The world-renowned boxer Mohammed Ali once famously said: “I said I was the greatest, before I knew I was”.
Visualisation is an important tool in the goal-achieving process. When you visualise something, you are more likely to get it done. Athletes, particularly marathon runners, are often asked by their trainers to picture the end result – the finish line – to help them achieve their target. Marathon runner Mark Plaatjees did this during his training for the World Championships in 1993, a process that helped him take home the gold medal.
While visualisation is key, telling those around you about your goal can also help you achieve it. How so? Not only will your peers encourage you, but from time to time they will ask about your progress or maybe introduce you to others who could help you achieve your dreams.
Let me give you an example. I’ve always wanted to do a food intolerance test to see if my body was reacting to anything. The results listed numerous foods I had to cut out from my diet for three to six months to adjust my system. Initially, I thought it was going to be one of the toughest challenges of my life as it included most of my favourite foods. How could I avoid these for a three-month period?
The solution was to tell my friends and colleagues I had taken the test. On hearing my story, a couple of my friends did the test themselves and they too abstained from certain foods during the time period. Whenever I thought I was going to crack and go back to my old habits, they helped me stay on track, and vice versa. Soon enough, three months had passed and we were introducing the excluded foods back into our diets again.
Believe it or not, business is not so different. When I was writing my book, I often told my friends and colleagues about the process. In fact, I think I told everyone about it. So how did that help me? Well, it meant I was introduced to someone in e-book publishing, who told me everything I needed to know about it. I was also linked up with a publishing house in the UAE, had a great book cover designer and even had readers signed up to buy a copy before it hit the shelves. And by being so vocal about the project, it encouraged me not to slack off, and actually finish writing the book. After all, I knew a lot of people were eager to read what I had written.
When you plan to start a new business or project, tell your friends, colleagues, and everyone you know about it. Don’t share all your details if your idea is original and something you want to protect. Simply stating that you are on to something is enough.
There might be some who will try to discourage you. Do not listen to them. Instead, focus on the end goal. Mention the project at networking events, parties, at work or wherever it is relevant. Tell those you share the news with that you are at stage X and are looking into Y and Z. You never know where such a conversation could lead – you could achieve your goals faster or go off in an entirely different direction that could benefit your business even more.
Consider joining a support group, or a club for start-up entrepreneurs, which could help make your business idea come to fruition. The goal is to be in that state of mind, and to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who can help you achieve your goal. When you feel discouraged or have your doubts, speak to fellow entrepreneurs from your support group, or someone that you know can get you back on track again.
Once you start talking about something, it becomes real. Some things are not better left unsaid.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @manar_alhinai.
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