Some people talk about the value of visualisation when faced with a task that invokes feelings of nervousness or downright fear. You may be preparing to attend an interview, give a talk to an audience or do something else which is taking you way out of your personal comfort zone. Many people suggest you focus on a vision of completing the task faultlessly and don't let yourself picture the mistakes you could make. Imagine yourself giving the best speech the audience has ever heard. I recently read an alternative approach which I am going to try the next time I have a job interview.
An alternative approach is to have a zero/neutral expectation of your performance. The idea is to plan carefully for the event. Then don’t allow yourself to picture all the things that could go wrong. On the other hand don’t visualise yourself performing in a manner so brilliant it is unrealistic and unachievable.
The writer suggested the problem of visualising a faultless performance is you are putting too much pressure on yourself. You are more likely to approach the situation in a tense frame of mind. If you make a slip up during your speech or interview you may feel you have already failed. This may make it difficult for you to regain your focus and continue on.
Perfectionists who have visualised a ‘knock ‘em dead’ performance may become overly self conscious and critical of their performance at the time. Instead of focusing on answering questions or delivering their speech they may be measuring their performance every step of the way against the amazing one they visualised.
The ‘zero/neutral expectation’ approach encourages one to concentrate on what is happening at the particular moment and give it one’s best shot in a more relaxed manner. The important thing is to focus on what you are doing at the time rather than having an unrealistic vision of your performance.
There can still be a place for visualisation when preparing for something one is nervous about. Information about various types of visualisation to aid relaxation can be found on the internet or at your library.
Different approaches work for different people. It can be interesting to consider a variety of ways to do things and experiment to see what works for you.