In sport, the performing arts and business, focus is essential, but what exactly is focus? Focus is a quick form of mental preparation. To use it, simply lock your mind on to the picture of the outcome you want.

Do it before you give a business presentation, before you pick up the phone, before you meet a customer, before you attend a social event, before you write a proposal, before you chair a meeting, before an interview or counselling session. Learn to lock your mind on the desired outcome. Imagine that you are one minute after the successful completion of whatever it is you want to achieve. How do you feel? What do you see?

The ultimate morning preparation

The more powerful the mental rehearsal, the greater the confidence you will experience. One useful technique comes from Indian billionaire businessman Dadi Balsara – his advice – stare in the mirror each morning for 30 seconds and convince yourself that you can achieve whatever you wish for that day.

Mental rehearsal works

Here’s an example – Lucy was an experienced and successful trainer for a fast-growing management consultancy, but she always felt nervous before talking to a group. Her organisation asked her to address the national conference. She was terrified and her nerves were a real jangle. She planned and rehearsed over and over what she wanted to say and was convinced it was perfect for the audience, but she was distressed by the thought that her nerves would ruin her performance on the day.

Her manager told her to visualise the desired outcome. Hold a picture of the audience applauding, of people coming up afterwards and congratulating you. Picture yourself relaxed and on your best form.

It worked. She got great reviews and really enjoyed it. She is now highly sought after as a conference speaker, work that she enjoys more than almost anything else she does.

Visualisation is like filing a light plan. Having the right expectations, the right picture of what you want to achieve before you start the journey, is essential if you are going to reach the planned destination on schedule.

Whatever you want to achieve, see it first. Think about it every day. Make sure it’s the first thing on your mind when you wake up and the last thought you have at night when you go to sleep.

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