Wednesday, January 25, 2012

‘Fake it until you make it’

Yesterday we talked about negative self-talk and limiting beliefs—and we discussed two steps to move forward: awareness and affirmations. Today let’s take things a step further.

Once you’ve become aware of the self-talk that holds you back and have begun to affirm the things you like about yourself, what’s next?

Action. One small step at a time, create actions that will move you forward so you can leave negative self-talk and self-limiting beliefs behind. You’ve heard the saying, “Fake it until you make it.” And you’ve heard about the importance of “as if” thinking. All of this means that we try on attitudes and behaviors that reflect where we want to be until we actually become that which we have desired.

Suits and a briefcase
I remember that, in the first position I secured after my divorce, I bought and used a lovely briefcase to carry my papers to and from work. As I could afford to do so, I bought a professional-looking work wardrobe—several suits, as I recall. Somehow this reinforced in my mind the image of where I wanted to be: I knew I had the skills for management positions in my field of journalism, but at first I just didn’t quite have the confidence.

I had to “fake it until I made it.” Not too far into my journalism career, I ditched the briefcase and the suits, even while still dressing like a professional. But in those early years, those purchases were important actions for me to take. It may sound silly, but dressing for success helped me to catch a vision of where I wanted to be.

You will have different actions from mine. Whatever you determine will help you get where you want to be, make those things part of your action plan. One day at a time, one step at a time. Soon you will notice that you have moved beyond the negative tapes and have replaced them with more positive messages about yourself and your abilities. And then you will have come to the acceptance phase. Since personal growth is a process, you may still occasionally go back to an old message. But you will notice it so quickly, and now you’ll know what to do about it! And soon you will have lived into that place you dreamed of one day being.

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