition. The more you train, the faster and more automatic it becomes. When you stop, it becomes slower.
This is brain plasticity, also known as mental flexibility.
You've heard of this: repeating a task or activity brings you closer to mastery and therefore to excellence.
And it turns out that if it works by "physically" practicing an activity, it also works by visualizing the activity.
The power of visualization
Dr. Richard Suinn's studies on athletes in the 1970s demonstrated the effectiveness and power of visualization.
A well-known example is a test on basketball players:
They were separated into three groups. And each group had a different workout for 30 days:
The 1st group had to shoot.
The 2nd group had to imagine successful shots.
The third group did nothing.
Results: The 1st group improved their results (success rate) by 24% and the second by 23%. The third group made no progress...
The group that visualized made almost as much progress as the other.
Well, in this experiment they all already had a good level and the athletic ability (which comes into play in muscle rehearsal), but from knowing quite a few players from different sports, they tell me that they train as much physically as mentally.
Mental preparation + mental visualization
Many sport psychology researches have repeated this type of experiment, with similar results.
Some top athletes invest as much in their physical preparation as they do in their mental preparation.
This is also the case in rehabilitation after injury.
We can use this in our personal and professional lives too...
How to visualize?
To achieve this, it's important to be clear about your objective: hitting the target, achieving a performance, scoring a goal, succeeding in an interview, delivering a service... Be as precise and specific as possible about the situation, the context and, above all, your 5 senses:
You can, for example, imagine the smell of the room, the noise and voices of the audience, the temperature, what you see in detail... The more you use all your senses, the more powerful it is.
You can also visualize doing a gesture in detail and repeat it.
I use it a lot:
In sport, I imagine my gesture and victory.
In business, I imagine my conference with all the details of the room and the audience smiling and having a good time. I confess, I abuse it before my conferences (visualizing the room and the performance with the happy audience). I also do it in sales: I visualize the customer signing and being happy with my services.
In some of life's frustrating situations, I imagine myself in an ideal problem-solving scenario. Flight delay? I imagine myself with my butt firmly planted in the plane seat... A conflict? I imagine resolving it... Now, if we don't have all the power, I'll use it too, but I'll come back to that later, particularly with regard to certain beliefs...
You create this reality because you've rehearsed it so much in your head, that you've contributed to the neural connection necessary for proper execution towards the goal you have.
What's more, it puts you in a state: emotions, confidence, attitude... linked to the ideal achievement! You change your "being", your posture, your behavior!
This creates a fertile ground for "cumulative victory", and I'll come back to this later... That's why we also use visualization a lot in therapy.
You naturally feel better too! And we want to feel good.
So what is the real impact of visualization?
You create your reality: through repetition, neural plasticity, training, attitude, embodying a state of being and posture that contributes to the success of your goal.
A classic example is that the more confident and cheerful you are, the more you radiate, the more you attract the trust of others, the more opportunities you create...
But it goes beyond that, it impacts your level of "luck" and your life in a more global way.
When you visualize and believe in something, it has several impacts:
"The Winning Effect:
Winning stimulates endorphins, confidence and neuronal connections linked to that famous victory. As a result, winners find it easier to visualize victory and are in the right frame of mind, while losers doubt and think more and more about defeat until they favor it.
We all know those "confident" athletes who perform at a high level... And who, on the other hand, can go through phases of defeat and loss of confidence, from which it is difficult to recover.
I'm going to give you some techniques to get out of the negative spiral after...
Basically, the more you win, the more you visualize winning, the more you win!
At the other end of the scale, a spiral of defeat and negativity to set you up for the "shit never happens alone" syndrome.
More luck: How to get lucky?
There are quite a few studies in the book '“The Luck Factor” which show that if we believe we're lucky, we naturally become luckier.
By connecting your neurons to the belief that "you're lucky", you see more opportunities and solutions than those who think they're unlucky and victims of this world.
We know these phases when we are so open and convinced that we are in favorable winds, that as if by chance, many beautiful synchronicities happen... It's just that we see them!
In one of Dr. Wiseman's studies, a group of people were given a test. Some were "lucky" and others were "unlucky".
At the end of the test, they were put in a waiting room and... as luck would have it... the lucky ones systematically found the money that was hidden in that room. The unlucky ones didn't.
In reality, the test results were bogus, with those who thought they were lucky actually boosting their "radar" of stumbling upon lucky breaks. The unlucky ones kept their heads down. There are other experiments of the same type in the book, and I sometimes talk about them in my talks.
Ultimately, what counts most in provoking these "manifestations" is the level of conviction of the vision, whether it's a belief or a repeated mental image.
Where does the Law of Attraction fit in? The power of manifestation :
Regardless of beliefs, as I said above, if you believe in it, you're going to create it somehow.
If you're obsessed with having a red car, you'll see them everywhere. If you want to get pregnant or have a baby, you'll see pregnant women and babies, strollers, everywhere.
This is the reticular activating system of your brain. Your attention is focused on what you think about most. That's why it's said that whatever you focus on gains momentum, whether positive or negative.
This is where the kind of exercise I shared like writing yourself a letter to the "future self", and better still, making a vision board with images of the ideal life you want, helps to "manifest" it.
Conversely, if you obsess about what you don't want, you'll be so focused on it that you'll cut yourself off from any resolution or solution.
What counts is what you believe, not others (protect your visions). Personally, and this is very personal, I want to believe in a bit of magic in this world, and nobody can take that away from me:
But it's very important not to get too attached to the result and the fact that it works.
No, you won't manifest everything you visualize. Yes, sometimes you'll lose after visualizing victory. It's important to say so!
Sitting on your couch and visualizing without taking any concrete action isn't enough - that's logical, isn't it :) Your radar is active, but it needs to be in motion.
Visualizing and seeing opportunities is only the first step; you have to go out and seize them, and then be persistent towards what you want and what's important.
Don't obsess about the effectiveness of visualization, just practice and experiment with conviction but detachment from purpose.
It's just a tool that promotes fulfillment and contributes to well-being, it doesn't guarantee it.
So to finish, here are some tools to use and exercises you can do: (do your own experiments)
Visualization techniques :
There are 3 powerful exercises you can do to create the "ideal future you":
Imagine your best version (at the very top of what you want to embody) and visualize it in detail: where you are, who you are, your posture, your surroundings, the place, your actions, your days/weeks...
Make a vision board where you take images that illustrate this ideal and hang it where you'll see it every day. Just look at it, without attachment or expectation of a deadline...
Do as I do, write a letter to the future you in 1 year and 10 years. I do it every year on January 1 and read it on December 31.
Create your visualization rituals before your performances:
As a child, I'd seen a scene in Asterix and Obelix where they'd run out of magic potion just as a decisive attack was about to take place. The Druid, having run out of ingredients, concocted a fake potion, making them believe it was the real thing. The Gauls who drank it were convinced they had the powers of the magic potion and were able to fight.
There's a similar scene in Space Jam (the one from the 90s), where Bugs Bunny gives out "magic water" to motivate the toons for the basketball game they're losing... He makes them believe that this water has a power that will make them stronger. They rip everything apart with it!
It's funny because the same thing is done with top athletes:
Create your own thing! You just need it to be YOUR performance facilitator.
Personally, I have a lucky charm, little "rituals" before my live shows and conferences, routines before sport... It gets me in shape!
You can also create anchors :
When you are in a state of great confidence and victory, associate a piece of music or a gesture that you can reproduce by being deeply attuned to this state and your 5 senses.
You can then use this anchor to put you back in those conditions when you need them.
For example, I have a playlist that puts me in "super saiyan" and extreme flow mode, having worked enormously on this anchoring.
Tips for everyday life :
Write down your ideal day in the morning, expressing yourself in the present tense (always express yourself in the present tense when visualizing).
Take a moment to visualize your ideal day and focus on what you're grateful for (even if it's only 2 minutes).
Rules to remember for good visualization :
Use context and the 5 senses to reinforce vision (add detail)
Let go of the result
Repeat and train to improve this neural connection
Put some magic in your life (bonus)
There you have it, you've already got a lot to practice on. It's a vast and fascinating subject, so if you'd like me to develop a point in future content or with guests, I'd be delighted to do so.
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