An Introduction to Peter Vidmar.

Have you ever been asked to visualize your goals in order to see them through? Perhaps as a child your parents encouraged you to visualize succeeding in an athletic event before you actually attempted it, or to visualize acing that test you had been frantically studying for. While these suggestions might seem like a simplistic way to help a child or teen relax before attempting a task, there is truth to the power of visualizing a goal to actualize your success.

Most of us ‘visualize’ our successes and failures in a very basic and unpracticed way on a daily basis. The problem is not only do we fail to harness the power of visualization properly—day dreaming or fantasizing about possibilities instead of properly projecting our ability to visualize into direct results. At the same time, we fall prey to a vicious cycle of worrying about our tasks ahead, becoming stressed to a point where we begin a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. The key to success over failure is to learn to redirect these negative thoughts and images, and begin to picture yourself succeeding. In this manner, you can ultimately work toward achieving your goals.

A good friend of mine, Peter Vidmar, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist in men’s gymnastics, used the power of visualization to turn his Olympic dreams into a reality. As Peter relates it, visualizing his success became a critical component of his training regiment as he prepared for the ’84 Olympics.

“To keep us focused on our Olympic goal, we began ending our workouts by visualizing our dream. We visualized ourselves actually competing in the Olympics and achieving our dream by practicing what we thought would be the ultimate gymnastics scenario.”

Peter and his teammates would not just imagine the winning, but went much deeper— imagining each meticulous event that would take place at the Olympics in their minds, and playing out their workouts visually and physically as though they were already competing. Their visualization exercises consisted of first picturing the Olympic arena in their minds, including all the aspects that would be at play during the actual event. They imagined the judges, the representatives from the competing teams, and the 13,000 in attendance at the Olympic arena as well as the millions of viewers across the globe watching the events from their living room.
Forming this picture solidly in their minds, they would then take turns role playing as the announcer, introducing each teammate who would go through his routine as if it were the actual Olympics, and as though the event was being judged at that very moment.

When Peter and the American Men’s Gymnastics team finally reached the Olympic Games in July of 1984, they had the opportunity to act out the events they had been visualizing, practicing and planning for hundreds of times. By keeping the clear goal of the Gold Medal in his mind, and by picturing himself going through his routine successfully, Peter made every workout and practice count. He eventually achieved great success from this extra effort.

As a public speaker and father, Peter has applied his philosophy on visualization to all areas of life: Work, Health, and Personal Relationships.

Peter stresses that each of us has the opportunity to succeed. For Peter—and those like him who have applied this technique toward reaching their goals—the ability to picture something in your mind, and to prepare for it long before you are actually faced with the ‘moment of truth’ can greatly increase your odds of success.

One reason visualizing success works is because it mentally prepares you to create solutions that will take you down the path of victory. You begin to build a new or renewed sense of confidence in yourself and your abilities as you envision yourself succeeding. This confidence helps you relax, freeing you from the unnecessary stresses associated with ‘I can’t’ which in turn builds a more positive attitude of ‘I can!’ Your goals begin to appear more attainable, and this confidence in yourself can also lead to the development of new ideas or creative ways that will eventually bring you closer to achieving your objectives.

Visualization techniques can be applied to nearly every circumstance in your life that you hope to see improvement, or have already set personal goals. If you have a goal of achieving greater occupational wellness, either through a more fulfilling career or higher earning paycheck, you can begin by creating a clear idea of how much money you need to make and visualize the kind of career that would be more fulfilling for you. Avoid sabotaging yourself by thinking you can’t have these things and focus on how it would feel, and what it would be like, to be satisfied in a career.

This process can be applied to your physical health, your relationships with your family and friends, and your own emotional health. Visualize how each area of your life would feel and look like at your ideal. Consider what it means to you to be healthy, and in the physical shape you desire. Imagine how your relationship with your family and with your peers would be like if you were able to change them. What emotional or spiritual goals do you wish to achieve in your life, and how would it feel if you were to grow emotionally or spiritually?

Once you have identified the goals you wish to strive toward, the process of visualizing is the next step, and may be the simplest. Start by closing your eyes and picturing in your mind the goal as already completed. You’ve done it! So how does it feel to attain this goal? Fill in all the necessary details and make the images as clear and distinct as possible. Then work to incorporate your other senses if possible—is there a certain smell or physical sensation that is associated with your goal?

Perhaps your goal is to lead a fulfilling life. What does leading a fulfilling life mean to you? Is it a sense of peace and security that the decisions you make are good for your future? Perhaps a fulfilling life means that you are healthy and enjoy energizing adventures. At the same time you have loving relationships with the people that matter most to you, a healthy spiritual life and a stimulating work environment.

This fulfilling life feels a certain and unique way to each and every one of us. What does the fulfilling life feel like to you? Does having a healthy and energizing life mean that you are in peak physical shape and that you can enjoy vigorous outdoor activities? If so, picture the wind in your face as you run, the smell of the outdoors as you hike, and even the splash of water as you kayak down the river. What does it feel like to have a loving relationship? Imagine the joy and comfort you feel in loving relationships. Imagine not only the feeling of love, but the smells you associate with being loved, be it flowers, freshly baked bread, or even the ocean.

Whatever you associate with this feeling, include it in your visualization exercises. For each aspect that makes up your ideal of a fulfilling life, include as many emotions and sensory features to your visualization exercises. To enhance this technique, write down your goals in detail. Make a clear description of whatever it is you hope to achieve that can serve as a reminder and which you can use daily in the process of visualizing this goal. Now work toward this goal!

As Peter explains; “Visualization is not a substitute for hard work and dedication. But if you add it to your training regimen—whether in sports, business, or your personal relationships—you will prepare your mind for success, which is the first step to achieving all your goals and dreams.”

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Author's Bio: 

About James McPartland:
In my present work I am an author, international speaker, and ‘wellness ambassador’ focused on developing the human potential within business. My experience includes serving as an investor, board member, and president of a leading global fitness manufacturing company. That work, and my present business at ‘The JMac Performance Group’ has allowed me to play a leadership role in the health and fitness industry for more than twenty years. Elements of my pursuit have found me studying the lifestyle trends and cultural views of wellness in over sixty countries. This has led to a robust consulting practice developing healthy people - thus leading to a healthy, innovative, and more profitable business.

Much of my current business advisory and speaking activity demonstrates a philosophy we call ‘Crosstraining for Life’™. New research has been introduced this year that focuses on uncovering the potential that lies within a company - through work developing the potential of the people employed inside the business.

About The JMac Performance Group:
A ‘Human Performance Company’ dedicated to improving the health and profitability of a company by unlocking the potential of its employees. Business and people development consulting is cultivated through seminars, workshops, and executive retreats.