A friend recently asked, “How can I be more confident?” The answer is to act “as if” you already are a confident person. This results in more actual confidence. This can work with any quality you want to cultivate . . . patience, happiness, kindness, productivity, acceptance, etc. Ask yourself, “What does it look like to be more (fill in the blank)?” and do those things. The feelings will follow.
Don’t Wait Until You’re Feeling It
Too often we wait until everything feels just right or until we think we’re ready. This can be a long wait! Research shows that changing your behavior first can change the way you think and feel. The mere act of imagining yourself with the quality you’re striving for, and acting accordingly, will help bring it about. Guaranteed.
Focus on the Inner
This only works when you focus on how “you” feel about yourself and not on trying to control how others perceive you. Think: “I want to trust myself to finish what I start” instead of “I want others to notice and value how much I get done.” If you’re trying to prove yourself to others, you will never feel satisfied.
Affirmations can be helpful tools to reinforce what you’re going for. Create a positive statement about what you want, in the present tense. If you want to be more patient with your kids you could affirm, “My patience is remarkable.” If you want to be less judgmental and move loving toward yourself try, “I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
Celebrate Sm(all) Successes
Faking it until you feel it is not a one and done—it’s a practice that you use over time. Acknowledging your wins will help you reinforce your intentions. If you’re working on confidence and you spoke up in a meeting, write it down and pat yourself on the back. Add each small victory to your list so you can see your progress over time.
Acting “as if” doesn’t mean being phony or inauthentic. It’s changing your behavior first and trusting the feelings will follow. So, don’t wait. It’s okay to go ahead and claim the results you want and start living them now. One day, you’ll realize that you are really there, without having to fake it.
Deb Purdy, is a blogger, speaker, workshop leader and author of
Something Gained: 7 Shifts to Be Stronger, Smarter and Happier After Divorce.
Visit www.DebPurdy.com for more information.
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