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Michael Phelps & Visualisation

Saturday 8th October 2016

I work with elite performers, but sadly not Phelps. It does not matter whether they are a top banker, a top golfer, or a top poker player. The methods I use are the same, albeit with some creative adaptation for each individual. This is good news for me and more importantly it is good news for you too. Because you can use these secrets to achieve more in your life, and this is exactly what this article in The Best You magazine is all about. I wrote the summary, and below is the extract.

I use seven secrets. There are many more, but seven is about the most that any person can remember. These are more than enough for anybody.

In this wonderful article the author describes them beautifully, which is further testament to their universal application. Phelps uses them all and it is a tough call to suggest which is the most important one, the one that has made him the greatest Olympian of all time.

My suggestion is that it is the power of Phelps’s visualisation skills. He has taken them to the nth degree. It is one thing to play comforting movies in your mind of you swimming the perfect race, then receiving the gold medal and biting it. It is quite another thing to construct a different movie painting a lurid picture in agonising detail of all of the possible things that can go wrong in your race.

This exercise is at least as important as building a compelling visualisation of success. All champions do this because they know the danger of surprises. Concentration is broken, the power of the moment has been destroyed, and in these circumstances competitors often freeze.

Last year I wrote an article in this magazine about Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One world champion racing driver. He spends hours in a simulator practising all the things that can go wrong in his race, and so is prepared for the unexpected, with nothing that has not been imagined. Just like Phelps.

Phelps reinforces his visualisation by adding another step to his process. He writes notes to himself, putting his goals on paper. This is a powerful way to hardwire a virtual thought so that it becomes an unconscious reality. It is a powerful example demonstrating that ‘thoughts become things’, as highlighted in the book The Secret.

So write a note to yourself now, date it in the future, and describe the celebrations associated with your success. Add in as many details of what you can see, feel, and hear in your mind. Do not forget your emotions either, because these are powerful anchors, and will prime your next project for ignition and success too.

Let me know how you get on because I love success stories!