Thursday, November 15, 2007

Power of Visualisation


It was a near death experience. A couple of years ago we were returning from Los Angeles. I was on the driver’s seat driving my corolla with 5 people in the car including my 2 year old daughter. The sunlight is very strong during summers in California and many would agree with me that driving on a highway for long hours is quite exhausting especially when we are traveling with kids. My eyes were getting dilated because of the blazing sunlight. I started speeding up and exceeded the speed limit beyond the capacity of a car like corolla, why? Well that’s another story altogether. And suddenly I found myself parked at the top of a hill right at the edge, my car almost completely smashed from where all I could see was nothing as nothing really was there after that; no reference point, we were just steps away from falling into that ditch which must have been around 1000ft deep. What happened I didn’t know. I was told later on that my car went on to a rough patch and at that high speed I kind of lost control and got hit by a trailer truck. My car went off balance and in the state of nervousness instead of slamming on my break pedal, I started accelerating further. I very faintly remember hearing some sounds yelling break, break, break……… and somehow the car stopped with a jolt. I kept looking at my daughter if she was ok…………..

That incident had shaken me up so bad that for a long time to come driving had become almost impossible for me; in fact sitting in the car with any other driver would also bother me if I saw a truck in the next lane. I, however, tried to hide it from everybody as I was ashamed to admit the fact. I would try and avoid the lane next to a truck and would try and go to the farthest lane possible. My husband would understand what was going on why I am suddenly changing lane but he would pretend not to acknowledge that ………. Once we were returning from Niagara after a vacation trip and I insisted that it’s ok for me to drive, I can do this I told my husband. The long highways typically have only 2 lanes. He tried to warn me but gave up ……….I was doing fine until I saw that killer truck (I used to call it in my mind) to my right lane. I started pulling back and slowed down way too much, there was a huge line of cars tailgating angrily behind me, and some of them even honked. I was nervous, I wanted to speed up pass the truck and then change lanes to give them a pass. But I couldn’t. I was sweating all over. Howsoever I tried doing that, that image of getting hit by that truck kept flashing in front of my eyes…….

I reached home completely distraught and embarrassed. Why was it so hard for me to do that? I kept wondering. I have read zillions of books on how to overcome fear how to be calm and composed and be positive even in the worst of circumstances, then why did I forget them? Why is fear overpowering me so much that I am getting almost paralyzed on the road while driving? I have read Deepak Chopra talking about the power of Visualization, seen Barbara Streisand talk on TV that our visualization is very powerful. And Anthony Robins, Robin Sharma and many more ………. then still why am I not being able to implement that? All my knowledge and reading is false if I am not able to put that into practice.
I decided to make a change. I would overcome my fear through the power of visualization. Every night before going to bed I visualized myself passing the trucks without any fear. I did that for quite some time. The result was not dramatic though. I didn’t see that happening for quite sometime but I didn’t give up. I practiced that everyday. I spoke in a different language to myself. Instead of saying “no it’s not hard to do that” I said “yes I can do this”. I didn’t realize when it became a part of me coz one day I had to reach for an appointment and was kind of rushing as it was rush hour too and changed lanes a few times as there were some slow drivers in front me :) and didn’t realize when and how I passed so many trucks on my way without that thought even occurring to me. It was while coming back when I noticed myself trying to pass a truck I looked back and said to myself, “did I just do that”?

It was the Power of Visualization and the kind of language I spoke to myself that made all the difference………………….
Nothing is out there, its all in our mind and how and what we speak to ourselves………………..

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Never thought this way...

Rahul Tripathy said...

Books can only show you the way. It is only for you to walk the path detailed in those books, and so you did... Bravo!!!

I am a road trip enthusiast. I dont know when or where I picked up the passion for asphalt, but what i do know is that I am the kind of person who needs to make a road trip once a month. Thus far I have been lucky, for my work allows me to take my car along wherever I go - Mumbai to Delhi, or Delhi to Bokaro, etc. However, I have been through a similar incident and can understand the trauma related to it. For me it was a pride shattering experience. Amongst all my friends, I am considered to be the best driver. Although I did not have problem overtaking a truck after the incident, I was baffled by the breach of perfection in driving. Then I realized that we are only humans.

And as Jim Morrison said - Keep you eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel....

Drive Safe.

Rahul Tripathy said...

dear anonymous

thats what perspective is...

regards

Anonymous said...

A real power of mind over fear........BRAVO!!!
Ujjwala

Jyoti said...

Thank you all for your great comments!
Rahul, since you travel a lot especially long distance, I would like to share with you what I learnt at my class that I attended after that incident. The instructor gave us a presentation which showed that even by speeding up too much, maximum time that you are saving is 5-10 minutes.

Well, road rage is a common factor in the US. Behind the wheels we are all a different person.......
Our goal to be on the road is to reach from point A to B (he said)not anything else........once we remember this it'll be a lot easier to not get into any road rage........

As for the power of Visualization , it has been proved it's impact on human brains scientificallly. I have heard that before any tournament the players have been asked to visualize the winning in their head and be convinced that it's happening......

What Barbara Streisand said once on an oprah Winfrey show was, that she went to a hotel once where she wished that the flowers that were kept outside her room would turn into a color she liked. She called up Deepak chopra and he advised her to wish really strongly and be convinced in her head that it's happening.And guess what she woke up in the morning and the colors of the flowers had changed....

Well I'll leave that one for your judgment.........

Sourabh said...

a great idea of posting a video on road safety alongwith ur article ....good thought...