Let me kick things off by defining the difference between healthy imagining and not-so-healthy imagining of future conversations.
When we are visualizing good things happening; conversations going our way, for example, we are focusing on a positive outcome. This is not to be confused with repeatedly imagining bad conversations and negative outcomes. The latter is something that psychotherapists refer to as ‘negative rehearsal’ and is a form of ruminating.
Ruminating is associated with anxiety, stress, and depression. So I just wanted to be clear about the difference. I am here to tell you why it is totally okay to imagine future conversations that go well.
Imagining things going well is a great way to help yourself. Focusing on, and even practicing for a great outcome can be a tool to prepare you for almost anything.
It gets you in the zone
I think we have all tried this for job interviews, am I right? And this is a great example of imagining future conversations to get you in the zone.
When you go into a job interview you want to feel ready for it. What is a better way than to wake up the right connections in your brain by going over the answers you plan to give a few times the night before?
This is also a good technique for the shyer among us when faced with a new social situation. Going to a social gathering? Try running over a few conversation starters in your mind. Get your brain warmed up for the challenge ahead.
It focuses your intent
You have probably heard of athletes mentally rehearsing their triumphant crossing of the finish line the night before a big race? There is a lot of evidence to suggest that this kind of visualization works wonders.
If you have an important conversation coming up with your boss or a client, why not try imagining that conversation going your way? See if it can boost your confidence or even enhance your performance.
Like attracts like
Whether or not you believe in the law of attraction, the idea that like attracts like, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to persuade me that it is worth thinking positively.
I do believe that we create our own luck. Professor Richard Wiseman’s book, The Luck Factor, is full of study results that show a clear trend; people who focus on positive outcomes receive them much more than those who focus on the negative. And vice versa.
It seems reasonable that if you put your energy into imagining a future conversation going well, you will go into that conversation for real with more positivity and a better attitude. So the outcome is likely to be better. Ergo, you create your own ‘good luck.’
If it feels good, do it
As long as imagining your future conversations is used as a tool to help you, rather than making you anxious or stressed, then it is absolutely okay and might even give you an advantage in your future conversations. And you know what? Nobody needs to know you are doing it either.
Have you ever tried imagining or visualizing a positive outcome and had a great result? Let me know in the comments.