If you believe you have what you need and you are who you want to become, how will that inform your attitude and the choices you make? The old adage says, “Seeing is believing”, but the opposite is true: “Believing is seeing.”
So many of us have the silent mantra of “I’ll believe it when I see it.” In doing so, we hold ourselves back, limit what’s possible, and negate the power of our minds, imaginations, and intentions to create new, unpredictable, and even miraculous experiences and outcomes.
The mantra of the efficacy executive coaching program within Korn Ferry is: “Live life by design, not by default.” Central to this idea is defining the outcome you want and then making choices that will move you toward it.
Instead of waiting to see how things turn out, hoping that they will get better, or simply allowing the circumstances and situations in our lives to determine how we feel, what if we acted as if we had everything within us and around us that we need to be successful, happy, and fulfilled?
This is the powerful concept of acting as if.
One of America’s pioneering psychologists, William James, said that the greatest discovery is that we as human beings can alter our lives simply by altering our attitudes of mind. He advocated that if you act as if you are what you want to be, you will become that.
German philosopher Hans Vaihinger, wrote a book called The Philosophy of ‘As If.’ This is where the saying, “Fake it till you make it” comes from. If you don’t feel confident, pretend you are until you gain the experience or tools to make your confidence real.
Acting as if works in a number of different ways. Instead of dwelling on the negative, which typically makes us feel worse, acting as if things were how you would like them allows you to focus on the positive. It takes your focus off yourself and puts it more on creating what you want.
Act as if goes much deeper than thinking positively. It’s a method, a learned skill, for convincing your mind that you already are what you want to become. The body follows where the mind leads. We often get exactly what we expect, which is a pretty powerful concept if we take time to let it in and live with that awareness.
Envision that you are a happy person, excited by the future, looking forward to what life brings. How would acting as if this were true change your current circumstances and change your life?