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Peak Performance States & Photoreading

Proof, Peak Performance States & Photoreading

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”  Walt Disney


Photoreading Refresher Course!

The Photoreading class I took in ATL in April was unlike any class I have ever had – and it was really fun!  It was an intense, completely integrated, totally interactive learning experience and a perfect refresher course in Photoreading for me.

Our trainer incorporated some of the learning modalities that I have used for a long time (like Brain Gym, EFT, and Image Streaming) on my own and with clients.  It was awesome to be able to practice with other, like-minded people because I am usually the one teaching!

She also used clever anchoring to bring the participants back to a time when learning was easy and fun – it was like kindergarten all over again!  She turned the hotel meeting room into an interactive play place and prompted us into the accelerated learning state we had as children.

There were toys, markers, Cush balls, goofy glasses, inspirational quotes and Magic Eye images everywhere.  We took frequent water breaks and danced around between seated exercises to get the blood flow going.

All of these factors worked together to create a unique learning experience that didn’t feel like work – time passed quickly and we all absorbed an enormous amount of information in a very short amount of time.  That’s my kind of learning, and that’s what it is all about!

Our trainer also provided a myriad of scientific information about how the brain works, how we learn, and the effect of stress on learning.  This included learning a little bit about Heart Math and watching as volunteers demonstrated how to use Heart Math methods to enter a calm, accelerated learning state.

The main event – the “how to Photoread” part of the class – was very much like when I took it for the first time in 1993.  Over time I had drifted into a kind of lazy “Nancyfied” way of Photoreading and while it DID still work, I knew I could be doing better.

Some of the participants had studied the home course and were not getting the results that they expected.  For them, the live training provided something profound:  Proof.


Proof has power because it solidifies the pattern of your newly acquired information in your brain and creates a certain level of trust in the process.

Trust in the process is priceless in its ability to relax you and put you at ease.  When you are relaxed you breathe easier, you are physically more flexible, the “nay saying” inner voices quiet, and you can truly enjoy the process of whatever it is you are doing.  Not just that, you’ll also do a better job because your focus is not on “doing it”, it’s on “doing it better than you did the first time”!

My Proof

In the class I took way back when, the end-of-class “test” was to Photoread and activate the dictionary.  Then the trainer gave us each a word, and we had to recall the page number and the position of the word on the page.  I was astounded that I could actually do it!

For me, that was the proof I needed to trust the process.  After that, I went into academic overdrive.  I piled on the courses and made short work of my undergraduate degree, law degree, and the Bar Exam…

In this Atlanta class, we Photoread a book with no name – upside down!  We only Photoread it once and didn’t even activate it.

After we Photoread, we closed our eyes, “went inside” and relaxed while we let any images or feelings come to the surface.  Then we drew images to represent the images in our mind or the feelings we had after reading the book.

I got a treasure chest, a desert with a cactus, beach with a palm tree, a boy, a steam engine train, a rope swing and a hangman’s noose.

When everyone was done, we brought our drawings into the atrium of the hotel, formed a circle, and compared our art.  I was amazed!!!  Of the participants, almost all of us got the similar images!  There were lots of treasure chests, palm trees, beaches and boys!

It turned out that the mystery book was “The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream”.  It’s the story of a boy’s journey to find enlightenment.  The journey included treasure, beaches, deserts, etc…The similarities between the drawings were profound enough to make believers even out of the 2 people (out of 37) in the group who didn’t feel as though they connected with the book.

How do you get “proof”?

Actually doing it.

There is something magical and tactile about actually doing something the hands-on way.  This could be because it incorporates all of the senses.  It could also be because many people need to DO something physically in order to truly activate new knowledge.  Actually doing something always results in useful, real-world feedback…

If you try and fail the first time, you know what you need to change in order to succeed.

If you do a clumsy job your first time (totally expected), you are better off the second time you do it because you’ve done it once before and the pressure is off.

If you happen to do it well the first time you will likely be labeled a “natural” and the skill will be pretty easy for you to master.

This is really about manipulating your beliefs about your ability to achieve or succeed in realizing your goal – in order to reach your desired goal.  Does believing it really help?  Isn’t that just wishful thinking and Pollyanna-ness?  As cheesy as it sounds, “If you can dream it, you can do it!” – Walt Disney.

The truth is, when you are confident in your abilities and believe something will ultimately work out for you, you relax. You breathe.  As a result you think better, you are more creative, you physically move and verbally articulate more accurately, self-talk stops, time stretches, and flow state starts to take over.


Imagine doing it.

You may not have the option of a physical “run-though” of the activity or you may be embarking on something that has never been done before.  Nevertheless, there are ways of creating that kind of trust and relaxation on your own.  It takes some initiative, some visualization, doubt elimination, and self-testing but it is totally doable.

Building a Peak Performance State is one way you can generate the experience you need to feel confident about what you are doing.  This method also works exceptionally well in conjunction with actual, physical run-through of the activity.

Another wonderful aspect of the Peak Performance State is that once you learn it, you own it and can use it forever (and on just about anything!).  Not only that, you can use the Peak Performance State method anywhere, any time (on a plane ride, on the golf course, in the office, on your own, in a crowded room, etc…) because you do it all on your head!

Athletes, great negotiators and elite professionals do it all the time.  Peak Performance States are one of the most powerful and essential pieces of negotiation preparation.

Peak Performance States begin with Future Pacing the upcoming event.  Future Pacing is like daydreaming or running a mental movie about the coming event but using it in far more productive ways.  Instead of simply imagining the event, you use the imagery to work out the kinks and assess the resources you have and the resources you need to do a better job.

Once you have gone through the process and know what you need (patience, confidence, good timing, etc…), you can begin building your Peak Performance State by adding the resources you need to your plan.

As you continue to Future Pace, tweak and tune your mental movie until you have it just the way you want it – then stop.  Go do something fun and do another mental run through later.

Again, the best part about this method is that it’s always available to you, and you can run an infinite number of scenarios.  You can prepare yourself for just about any contingency!

The more you do it, the more familiar it is to you – even if you have only done it in your mind.  Familiarity is powerful!  Studies have shown that athletes who do “mental run-throughs” before big matches, races, etc…actually perform as well or better than those who actually practice.

Both of these methods (actually doing it and imagining it) work well.  Proof isn’t trust, it’s a trust builder.   You can generate trust without proof!

Whether it’s a multi-million dollar negotiation, learning a new skill, or engaging in a difficult conversation, you will do far better if you have done a conscious run-through beforehand – and even better if you build a strong Peak Performance State.  This key component of negotiation preparation has a huge return on investment!

Negotiation Ninja offers one-on-one and group training in the creation of Peak Performance States.  Clients and Participants learn how to generate Peak Performance States in themselves (for anything from maintaining emotional control during negotiations or oral arguments to processing massive amounts of information) and in their clients (for things like mentally preparing your client for mediation, deposition or trial).

Call or email Negotiation Ninja today and find out how learning Peak Performance States can transform your practice and your life!

Alabama lawyers – look for upcoming CLE classes on “Peak Performance States For Meditation” and “Desk Side Manner:  Better Rapport Means Better Deals” through the Alabama Center For Dispute resolution!

Details will be posted soon!


Nancy Hand, JD

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