Photograph by Inaki Del Olmo on Unsplash
There are two perspectives that can be used to create or recreate images: internal and external.
An internal perspective is the one experienced when the skill we are doing is seeing as if we were inside our body. That is, the image is in first person.
The external perspective happens when the image about ourselves is seen as if we were outside our body. In this case, the perspective is in third person.
To illustrate it with an example, when you are playing a videogame sometimes you have the option to play with the character as if you could see what goes on in the game with the character’s eyes (internal perspective), or you could move the character and seeing it as whole on the screen (external perspective).
One of these ways of looking at ourselves when visualising could result on a more natural and easier way to imagine than the other. With practice, the perspectives could be selected since for particular skills one could be more useful than the other.
To know which is the perspective that comes natural to you I propose the following exercise. Try using all the senses, so imagine the sounds, odours, any flavours and different colours and textures. Include as much details as possible.
- Imagine that is the morning and you are going to brush your teeth. Imagine the brush, the toothpaste, the sink…
- Imagine the sequences that you are experiencing from the moment you grab the toothbrush and you put the toothpaste on it, to the actual brushing and rinsing out.
- Imagine how you are working on the teeth, first on the left hand side of the mouth, then the right hand, the superior and the inferior teeth and the tongue.
- Finally, imagine how you rinse the mouth with cold water and how the water and the toothpaste start to vanish down the sink.
- Which perspective did you see when imagining these sequences? Internal, seeing all the images as if you were inside your body? Or external, seeing how you brushed your teeth as if you were seeing everything outside your body?