Fake It Till You Make It

When people give advice about how to dress at work, they will frequently say, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” The idea is that you should look and conduct yourself like the person you want to become. Go as though. Proceed as if.

A secretary who wants to be an account executive, for example, should dress the part, avoiding casual clothes at work. The advice can be taken beyond wardrobe. So she should also build relationships with potential clients, be an ambassador for the company, and try to win business.

Following the same train of thought, affirmations should be stated in the present tense. It’s as though the thing that you are affirming already exists. Repeating positive statements to yourself regularly is a way of increasing your positive thinking and making positive changes in your life.

For example, to increase your wealth, you might close your eyes, breathe deeply, and repeat a phrase such as, “Wealth flows to me effortlessly.” It isn’t stated as a future goal; it’s stated as a present fact. As though. As if.

Learn from those examples. When you are working your plan to reach your goal, present yourself as though you have already reached it. Struggling to get your business off the ground? Think of yourself, and describe yourself, as a business owner. Taking your first round of guitar lessons? Don’t be shy in stating that you play guitar.

No deception is intended here. Medical students shouldn’t go around claiming to be doctors. And if your goal is to get rich, it’s not advisable to start spending money like a rich person before you’ve earned the cash.

But if you think of yourself as a person who has reached your goal, it will help you to become that person. Others will see you as that person and will relate to you in that way. You will start seeing yourself in that role, acting and making decisions as though you have already reached your goal.

In other words, you need to fake it till you make it. Assert the goal before you actually achieve it. Act with confidence before you actually gain confidence. The confidence will come in time.

Do you have an image of someone walking with confidence? They stand up straight, shoulders back, chin up. Maybe you think that they have this posture because of their confidence in themselves. But studies have shown the opposite. Studies show that walking with confidence gives you confidence.

If you don’t believe it, try it next time your mood needs a boost. Feeling a little blue? Comb your hair, straighten your clothes and walk about with confidence and purpose. You’ll start to feel confident and purposeful.

Something you really need when you are working on your goal is a positive attitude, a sense of possibility. Your attitude can take you far. And if you need a bigger, better attitude, the solution is easy. Just fake it till you make it. As though. As if.