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