This technique is a powerful technique to calm the emotional subconscious brain and to build positive expectations, especially for 'one-off' situations like potentially difficult meetings or presentations. You can use this technique at any time when you are relaxed – first thing in the morning before you get up is often a good time. You don’t need to go into very deep relaxation, although you can.
The first thing is to create in your mind’s eye, an image – a picture – of you as you go into the situation you are uneasy about. This picture is called 'The Moment of Anxiety' – or choose another description. Try to make it as vivid, detailed, bright and sharp as you can. You can really try to get the sense of being there in terms of everything you can see: people, the room, the colours and shapes, and also the sounds, smells and things you can touch. When that image is really vivid, just put it to one side of your mind for a minute – you can come back to it later.
You can then imagine another picture – this time of you when you have dealt with the situation successfully – when it’s all gone really well. Again, try to make it as vivid, detailed, bright and sharp as possible in your mind’s eye. Detailing everything you can see, hear, smell and touch. This picture is called ‘The Moment of Achievement’ or whatever else you choose to call it. You are leaving the situation; you are looking really good. It has gone really well – you’ve done your best, and overall, you have enjoyed it. Just see the look on your face – you shine with success – you’re enjoying that real sense of achievement. When the image is really vivid, just put it to one side of your mind for now – again, you can come back to it later.
You can now have both pictures in your mind but in different ways. The first picture, ‘The Moment of Anxiety’ in full colour and brilliantly lit – filling the whole of your mind’s eye except for one small corner where, tucked in, is the second picture, 'The Moment of Achievement' – it’s a small picture, it’s black and white and dull.
Now just rapidly switch the pictures over (the switch has given this technique the nickname of 'swish' – you can even say 'swish' out loud or in your head as you make the switch). The small, dull picture becoming large; the large picture becoming small; the small picture coming into full colour; the large dulling to black and white; the small one becoming brilliantly lit with really vivid colours; the large one becoming smaller, dull, and black and white. Allow yourself to really enjoy the feelings that you can see on your face in the large brightly lit vivid picture of ‘The Moment of Achievement’ for a few moments.
And again, just taking the first picture, 'The Moment of Anxiety' in full vivid colour, brilliantly lit, filling the whole of your mind’s eye but for one corner where, tucked in, like a snapshot tucked into the frame of a large picture, there is a small, dull, black-and-white picture – this is the second picture – 'The Moment of Achievement'. Just pause for a moment to see the pictures in that way.
Now switch over again – the small, dull picture becoming large; the large picture becoming small; the small picture coming into full colour; the large dulling to black and white; the small one becoming brilliantly lit with really vivid colours; the large one becoming smaller, dull, and black and white.
This should be repeated at least 15 times until ‘The Moment of Achievement’ automatically becomes the dominant, vivid picture instantly or you find that you just can’t bring ‘The Moment of Anxiety’ picture to mind at all.