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The Secret of Happiness
Sometimes what sounds like good advice is really bad advice that has just been repeated a lot. That’s true of the popular strategy “fake it until you make it”. You know how it works. You are not “something” enough, so you pretend to be that until you are more “something”.
Seems to me that there’s something about the “fake it till you make it” attitude that is counter-productive. Fake is not real. You don’t actually believe it, you’re just pretending until some point in the future when hopefully you have mastered whatever it was.
Here’s the first problem.
I think your inner chatter can have a field day with that kind of thinking. Most people have at least one inner voice that whispers that they are an imposter or fraud in certain situations. Faking it is simply reinforcement of the idea that you are not quite good enough, otherwise you wouldn’t need to fake it.
Here’s the second problem.
Trying to fake it sets you up for failure. You start to fake it. Fake feels artificial. You feel bad. You stop doing whatever you were faking. Or sometimes you are faking something that shouldn’t be faked in the first place like fake living a lifestyle you can’t afford. That just leads to real, not fake debt.
There is a better mindset:
Act as if.
Act as if you already are wherever you want to be.
More connected to your partner.
Here’s how it works.
Ask yourself what you would be doing if you were already doing it.
That’s what you need to be doing now. No faking required.
Let’s say you want to be more fit and healthy. If you already were fit and healthy, what would you be doing? Probably working out on a regular basis. Making healthier food choices. Getting enough sleep.
Acting as if means you make the same choices you would be making in the future, only you do it now when they actually create change. Small simple choices that align with what you really want in your life.
What if you want a more loving relationship with your partner? If you already had a more loving relationship you might pay closer attention, or take the time to have meaningful conversation or make small spontaneous gestures of kindness and affection.
Hold on…your inner skeptic might be thinking, “Ya this is just semantics. Acting as if is pretty much the same as faking it until you make it.” That might be true if language wasn’t powerful. As soon as your mind hears “fake” that’s what it grabs onto.
When you hear the word fake, what does it conjure up for you?
Fake feels deceitful.
Acting as if lets you be genuine and real. It you to close the gap between what you say is important and your actions. It focuses on the now not some point in the future. Best of all, there’s nothing fake about it.
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