YOU CAN SET GOALS
We visualise our goal to motivate us to action. However, the neuroscience says that we should visualise the desired outcome, and then, somewhat counter-intuitively, imagine the present reality and the obstacles standing in the way of achieving the goal. Research by Oettingen et al, shows the process strengthens links between future and reality (the obstacle), and between the reality and means to overcome the obstacles.
This is called Mental Contrasting. This differs from negative self-talk as it is a deliberate positive process.
In fact, just visualising the desired future reduces the motivation to perform, the subconscious believing it has achieved the goal. Mental Contrasting provides the energy to take action. When taught as a strategy to middle managers MC led to better decision making.
BUT MC only works with high expectations of success. If high, MC helps you learn from negative feedback and form constructive plans, to “own the pain”. If expectations are low the goal will be adjusted, postponed or dropped. This can be good, as it frees resources to focus on achievable goals. However, progress towards a goal can strengthen belief and increase expectations.
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*Image by Glen Carrie on Unsplash
Copyright © Chris Christoff 2016. All rights reserved
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