Act as if.
You’ve heard it before. Movies, motivational speakers and writers, and likely your most confident friends have all repeated the phrase before. But what does it mean, and more importantly, how can the phrase “act as if” become a strategy that helps you? Great question.
I was discussing this strategy with a client I coached recently. She was looking to make a major career change and relocate to a new city, but felt stuck, powerless, and lacking the confidence to do so. My strongest piece of advice to her? Act as if you’re already there, in this new city, working your dream job. Envision it, feel it, connect with the emotions it brings you – and from there, we can make it happen. The silence on the other end of the line was deafening. And then, a few days later, she began applying the strategy to every part of her process and was hooked.
I get it. It’s a difficult concept to understand. “Acting as if” can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Most often, people associate this term with ‘’faking the funk” or “fake it ‘til you make it”. I can assure you though, that’s not the strategy I’m going for here. I have always prided myself on being an honest woman, and I don’t believe in faking anything.
But when your self-confidence is lacking and you need a bit of a change, it’s time to shake things up. Because trust me, it’s a cold world out there and you are guaranteed to always come across someone who can’t see your worth. When it comes to getting what you want and deserve you do not want that person to be you. And don’t worry, it’s not lying. Not if you believe in yourself, anyway.
So what does this mean? It’s simple. Acting as if you are already where you want to be, who you want to be, doing what you want to be doing, and receiving what you want to be receiving (whether in the form of money, power, love, respect, etc.), is a basic mind-trick that helps you to foster an idea, build on it, and start gaining the internal energy to put the gears in motion to get things accomplished. “It is one of the simplest forms of positive hypnosis or self hypnosis conducted out of trance.”
I didn’t make this one up! I promise! The act as if strategy was first written over 100 years ago by William James, who outlined how to create motivation to do things people are reluctant to do. When it comes to people who suffer from low levels of motivation or a damaged view of how they perceive themselves or their ability to succeed, this is the one and only strategy that will result in raised self-esteem.
I am living proof – and I am more than happy to share my story with the world if it means getting them to begin applying this strategy to their own lives. I spent my entire life desperately trying to come up for air, beneath a sea of self-doubt and anxiety.
I always questioned my ability to succeed, whether or not others really liked me, and if my ideas were even worth a damn. When I hit rock-bottom, when things absolutely could not have gotten any worse, months upon months of self-reflection helped me to finally uncover what I really wanted to do, where I really wanted to be, and how to stop living to please others once and for all. I read about the city I wanted to move to. I fantasized about running my errands at the stores in this area. I imagined myself living a happy, everyday life under the golden sunshine of Miami. It seemed impossible at one point, but the more I acted as if this were the life for me and there were just no other options – things began happening. Good things. Three years later? I am married, with child, and living happily in a house I bought for myself – just outside Miami.
Acting as if has led to my successful career as a writer. It is what helped me become internationally-published by all of my dream publications within months.
To learn more about my story, schedule a call with me or drop me a line!
Story originally published in Huffington Post.