Cultivating Your Image of Success
What will it feel like? For many of us, optimal health has always been a far off dream. It’s been a dream that has been at our side for years- since high school, marriage, post-pregnancy, or after competitive sports. We’ve set our sights on the New Year with the hope and desire that this will be THE year we will achieve our resolution of living a healthy life and achieving optimal wellness. We’ve come close to reaching our goals but inevitably, something always comes up, pulling our attention and motivation in another direction. Slowly our old, unhealthy habits come back and before we know it, our health has once again become a next years ‘New Year’s’ resolution.
Sound familiar? You can’t be blamed for harboring self-doubt and fear with so many past attempts and subsequent failures. But what if you’re failing BECAUSE of that self-doubt and those negative things you are saying to yourself? Let’s deviate from the realms of weight loss for just one moment and dive into some of the most successful athletes and common characteristics they share; what do they all seem to have in common? They exude confidence! They do not let self-doubt take up a millimeter of space in their mind. They know they can achieve success. Whether it’s an Olympic athlete, a world-renowned surgeon, a lawyer, a musician, or a dancer, they all tell themselves the same story that they WILL BE successful. How can individuals with such varied skillsets have this same characteristic? One word: visualization!
Manifesting success, hypnosis, positive psychology, affirmations, visualization; it can be labeled in several different ways but the outcome and intention behind it are the same. The goal is to:
1- Mentally rehearse the outcome we wish to achieve,
2- Create for ourselves the story of what we “want” to happen as if it’s already a reality, and
3- Celebrate the fact that we have already achieved success in whatever that “goal” might be.
PETTLEP is a sports psychology model that was developed to guide athletes through imagery practices by practicing the pertinent skills and events they are going to encounter; PETTLEP recognizes that processes occurring in the brain during visualization mimic the processes that occur during the actual event.
Instead of wasting hours of precious brain space and spending time doubting our abilities, we should be mentally preparing ourselves for success! Utilizing the scientifically formulated PETTLEP model, we can break through our mental plateau by putting our hopes and desires into action!
Start simple and spend 10 minutes every day answering these questions as if you are ALREADY at your optimal weight and maintaining it effortlessly:
Physical – How do I physically look?
Environment – How do I interact in my social settings?
Task – How do daily activities feel different?
Timing – What do I look and feel a year from now?
Learning – What have I learned that has allowed for me to be successful? What areas do I still have concerns/questions?
Emotion – What emotions do I encounter?
Perspective – What is my perspective of myself?
Once you start practicing this everyday, start plugging in new situations for you to visualize. Plug in travels, vacations, birthdays, holidays, celebrations, social settings, stressful situations, and emotional situations into this model. Once you feel like you’ve prepared yourself for a particular situation, then visualize a different situation and what it will look and feel like to be successful. Practice makes progress! The more you practice, visualize, and prepare for these new situations, the more confident you will feel. The more time you spend telling yourself that you ARE successful, the less time you will have to doubt yourself and diminish your goals and confidence.
They said it best in Field of Dreams- “Build it and they will come.” Build your goals, plan your success, and be confident that, no matter how long it takes, it will come- or even better, that it is already here!