Any type of performance can be improved through repeatedly visualizing success.
- Get into a comfortable position, in a distraction-free environment.
- Give yourself time to relax. Any way of getting relaxed is fine; progressive muscle relaxation or mediation are commonly used techniques.
- The visualization itself involves imaging how you would think, act and feel if you were already confident in the situation (eg. writing an exam). See yourself handling the situation as you will when you have overcome your anxiety. The best “script” is your personalized one.
See yourself in the room writing the exam…see yourself fully involved.. moving through your exam purposefully and with self assurance…feeling calm, comfortable and confident…handling tough questions well as you relate the material to your conceptual framework and the problem-solving skills you have been practicing…moving from question to question, doing the best you can…with calm, purposeful work…see yourself finishing the exam…feeling proud of yourself for having done the work…it feels great to have completed this exam…you are happy to have managed the exam so well…
- Be sure to include in your visualization: what you are doing; how you appear (body posture, facial expression); your inner feeling of calm, confidence and accomplishment. Your visualization needs to be reasonable and believable. Be detailed and specific. Use all your senses in creating the imagery. Image in the present tense; use “I” statements; avoid negatives; use positive affirmations.
- End your visualization with instructions for returning to an alert state of mind.
- You might want to create a tape recording of the relaxation instructions and your visualization script. Then you can follow it from start to finish without having to deliberately concentrate or call up details from memory. Practice relaxation and visualization as a regular part of your task preparation strategies.