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Visualising Your Career and How to Stick to your Vision
Once you have created your affirmation based on your goal, you then need to visualise it as if it is happening and you are already there. The process for visualising your career is aimed at creating ‘structural tension’ in your mind. Advertisers know this process well as they attempt to create aspirations in your mind. We will use this more positively by understanding the impact of visualisation and your career.
How Visualising your Career Works
When agencies advertise a new car, they put you behind the wheel as if you were driving it – they create a vision and a desire. When you return to your own car, you notice that it is not like the one in the advert. That creates structural tension between your vision (the new car) and the reality (your car). We can use exactly the same techniques positively to help us get to where we want to be.
After years of training this technique to thousands of people, I absolutely understand that this will make some of you uncomfortable. It is easier not to do this. Be warned that when you get this right, it is one of the most powerful techniques you will ever use in business (and for personal life).
Being Truthful to Yourself
This process works on the basis that the mind will recognise when you are not being truthful to yourself. It will not allow you to perfectly imagine doing something that you are actually uncomfortable with. It will protect you. We need to know if you are being truthful with yourself. Do you really want this sort of job role, or is it something that you think you should want? There is a lot of difference between the two. Everyone influences us, but not always for the right reasons. You can usually count the people that you would trust, or should trust, on a single hand. Think about the following:
- We use terms like ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’, ‘the grass is greener on the other side’, and the like.
- These terms stem from the fact that we generally measure ourselves against other people. It is our point of reference.
- People therefore generally do not want other people they know to do too well because they will compare themselves to that person. It effects our self-esteem.
- You can even hear it in what they say. “Peter got that new job and doubled his salary. Lucky bleeder.” Lucky? Not the fact that Peter skilled himself for the role. Not the fact that Peter had planned that move all along and strategically worked his way into prime position. Instead, as a self-esteem coping mechanism, we put it down to luck.
A Heartfelt Personal Story
Let me just explain this further with a personal story:
I grew up on a Council estate, and my childhood friends lived in similar places. I am not trying to claim working class credentials, it is just how it was. It was not a great education, and after failing my exams (like most of my peers), I had choices to make about my life. I could just go and get a job, and factory work was the most likely option simply due to the geography of my area. Instead I chose a different option to my peers. I decided to self learn and sat in a room for a few years memorising the recommended texts for each subject. Hour after hour, day after day, month after month. Sure enough, I got my rewards with a bunch of O’Levels (I know, you can carbon date me now), and A’Levels. First degree was easy as I was very used to being self-learning. Second degree was slightly tougher simply because the University was top-end, and the course was the best in the UK for that subject. That stretched me and I learned how bright some people really were. Amazing!
I then did the Corporate thing. I was targeted as ‘talent’ and moved frequently within organisations and then to different organisations, and ended up as a HR Director. Then became self-employed. After initial failures, became successful and earned very well from this.
Following these 15 years, I went back to see my old friends. There were about 10 of them. I was determined not to talk about myself, and made sure I could still blend in (drop the acquired accent and no designer labels). These were old friends, and I really did not want to show off in any way. A strange thing happened. It upset me at the time, and shook my beliefs to the core.
Friends have the right to ask questions. Despite doing everything I could to disguise my career, they would wheedle it out of me. Once they realised what I was doing, 8 of the 10 rejected me. Sarcastic comments started. Subtle innuendoes. Justification of their lives without being asked to, or needing to. They were my friends after all. They basically left early with excuses, or simply did not return calls later. Two just treated me the same. One was a reserve Fireman and the other was unemployed and spent his day taking mild drugs. They didn’t measure themselves against me. To them I was the same old Anthony, and they freely talked about their own lives. They are still friends to this day. I have never seen the other 8. They measured their lives against mine and it hit their self-esteem. Were they really friends?
That is what I mean by ‘counting your true friends on one hand’. I have also seen this happening with extended families. Sisters being envious, in-laws squabbling for the most minor reasons, but get under the cover, and it is usually that fact that one has something the others doesn’t. I know it should not be that way, but it is just how our world is generally set-up. We are materialistic, and advertisers bombard us with information about what we should have.
How Other Work Against You
Try this to find out who is really on your side. Next time you see the job you want, and you tell your friends and family about it, watch what happens. There will be two camps:
Ever heard people say, “I am so close, I can taste it?” That’s the state of mind we need, and what visualising your career is all about. Because the mind cannot separate real events from vividly imagined events….
- The first camp will try to put doubts in your mind, but will disguise it based on your interest. They will say things like:
- “Will you not have to move? But what about your kids, they seem so settled where they are?”
- “Would you get the job? There are some really good people out there.”
- “Are you not taking a chance? What if it backfires? You won’t have a job to go back to.”
- “But what about your mortgage? Will you still be able to afford it?”
- The second, and probably smaller camp, will just support you. These are the friends and family you can trust. They will say things like:
- “That sounds excellent. You deserve it.”
- “Let me know if you need a bit of time to prepare. Just drop the kids off with me.”
- “Can I do anything to help?”
- “Looks like you might be buying most of the drinks in the future.”
- “Sounds really exciting. Tell me more about it.”
We need to counter these potential blocks that will just cast doubt in your mind. It is about you, your resilience, your determination, and your hunger. Ever heard people say, “I am so close, I can taste it?” That’s the state of mind we need, and what visualising your career is all about. Because the mind cannot separate real events from vividly imagined events (it is all a bunch of pictures to the mind), we can use our mind positively to help us. Can’t separate real from imagined events? Yes, and that’s why horror films scare you. It’s not real, it is just a bunch of pictures. That’s why if you are afraid of heights and you close your eyes and imagine being high up, you still get the same feelings as if you were actually up there. Get it?
Turning Doubts to our Advantage
Let’s turn this to our advantage. I want you to try the following with the job you want. Remember, you do not necessarily need to name the job. You can just think about the environment, the skills you are using, and the types of interactions with people or things. Now do the following exercise. If it works for you, start doing it frequently during the day, over and over again. Why? Because the mind works on fulfilling your needs, reinforcing your self-image, and achieving your goals. So let’s set the goal and then your mind will begin to problem solve how to get that job and spot information in the environment that will help you achieve it. The process for visualising your career is outlined below.
How to Visualise your Career
Use the following sequence:
1. Relax in a sitting position and empty your mind of the clutter from your day.
2. Taking your affirmation, begin to picture what it will look like when you are there in the affirmation. If:
- You are not in the picture, put yourself in
- The picture is distant, zoom in
- The picture is still, make it move
- The picture is black & white, then make it colour
3. Now listen to the sounds around you within the affirmation. There may be clapping, laughter, office noise, or whatever. If:
- The sounds are dull, then sharpen them;
- The sounds are low level, and then turn up the volume.
4. Finally, feel what it feels like when you are there in the vision and capture that moment.
Repeat this exercise time and time again to become hungry for what you want. By the way, you can use this for all sorts of things in life that you can control.
If you were unable to get a perfectly moving colour picture, or the sounds were distant and muffled, and you did not feel an uplift, you may need to adjust your affirmation. For more information on how this process works, read Career Dreaming here. If you want to know more about visualisation, here is an interesting article on sports visualisation.
If you are following our paths, we would suggest working through your Unique Selling Points or Personal Branding. You will find this here.
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