This is something I use a lot myself, especially before doing something important.
It is called visualization!
Self-confident individuals frequently visualize positive images of themselves; they tend to ”see” themselves as successful in a wide variety of activities. Athletes, clinical and medical practitioners, salespeople, students and entrepreneurs have all used visualization to prepare for a specific task, whether kicking a field goal or handling an emergency situation. There are countless explanations as to why visualization and mental imagery enhance performance. One is that they allow individuals to create a metal model of perfect performance that shows what ideal execution looks like. The individuals can then use this to converts model to guide performance. Another is that visualization reduces performance anxiety allowing the individual to successfully deal with unexpected or troublesome situations.
What neuroscience has to say?
Most important explanation comes from some new research in neuroscience that found that when humans mentally rehearse a physical action they execute the same neural operations that are used during the actual performance. In other words, the same neural pathways are recruited and the same neurochemicals are secreted when we visualize doing something as when we engage in the actual activity.
A Study To Prove It…
In one interesting study, two groups worked with a finger muscle exercise for one month. One group actually did the finger strengthening exercises while the other group just visualized doing the same exercise. At then end of the month, the group who had actually engaged in the exercise increased muscle function by 32%. While the other group who only visualized doing the activity increased their muscle strength by 24%. What this study points to is a way to access a phenomenon called the ‘winning effect’ without stepping onto the field or into the meeting room.
The ‘Winning Effect’…
Multiple studies have shown that when we experience a victory or what we perceive to be a victory, no matter how small, the probability that we will win the next contest or game goes up significantly.
When humans or animals win or perceive that they have won a competition of any sort, they experience an increase in testosterone. And testosterone helps us under pressure as it increases our motivation and risk taking behaviour. In result making us more confident. Then that feeling of confidence contributes to our ability to win the next match or competition. This is called the winning effect!
If you learn to apply this properly, it could change everything! Just practise it. The next time you have a meeting or a competition, Imagine it all and visualize how you will do it. Then the same neurons will help you when you are doing it for real!