By far the most important sense is our vision. We perceive up to 80% of all impressions by means of our sight. Basically this means we believe what we see. The biggest mistake many of us make is believing that our sight comes from our eyes. The truth is our brains are what is actually formulating the images and making sense of those images. Our eyes take in the crude matter from the outside world, but our brains decide what it means.
You want proof? Stare at any object in your room for five seconds, then close your eyes. Now allow yourself to bring that picture back into focus in your mind. How is that even possible? Your eyes are closed, but you see the image. That’s because, no matter how long ago you saw that image, it is now a memory housed away in your mind, to do with what you wish. In fact, that memory holds all of the senses from that moment in which it was created, giving the memory of what you saw as much depth, meaning, and purpose as you choose to give it.
If you focus on that image in your mind long enough, you can generate emotions from it.
Over the last four blogs, we’ve gone over the power visualization has to help you create joy, confidence, connection, basically any emotion that you want. We discussed how you can use your imagination to amplify your memories, making those emotions like confidence, joy, and connection more potent and longer lasting. How putting aside logic, reason, and most of all judgement, allows your imagination free reign to create an emotional state for yourself from scratch, no memory even needed! And, finally, we learned if we do use a memory as a source to tap into for our emotions, how finding the ‘bullseye’ of that memory not only allows for quicker access to it, but also allows for us to navigate our entire memory enabling emotions become stronger, and last longer.
But knowing this and doing it are two different things. To quote one of my favorite movies (I’m actually seeing Gladiator in my mind now :),
Let’s ‘roll mental film’. Let’s go through a memory that you have in your mind, and practice creating the emotion for yourself. If you have been following the vlogs or blogs, you should be pretty well practiced. If not, consider going back and checking out the last four, so you can get the most out of this!
Aright, let’s roll ‘mental film’…
1. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes – Find a quiet spot for yourself, a place where you can pretty much guarantee you won’t be disturbed for 5 minutes or so. Just focus down on your breathing. Notice where you feel it in your chest, what it feels like. You can even count as you breathe if that’s easier for you.
2. Now bring that memory into your mind – Once you’ve centered yourself by counting your breaths, find the bullseye of the memory you chose that gives you the feelings that you want. Notice, when you recall the memory, the first thing that comes into your mind. Remember, your ‘entry point’ to this memory, the image you see, is the same every time you think of this memory. That is your bullseye!
3. Do a 360 around your memory – From that bullseye, roll mental film forward and take a look at what happened after that bullseye moment in your memory. Sit with that, taking it all in from your five senses, really reliving it fully in your mind. When you’re ready, circle back and roll mental film backward, traveling into the past before you reached that bullseye moment. Focus down on all the details you can using your five senses! This creates a richer texture, ensuring the emotions you want gain substance and last longer.
Now that you have your memory in full focus…
4. Now amplify that memory with your imagination – No judgement zone. No need for reason or logic either. While you are rolling film on that memory, let your imagination rip. If you are recalling a winning goal in your club soccer game, and your imagination creates a stadium around you filled with 50,000 people shouting your name, puts you in full gladiator armor, on your teammate’s shoulders as they cheer, ‘Spaniard!’, the ONLY thing you are interested in is if it amplifies the emotion you are looking for inside your body. If that is going on…then off to the coliseum for you!!! If not, layer on different imagery for yourself until you get that emotion you are looking for flowing fully through your mind and body.
Open your eyes and check in with yourself. Do you still feel this emotion inside you? Most likely some of it is still there. Our minds don’t differentiate between what has actually happened in our external environment, from what has happened inside of us. That’s why the emotions around our dreams feel so big and real long after we’ve opened our eyes! The deeper you focus down on your visualization, and the longer you practice this technique, the more consistently you’ll be able to generate the emotional state that you want for yourself.
Try practicing this just for 5 minutes a day before going out for your run, making that call you’d rather not make, or even before heading into a job interview to settle your nerves, and to create those emotions you want beforehand. The more experience you give yourself through practice, the less energy this process will take, and the greater confidence you’ll have that you can create joy, confidence, connection, or any emotion you want as you go after any challenge you decide to take on for yourself, or is brought to your front door!