What images to you have when doing something you dread? Can we change these images to improve performance? Visualization is incredibly important as it has a powerful effect on our actual performance. I often use visualization, or imagery, when working with students to help reduce nerves in anxiety provoking situations such as examinations. What I have found is that students frequently use visualisation but in the wrong way! They repeatedly imagine themselves doing terribly, or not being able to answer difficult questions. Whatever we imagine our brain responds to, so we have to be careful how we use our imagination. This is based on research by Dr Kinsbourne and expectancy theory. Neuroscientists have proven that our expectations create brain patterns that are just as real as those created by events in the real word. It causes the very same set of neurons to fire as thought the event was actually taking place, triggering a whole range of events in our nervous system leading to real physical consequences. I therefore coach students to use visualization in the right way, making sure that it is positive, rational and confidence building. In coaching, we always ‘go there in our mind’ and create a plan for possible obstacles, options to overcome those, and building opportunities for success. We do this weeks before the day of the examination. On the actual day of the exam, we have been there so many times in coaching, the exam is suddenly not dreaded anymore!