The Theatre of Your Mind

“Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose.~Bo Bennett”

I recently started taking some yoga classes.  Yah, I know–I couldn’t believe either.
As I have gotten older and become more sedentary, I have really noticed that my flexibility is deteriorating.

Yoga has been fantastic for improving my flexibility, but there has been an added benefit that I wasn’t expecting.  It has reminded me of the importance of a strong mindset.

Through out the poses, there are times when it is very painful and uncomfortable and I want to quit.

At times, I find my self finding ‘justifications’ and reasons, to stop.

I start to have a conversation in my head and even get mad– angry at the instructor, angry at the situation, angry that it is not “Easy”.

It’s a great metaphor for life.

There are many times when we want to quit or not do something because it is uncomfortable or scary. We make excuses why it is ok to take the easy road and sometimes we find comfort in blaming others.

How I overcome this is by interrupting that conversation immediately and instantly!!

I immediately change the meaning.  

Here’s how I do it:  I use a technique called ‘theater of the mind’.  Theater of the mind is a self-hypnosis technique that allows you to create a movie in your own mind.

As Tony Robbins says, “the only reason you don’t have the things that you say you want in life, is because of the story that you tell yourself about why can’t have it.”

Read that again.  Understand it.  Do something about it.  Watch your life change.

What is a movie?  Isn’t it really just a story played out in pictures and sound on the screen?  We have movies constantly playing in our mind.

When you use ‘theater of the mind’ technique, you become the director.  You get to decide the storyline, the emotions and even the ending of the story in your mind.

Here’s how: close your eyes and you image that you are sitting in a movie theater as if you are in the audience.

Try to make it as realistic and vivid as possible, noticing every detail you can.  The size of the screen.

Is there a stage?

How many rows are in front of you?

Are you sitting in the front row?

The back row?

Is it dark?

Imagine the details of what you might wear as the “goal you.” What are the details of the scenery around you?

Is there anyone else in the picture? If so, what do they look like? Provide details such as their clothing, facial expression, or anything else that makes them stand out.

On the screen you envision YOU as the main character–we’ll call this character the ‘goal you’.  You create the scene the way you would like to see it go.

For example, when I am in yoga and I am struggling, I visualize myself sitting in the theater watching myself do the pose the best I can.

I see my character as LOVING the uncomfortableness.  My character says to himself that the “pain is just weakness leaving my body”.

I see myself (the goal me) becoming stronger and stronger and eventually being able to do it perfectly.

I see the instructor congratulating him and see him experiencing the emotion of feeling proud that he pushed through.

This technique is something I use every time I speak.  And you can too.

Next time before your talk or before you film a video, imagine yourself in your theater watching you on the screen.

Watch yourself delivering every word perfectly.  See yourself standing tall, proud and confident.  Imagine the audience participating fully, cheering and then giving you a standing ovation.

Then, if you want to take it even one step further, rehearse the same scenario as if you are you (the goal you) on the screen looking out into the audience.

Become your ‘goal you’.  So instead of watching you on the screen, become you on the screen.  What would you see if you were actually doing what the ‘goal you’ is doing?

Repeat this process as needed.

We has humans are always visualizing, trancing and running scenarios through our heads.

Once you begin to be able to influence those scenarios, you will begin to experience different emotions and therefore different outcomes.

Add this technique to your arsenal.  Use it on your journey for self-mastery and watch as you experience more self control, self-esteem and confidence.

Your performance and efficiency will increase exponentially as well.

To increasing your influence.

Jeff

P.s.- Please comment below.  Tell me what you think and please share or forward.

7 Comments

  1. Metsavend on June 9, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    I used this technique when I was at school.  From age 8 to 13 I had always been a very poor student and was in trouble frequently for fooling around in the classroom.  One day I was threatened with expulsion from my English boarding school and realised just how much shame that would bring to my family.

    So, without even realising what I was doing at the time I started visualizing myself arriving to class on time, completeing all my homework (prep) on time and to the best of my ability.  I did this throughout the entire summer holiday (10 weeks) and once I got back to school I had the opportunity to see what would have changed.

    Well, I did go to all my classes on time, did everything I could to the best of my ability, deliberately sat at the front of the classroom and kept myself out of trouble.  One day, a teacher who had hated my guts the year before came up to me and said "Gary, you have changed beyond all recognition…".  This gave me the impetus I needed to carry on.  I started visualizing myself collecting academic prizes at the end of the year and sure enough that started happening.  

    Four years later I graduated from high school with 10 GCSEs (7 As, 3 Bs) and three A Levels (Chemistry A, Physics B, and Biology B).  It was the difference between night and day.

    This technique works better than anything I have ever tried, but the key is consistency.  It has to be used every day, for at least a month, before the new neural connections are bedded down in your brain.  The best place to learn about it is Maxwell Maltz's 1961 book "Psycho Cybernetics".

    • Jeff Paro on July 2, 2013 at 11:27 am

      That is truly an amazing story! and I agree consistency is a HUGE part of it.

  2. thomas daniels on December 19, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for the post,I have read the book many times and i think it is a classic.

    Whats your take on Matt Furey version of it?

    Thanks again,really enjoyed the post!!

    • Jeff Paro on December 19, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Thomas,
      I haven’t read his version. What’s your take on it?

  3. anestis on October 12, 2017 at 8:44 am

    what if i imagine myself in first person and not like seeing it in a movie theater because its easier for me is that wrong ?

    • Jeff Paro on October 12, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Not at all, in fact, you should try and do it in First and Third person.

  4. Adriene on January 25, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Thank you for your article, it is a good vusualizatiin reminder. I learned this technique from Rev Ike and it works.

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