Visualisation is no longer a term reserved solely for the alternative therapists and trendy crowd. In fact, it’s become a mainstream (and essential part) of life for anyone, looking to improve or change an aspect of themselves or their lifestyle.
Lifestyle gurus and professional sportsmen and women alike are using the power of visualisation to achieve whatever they’re aiming for – making it a perfect tool for those looking to improve their networking skills.
What is visualisation?
Essentially, visualisation (or mental imagery) is the use of imagination to create images in your head. Unlike a general thought or image, these images are of specific things you want to happen in your life, showing in great detail how you want them to happen and what they’ll look and feel like.
There are two types of visualisation– outcom and process – and they work best when used together. Outcome visualisation is where you visualise the end result you’re after. Process visualisation, on the other hand, is where you see the actions it takes to get to that end goal.
Why visualisation works
Your brain cannot tell the difference between something that’s actually happened and something you’re visualising. Why? Because the neurons interpret your visualised images as real life and fire up, performing the movement to create a new pathway and associated ‘memory’.
Basically, if you make your visualisation vivid, involve all of your senses and attach feeling and emotion to it – those neurons are going to take it as something that has already happened.
How you can use visualisation to help with your networking
We all want to be able to see networking as something enjoyable and productive. Maybe you’re suffering from low self-confidence or never know how to act – visualisationgives you the means to change those around and into something more beneficial.
See the end result
You can visualise your desired end goal – to be surrounded by a group of people, as you smile confidently, or leaving at the end of the event, with a handful of new business cards and new connections.
Visualise an overview of the event
Alternatively, you can visualise the entire event, from start to finish. See yourself arriving, confidently shaking other people’s hands and having a light-hearted conversation – focusing on who you see and who you interact with, what you saw, how you felt etc., right through to you saying your goodbyes and leaving the networking event.
Imagine being that person
Finally, you can visualise how you’re going to act – this is a great way to boost your confidence before the event starts. You can visualise how confident, calm, assured and assertive you are, as you interact with people at the networking event. Imagine how it feels to be that person. What will you sound like? How will you stand and what’s your overall posture like? What body language does that person have? Imagine being that person and see yourself stepping into that role. Feel your head tilt up, your spine straighten and lengthen and your shoulders relax, as you become that person.
Visualisation is a great tool but, like anything, it takes effort. If you want to further ramp up your imagery, look to write down (in detail) your visualisations too – as this helps to further ingrain them into your psyche.
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