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Mental Dress Rehearsal: Let’s Pretend!

Mental Dress Rehearsal

Remember when you were a kid and you would play pretend with your friends? One day you’d pretend to be a teacher; the next, a beauty queen.

Using your imagination and playing make-believe is important for a child’s development, and it helps them explore their different passions long before adult responsibilities come into their lives.

Well, I’ve got a secret—I still play pretend nearly every day!

I lost all my baby teeth long ago, so why am I still acting like a little kid? It’s not the same kind of pretend that I used to do (I’m not wearing a tiara and feather boa), but my imagination is still helping me figure out what I want in my future.

It’s called mental dress rehearsal. Just like actors in a play will do a complete dress rehearsal with all their costumes and props before the real performance, a mental dress rehearsal is when you go through in your mind exactly how you want a certain situation to turn out.

Do you have a job interview? How do you want it to go?

Are you meeting with your child’s teacher? What do you want to hear?

Do you have a date? What are you hoping for?

I do a mental dress rehearsal in the morning before I begin my work day, and you should try it too! It starts me thinking of all the tasks I want to accomplish, who I want to hear from, and how I want to feel as I do my work.

What is it you want to happen today? Really think about what YOU want; don’t focus on how likely or unlikely that outcome is.

Once you pinpoint exactly what you want to happen, close your eyes are visualize yourself going about your day. Imagine getting in the car, driving where you need to go, opening the door to the building.

Get as detailed as you can and really feel it. How heavy is the door? What does the environment smell like?

Next, visualize the part of your day you are most concerned about. How does your body feel? Are you standing upright and feeling confident?

Imagine that you get your desired outcome. What would your boss or someone else say? Feel the emotion of the situation inside you.

Smile! Let the happy feelings fill you up. Everything is going to work out perfectly!

A mental dress rehearsal should only take a few minutes, but the good feelings will last all day.

When I’m done with my mental dress rehearsal, I feel more confident about what I need to do. And best of all, I feel like my desired outcome is likely to occur—I can already feel it!

By running through your day in your mind and feeling the emotions from a positive outcome, you set yourself up for success before your day has even begun.

Your imagination has no limits, so go on and play pretend!

Who do you want to be today?

“It takes a lot of rehearsing for a man to be himself.” William Saroyan. Tweet this!

Have you done a mental dress rehearsal before a big event?

15 Comments

  1. Erica {let why lead} on September 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Sage! What a great concept. It reminds me of visualization in sports. I don’t know why I’ve never thought to do it before, but I’m totally going to! Thanks so much!



  2. Marlen on January 22, 2013 at 10:46 am

    That’s a pretty cool idea, that way you can handle curve
    balls a little better and really get stuff accomplished during the day.

    Xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin



    • Sage Grayson on January 22, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Hi Marlen! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Visualizing my day before it happens helps me prepare for all those little unexpected things that pop up (and they always do!).



  3. Emily_Joyce on January 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I do visualize situations that make me anxious. I try to be as detailed as possible, and I walk through the whole thing in my head. It really helps, usually afterwards, the actual situation isn’t nearly as scary, because I feel like I’ve kind of already done it!



    • Sage Grayson on January 22, 2013 at 11:16 am

      That’s exactly how I feel! Things don’t seem so scary anymore when you visualize everything working out fine ahead of time.



  4. Tinfoil Tiaras on January 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve read that the visualization technique works for your fears as well. Im scared of flying so I should visualize the whole process from security, to checking in etc. I like the idea of a positive dress rehearsal for the day.



    • Sage Grayson on January 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      That’s a perfect way to use a mental dress rehearsal! Lots of people are scared of flying, so it makes sense to visualize everything working out OK. And maybe visualize an upgrade to first class too? 🙂



  5. Ashley | Domestic Fashionista on January 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Love it! Dress up for adults! I always like to plan ahead combined with my introverted inner thinking…I often plan ahead in my mind and you are right–it does make a difference in preparing you for your day!



    • Sage Grayson on January 21, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Hey Ashley! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 I totally feel better when I visualize everything going right in my head before the day starts. It’s such a little thing, but it goes a long way in making me feel more prepared.



  6. Molly on January 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I do this all the time. I’m pretty introverted, so it’s very helpful for me in certain situations. Especially when other people who tend to take over conversations are involved.

    As always, more great advice! 🙂



    • Sage Grayson on January 21, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      That’s a good one–mentally preparing for conversations. There’s always someone who tries to take over the conversation, right? Maybe preparing a few lines to steer the conversation away from the over-sharer.



  7. xvavaveganx on January 21, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I love this idea! You are totally feeding into my Virgo/Type A personality too 😉 THe more I can plan the better, and if it involves imagination and creativity it’s that much better! I think I have two polar opposite aspects to my personality and this is a great way to bring them together to finally work together rather than stress me out 😉



    • Sage Grayson on January 21, 2013 at 11:33 am

      I’m such a planner too (I don’t always follow through, though!). I really feel better when I visualize everything working out.



  8. Kate on January 21, 2013 at 4:56 am

    great suggestions! I find my self telling my kids to do this alot when it comes to social situations. hey, practice makes perfect right!



    • Sage Grayson on January 21, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Absolutely! I feel better when I go over all the possible scenarios in my head before I get somewhere or have to do something. I like to be extra prepared.