Managing Disrupting Emotions and the Power of Visualization

When Lou Holtz coached Notre Dame from 1986 to 1996, he led the 1988 team to a 12-0 record with a victory in the Fiesta Bowl, and a consensus National Championship.

One of the unique practices he would do with the team the Friday night before a big game was visualization. The team would gather for dinner and then meet in a large hotel conference room or on-campus gym. Holtz would have players lay on the floor, with the lights dimmed, and he’d walk them through “in their mind’s eye,” a series of successful, winning scenarios. He challenged his team to visualize jaw-dropping tackles, spectacular runs, diving catches, and successful goal-line stops.

For over a decade now, I’ve practiced visualization for success. It’s not mystical, it’s simply walking through, in my “mind’s eye,” a desired outcome for leadership moments:

  • Successful sales presentations
  • Completing a dynamic keynote presentation
  • Focused and energized coaching sessions
I’ve learned that every performance and key leadership moment can be rehearsed and visualized with clarity. Most games are won before the team competes. The question is:
  1. Who is most prepared?
  2. Who brings passion for each play?
  3. Who has visualized their success in advance?
This list of disruptive emotions is long and can sabotage sales professionals and personal leaders. Here are a few examples:
  • Fear of failure
  • Anger
  • Uncertainty
  • Insecurity
  • Impatience
  • Anxiousness
Don’t let disruptive emotions derail key moments, cloud your situational awareness, or cause misjudgments and overconfidence.

The key is practicing positive visualization! Take 5-10 minutes to pre-program your subconscious brain. When you visualize success, you teach your mind to act in a way that is congruent with actualizing that success:

  • Slow down
  • Focus your breathing
  • In your “mind’s eye,” go step-by-step through each key part of your event
  • Focus on how it feels
  • Imagine yourself succeeding and winning
Remember, emotions have power and you can control and manage emotions to serve your desired outcomes! This week, try focusing on the power of visualization as part of your preparation for success.
Here’s to visualizing your new success!
— Steve

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

To book Steve today, contact Michelle Joyce!
(For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching.)

“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.