Visualization

Driving Lessons

My progress was slow after a couple of driving lessons. My driving instructor was simply unimpressed. I was still slow at shifting the gear correctly and often got confused on which way to move the gear stick. I was not happy about that. I still had more driving lessons to take though. For the sake of not embarrassing myself once again in front of the driving instructor, I decided to work on my gear shifting skills before the time for the following driving lesson came.

Visualizing

The interesting thing was that I had decided to practice gear shifting through visualization and not by actually getting into the car, holding the gear stick and moving it while holding down the clutch with my left foot. I had not heard before about visualization being used in practicing driving. Maybe it was, but I simply had never heard about it. I told myself to just give it a try and see the results. I did not expect much but thought to just give it a try.

Stunning Progress

Time for my following driving lesson came. I was stunned by my performance. I was able to make gear shifts rapidly and correctly without any hesitation or mistakes! I managed to surprise myself and my driving instructor who was impressed after having almost lost hope due to my poor performance and slow progress during the preceding driving lessons.

Visualization Technique

The way I had been practicing driving just before that lesson was by closing my eyes, imagining that my right hand was holding the gear stick and giving myself instructions on which gear to shift to by simply giving myself a number. So for instance I said to myself “first” and started to visualize myself moving my right hand while holding the gear stick to the place for the first gear. Then I said to myself “second” and visualized myself shifting the gear stick to the position of the second gear. Then I said “first” then “second” then “third” then “second” and so on each time visualizing myself making a gear shift. I did all that while closing my eyes in the comfort and safety of my own home. The results of such practice far exceeded my expectations as I have mentioned above.

Training of Trainers

Visualization can also be used by a trainer to prepare for a training session before actually delivering it. This technique can be used by experienced as well as novice trainers alike. It can be used more thoroughly by novice trainers though to help them overcome their fear of facing a live audience. The beauty of such technique is that it allows you to practice in a protected safe environment. Any mistakes you will make will not have negative consequences. This very concept of zero negative consequences gives you the courage and confidence to go in full force and perform superbly well during visualization. When the time comes for the real thing you feel as if you have done it before while in fact you had only been visualizing doing it.

Doing Vs. Visualizing

It makes almost no difference to the brain whether you are actually doing something or visualizing doing it. For the brain, the two have the same effect. Let’s say someone remembers a sad incident. This memory might cause him to cry. Or someone thinks about the negative possibilities of something bad happening, this can cause his whole physical body to be disturbed. A person who is afraid from heights might experience strong negative signs in his physical body just by visualizing himself getting close to the edge of a high building and falling. the physical body reacts to all such visualizations in a similar fashion to its reaction to them had they been actually happening in real life.

Your Turn

Visualization is a very powerful technique that can be used to practice just about almost anything within a comfortable, protected and safe environment. So next time you are working on improving a skill why not try having part of your practice in the form of visualization? You might just surprise yourself with the results in the same way I have during the time I was taking driving lessons.

Have you ever tried to practice something through visualization? If so, tell use about it.

Overcoming Novice Trainer Fear of Facing a Live Audience

Trainer Fear

One of the biggest obstacles a new trainer faces is overcoming his or her shyness and fear of facing a live audience and standing in front of trainees to handle and manage a training session. Usually a person who faces such a challenge in an extreme way, to the extent that it prevents him or her completely from being able to take the move and stand in front of an audience, usually such a person is afraid that he or she might make a mistake.

Negative Ideas

All sorts of negative ideas jump in his or her mind such as that he will be asked a difficult question that he will not be able to answer or that one of the trainees would make a disruptive behavior or that the trainees would break out of control completely or any other extreme negative thoughts.

Mistakes are OK

The first step to solve this issue is to understand and fully believe that it is totally OK for a trainer, be he novice or experienced, to make mistakes during training. The trick is to be able to act in a confident way even in case of making a mistake. The knowledge of this idea and the belief in it puts down a huge burden from the shoulders of such would-be trainers and provides them with a great deal of calmness.

Difficult Situations

Being aware of the various difficult situations a trainer might be facing, such as the ones mentioned above, and learning how to deal with them also makes the new trainer more confident in entering the training room and carrying out the training.

Visualization

After changing the flawed belief that a professional trainer never makes mistakes during training, an additional technique to build trainer confidence is through visualization. One day before delivering the training session the trainer can start visualizing himself or herself actually delivering the training session, answering trainee questions, dealing with difficult participants and speaking in front of the audience with confidence. When the actual time for the real session comes, the trainer will find himself full of confidence and will be able to deliver the training well.

Practicing

Practice makes perfect. The more the novice trainer attempts to practice facing a live audience the better he would become and the more confident he will be. He can start first with facing people he knows well and facing small groups then building up to larger groups of total strangers. Using this protected environment approach can help the novice trainer overcome his fears and gain the needed confidence to face a live audience.

Controlled Anxiety

Finally, the novice trainer should understand that it is totally OK to feel some anxiety and nervousness prior to delivering a training session in particular if he is about to deliver it to a new audience at a new place and the training course is a new course that he is delivering for the first time.

This never means that such a trainer is not competent. The only important thing is that the trainer in such a case is able to keep such anxiety internal and not make it show to the outside audience.

Conclusion

By understanding that it is OK for a trainer to make mistakes during the training or feel anxious prior to the training and by using visualization a novice trainer can learn how to overcome his or her shyness and fear of facing a live audience.

What is the most difficult situation you can imagine facing during a training session?