My intention remains to share discoveries which aided my growing from adversity in hopes that these may be of service to you.
My offering here is ‘Acting As If.’
Acting As If, according to Machal Shull, “means to apply action. [It isn’t] faking it [which] means to be fraudulent. Don’t misconstrue the two. Acting As If means you are asserting yourself in an action that will manifest in time, action and belief. Action equals outcome.”
In the midst of mega-challenges, I read Dorothea Brand’s book ‘Wake Up and Live’ and heard from an admired sage that if I hoped to achieve a desired outcome or become a certain way, Act As If. You can then eventually achieve the outcome or become the way you hope. I was forewarned; it may feel uncomfortable and ‘off’ when beginning this – which it did.
I felt doubtful; internal balking occurred at the start.
Since the ring bearers of this gold(en) wisdom nugget were people I respected and authors who rose from and because of challenge, I kept taking the risk and experimenting in this effort.
I willingly tried what I thought held no water because I felt rather out of other ideas. It didn’t take much – externally that is. Per Dorothea Brand, “all the equipment needed is imagination and a willingness to disturb old habit patterns for a while … long enough to finish 1 piece of work.”
As it worked for Theodore Roosevelt, who said, “by Acting As If I was not afraid, I gradually ceased to be afraid,” it seemed worth a – long? – shot.
I practiced Acting As If, by, for example:
• doing minor home tasks, before I really felt like it, that I envisioned I’d do with ease when healed,
• looking dear ones in the eye during chats and nodding to encourage or agree. Nodding, a persuasion technique described in this study, helped me to Act in an other-Focused manner. Even when I wasn’t quite into it and I did this, my emotions caught up with actions and relationships improved, and
• just starting what I hoped to accomplish – even in a messy, Process over Perfection, potentially low quality way if that’s what it takes. Beginning gets juices flowing; continuing then feels less hard. Progress occurs and compounds over time.
I’d practically grit my teeth occasionally to Act As If while wondering if it was helping.
Generally speaking, though, I kept at repeatedly “Acting As If it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success” per Dorothea Brand.
Research supports Acting As If too. The Guardian’s article by Richard Wiseman includes 10 exercises to try if you like.
Wiseman noted that Columbia Business School’s Dana Carvey (now at Berkeley) studied the impact of participants’ sitting positions or poses. 50% of study participants put feet up on the table while looking up and lacing their fingers behind their heads. The other half posed in a less dominant manner with feet on floor, looking at the ground, and hands in lap.
A minute of the dominant power posing boosted confidence; these participants had significantly higher testosterone levels too. Acting As If changed both how they felt and the chemicals in participant’s bodies. Remarkable.
“The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and Act As If what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate dominant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into reality” per Dr. Wayne Dyer.
The more I practiced Acting As If, Incrementally with ups and downs, and took action in line with my heart’s desires, the more I felt better physically and emotionally. Life unfolded in a way I prayed often that it would – thank you, God; I saw hoped for changes increasingly show up for me.
Acting As If truly helped me grow and change for the better.
With my loving belief in your ability to follow through with Athenian Philosopher Plato’s suggestion that “good Actions give strength to ourselves,”