By Dan Friedman, Psy.D., M.B.A.
Faculty Member, College of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
Argosy University, Online Programs
With NCAA March Madness upon us, I thought it a fitting time to venture into the blog world for the first time. Sure, I do some tweeting on occasion, but those tweets are usually only a line or two of my own writing. Other times, I use Twitter to share a story I read or some piece of visual inspiration. A blog is a new world to me, and it comes with a significant, but not overwhelming, amount of anxiety.
Significant but not overwhelming is the way that some athletes describe their stress level prior to or during competitions—not enough distress to cause a total breakdown but enough stress to stay out of the area considered optimal for performance and execution.
After days—well weeks—of ideas not making their way to paper (or the computer screen actually), I happened to watch a few buzzer beaters during the NCAA Basketball tournament. It clicked for me. Rather than focusing on the start of blogging or the content of this blog post, I should focus on the reward of the blog post—the feeling of completion, or, in essence, the achievement of victory. This focus on the end result might make me more likely to succeed.
Current research indicates that outcome visualization in certain situations can improve physical and psychological reactions. Creating an image of success lends itself to actual success. It boosts confidence and gives us a feeling of increased control over ambiguous situations in which we are attempting in some way to control future events.
While creating this post, I went beyond thinking about my own success. I imagined that if I wrote this post eloquently then you, the readers, would also begin utilizing the technique of outcome visualization to help you achieve personal victories in your lives.
I hope to see you atop the podium!