That has been one of my tools of recovery off and on for the last several years. I honestly debate is it worth doing, is it helpful or is it all a joke? My answer to that question varies depending on the day I’m having. Today, that answer is NO, it’s a joke. Tomorrow it may be different. Today, I feel fake and don’t feel like my genuine self. Tomorrow, I may be completely content with the person I am.
I understand the concept of self-fulfilling prophecies and the placebo effect and they make a lot of sense to me. Hell, these ideas/constructs can be backed up by science. (Popular Social Science; Placebo Effect) I learned a lot about them in college and in my studies as a Psychology Major. But, in a real world, personal perception of the idea I question the validity of strictly using that concept to better yourself and to ‘move on’. In my mind, it simply doesn’t work that way. Faking it is helpful to a point, but you have to be careful not to get to the point where you are faking so well and so much that you are faking yourself. Or that you spend all your energy faking the feelings and faking the strength that you never actually grow stronger or truly feel those feelings.
I recently read a post from Nicolas Cole which had been featured on the Huffington Post (When does fake it ’til you make it work and not work) and he had some insightful words to say regarding this idea:
Where all of this goes wrong, where “fake it till you make it” falls apart is in the interim between faking it and making it……It’s the learning process between the two that bridges who you are now and who you want to be.
Anybody can fake it. And in many ways, faking it is how you get the door to open. The question is whether you’re taking the time to learn and grow as well so that when the door does open, you’re ready. You’ve “made it.”
So the hope is that while you are in the midst of ‘faking’, you also learn/teach yourself how to do what it is you are faking. If you chose to ‘fake it’ and just expect things to change, you will be sorely disappointed.
Ok…..so how does one do this? How do you teach yourself to do something that you are faking and didn’t know how to do to begin with?!?!? You’ve got me. Trial and error, self-help books, journals, supportive friends, introspection, voodoo, the power of thought, or perhaps that magic wand you’ve been hiding from everyone. Caught ya there, didn’t I??!!
I apologize for the cynicism, but I’m just ‘not feeling it’. I will be the first to tell you that I am far from perfect and have a lot of ‘work’ to do on myself. I am also the same person that wants to improve upon myself and to become a better me. But, often I find myself asking that question….how? What do I do next? Now is the point in this post where I’m supposed to whip out a great, thought-provoking idea or solution……….but I’m not. I simply don’t have one, I’d love to ‘fake it’ for ya today and come up with something, but I’m on empty. But, what I will do, is leave this here to open a door or a window of thought for you and for me.
If you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them 🙂