Benefits of visualization
"The best place to begin facing fear and uncertainty is in our minds: often we have deep fears in our subconscious about change, and these fears can keep us from growing into the next scary, uncertain phase of a project or life change. Dr. Catherine Collaut writes about the power of unconscious fears and anxieties, and how we must “dissipate the tension between our conscious goals and desires and the subconscious fears and beliefs that create resistance.” In other words, by taking the time to imagine our future stories, we can become more comfortable with, and less scared of, the outcomes.
Visualizing is so important that it’s been proven to change behaviors even when people don’t actively change anything except their mental stories. In a famous basketball study, players were divided into groups that visualized perfect free throws, a second group that practiced their shots, and a placebo group that did nothing. At the end of the study, the players that visualized their perfect throws improved almost as much as the group that practiced—without ever touching a basketball. It’s a practice used by Steve Nash, the all-time leading free-throw shooter in NBA history. (Note that the players weren’t just visualizing being winners, but the specific steps and actions it takes to perfect the free-throw shot, a crucial distinction.) “