I know, it’s hard sometimes. Things get you down, and you can’t seem to find your way out. Life seems blah, and you’re thinking there’s got to be a better way.
Well, there is. And one way to access it is to “act as if.” Whatever you want for yourself, you act as if it’s already the case. You can act as if you’re confident, completely fulfilled, or free of attachments to painful emotions.
“Acting As If” Transforms
Acting as if might sound like a superficial technique that couldn’t possibly help you. But I’m not into superficial, and acting as if can be profound and transformative.
We so easily get in our own way. Our attachments to distorted thought patterns and unhappy feelings sabotage our ability to fully express ourselves in life. It’s so pervasive that we might not even realize these habits are hijacking us. But they are.
Acting as if is a way through these habits that have never served us. It opens us to the deepest fulfillment.
Let’s take feeling inadequate as an example. If this is your reality, you repeat negative thoughts in your mind about how you’re not good enough. These thoughts cause you to conclude that you won’t be able to accomplish the goals you want before you even try.
Then you might spend your time thinking about the disappointing things that happened in your past that you blame for your inadequacy. It’s a repetitive cycle that keeps you locked into negativity.
And how do you feel if you think you’re inadequate? Anxious, downtrodden, hopeless. These thoughts and feelings inhabit your body, constricting your breathing, weighing down your posture, and silently diminishing your health. They get into your cells and distort the pathways of connections in your brain.
But what if you were to act as if you’re confident? You have to get into it, thinking the way a confident person would think, feeling the way they would feel, and letting the brain and body rearrange so you get the visceral, in-the-body experience of feeling confident.
If you were confident, how would you walk and stand? What would you say and how would you say it? What would you do when self-critical thoughts happen to appear in the mind? How would it be to go out into the world with your whole being screaming, “Confident!”
See how acting as if can be a powerful way to break through false identities?
It Accesses Your Deepest Knowing
And I’ll let you in on a little secret. Acting as if is actually a trick to get you to connect with your inner intelligence, the wisest you who already knows how to be free and happy.
If you’re feeling inadequate, how do you know how to act as if you’re confident? Where did that information come from?
What a surprise to realize that something in you already knows how to let go of inadequacy and be your full confident self. The prompt to act as if is a bit of a sneaky way to guide you into sanity and clear seeing. It takes you out of your limited, programmed ways of being and delivers you right into the vast potential that is always available to you.
If you’ve been sitting around waiting for life to bring you what you’re hoping for, you might want to experiment with acting as if. Rather than wishful thinking, investigate to see if what you want might already be more of a possiblity than you ever imagined.
Your Turn to Act As If
Here are some suggestions. Choose one or more of these, or come up with your own. Reflect on what it would take to act as if and experience it deeply in your mind, heart, body, and spirit.
Get out of your chair, and make it like you’re auditioning for the role of your life. Because you are. When you act as if, you’re shedding ideas about yourself that aren’t true and inhabiting the expansive potential of you.
Act as if: you’re wise.
- If you were wise, what would your thought process be like?
- How would you make decisions?
- What would you do when things don’t go as planned?
Act as if: you care about yourself.
- How would caring about yourself play out in your thoughts, actions, choices, and emotions?
- What would you do if you were in a situation you knew wasn’t right for you?
- What would your daily life look like?
Act as if: you’re ready for healthy relationships.
- Who would you choose for your partner and your friends?
- Which of your relationships would need to end?
- How would you show up with others?
- What would you think about?
- What would you do when you feel scared or angry?
Act as if: you’re free of the pain from your past.
- Without being held back by your past, what would you do differently in your life?
- What would you stop doing?
- How would you relate to strong feelings that arise in you?
Act as if: you’re so much bigger than your imagined limits.
- How would you feel in your body?
- What would you do with limiting thoughts?
- How would you know what actions to take?
- How would you relate to other people?
Back to Basics
You may be an expert at acting as if you’re miserable, disappointed, and ungrateful. But what if you made a different choice? I love acting as if because it immediately busts the false identities that hold you back.
Maybe you can entertain the possibility that you’re already whole, healed, and totally fabulous. Maybe you are way more knowledgeable about being fully alive in your life than you ever imagined.
Act as if the light of universal presence shines through you—because it does. Act as if you’re capable of making wise choices—because you are if you’re willing to be honest with yourself. Act as if you don’t let fear get in your way—because who you really are is way bigger than fear.
What happens to all those self-imposed limits you thought you were stuck with? They miraculously dissolve, and here you are, with a sweet, knowing smile on your face.
What About You?
Try acting as if. In the comments, tell us what quality you’re acting as if you had. How did the experiment go? I’d love to hear… If you’re reading this by email, please click here to visit GailBrenner.com and to comment.