In his book, Psycho Cybernetics, Maxwell Maltz points out: You aren’t successful, you have experiences where you achieve success. If you add them up over time, you’ll eventually develop a self-image that you are successful.
This was an aha for me. The experiences in our life are real, not fictional. The Law of Attraction crowd says to visualize success, but Dr. Maltz would suggest that it is much more powerful to recollect success. The former is a fictional account, the latter is autobiograhpical.
I used this technique this week to bolster my confidence prior to a big talk in Dallas. I spoke at an event at the Gaylord Texan. The talk was for a group of very high performance sales managers and the bar was very high. There are many ways a speaker can psyche up for this talk, but I chose Dr. Maltz’ strategy.
Earlier this year, I gave a very successful talk for a few thousand people at the Gaylord Texan (see a clip from that talk). It led to a standing ovation, and received very very high marks. It was a success experience. Prior to my talk yesterday, I stopped by the Grand Ballroom where my March talk had taken place. I walked into the room, closed my eyes, and recollected the entire experience in cinematic detail. I remembered what I wore, the names of the people in the green room and most importantly the moment that I hit my stride during the presentation. It filled me with confidence that I could do it again for this group. The plan worked like a charm. When I walked into Grapevine B (my venue), I was filled with self-belief, which helped me hit my stride within the first few minutes.
Takeaway: Write down three times you achieved success. Spend a moment recollecting all the details, the players and map it out like the plot of a movie. Store it in your mind for future use in a stressful or challenging situation. As you go along, make sure and notice these moments of success and diary them whenever possible. These success experiences can give you a boost, like rocket fuel. I’ll never go into a challenging situation again cold, as if I’ve never been there before and don’t know where it will lead.
Check out Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz