Starting today let’s practice acting as if.

Pensive woman day dreaming in parkWhy? Because “acting as if” is a powerful tool for successful living. It is one that when properly applied renders triumphant and bountiful results. The idea that we can believe one thing, yet take contrary action and get positive results, is remarkable. Think about it. How often have you given up on something simply because you didn’t believe you could have it or do it?

On the contrary, how often have you accomplished a goal because you were willing to do the work, even though deep in your heart you never believed you can do it? Does that mean we have no chance of doing well, simply because we don’t think we can? Some people will have us believe that that’s true. They suggest that in order to make it at anything, we absolutely must believe we can. To back up that theory there are countless authors, therapists, lecturers and others who tell us that confidence is a precursor to success. And without it, we won’t make it.

I must disagree.

If that were true, I and many others wouldn’t be where we are today.

I didn’t get through law school because I believed in myself. I wish I could say that I did. For sure, there were moment of feeling that “Yes, I can do this. Yes I’m making it happen.” But there were many more moments of feeling that “I can’t, it’s hard, and I want to give up.”

What I had, and continue to have, going for me is a willingness to do the work – even when I don’t believe I’ll make it to the finish line.

Sometimes we get caught up thinking we have to feel good each and every moment on the journey. That life has to be easy and uncomplicated or else it’s not worth living. How often do we hear it said that “life doesn’t have to be hard”? On one level that’s true depending on the choices we make. If we make safe and easy choices that don’t stretch us or test our growth, then we may have easy lives. But if we’re doing anything that is new, different, or outside of our comfort zone, there will be days we’ll feel great and days when we’ll struggle just to get out of bed.

Acting as if is the key. A willingness to take contrary action enabled me to change my reality, simply became I moved my feet. Even today when I set out to get a certain result, I don’t always believe I’ll get what I want. There are no guarantees. My job is simply to do the work and act as if. The rest is up to my Higher Power.

Some of you might think acting as if is being phony because you’re doing something you don’t believe in. And perhaps you’re right. But how often do we fake it in our lives with no purposeful goal other than to impress someone? Why not “fake it until we make it” as we move ourselves closer to competing our goal?

Do the footwork and the mind will follow. It’s all in how we see it.

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