Fake It ‘Til You Feel It
Have you ever heard the saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it,” or its cousin, “Fake it ‘til you feel it?” I used to get a laugh every time I heard the latter one (I still do, actually), but it wasn’t until last year that I really started to pay close attention to the simple, yet profound truth behind those words. In fact, when I wrote about caring about how you feel last week, I knew that I would have to write a follow up post on that subject. That’s because “faking it” is a key component to creating a life that’s filled with passion, joy, and fun. Yes, you read that correctly.
Caring about how you feel is important, but there’s a second part to this business of feeling good and living a happy life.
Huh? You can’t just feel good and have what you want? You have to fake your way there?
Weeellll… yeah. Sort of. If your head is spinning, you’re not alone. Mine did that for a while after I really started to pay attention to this idea of faking and feeling. I’ll share my own thought process for how I figured things out; and hopefully it will make sense to you – and help.
Let me first start by saying that of course you can focus on feeling good to have what you want. In fact, caring about how you feel is the most important FIRST step you can take toward the happy life, but it’s not the only step. The critical second step I mentioned is one we all need to take if we’re going to live our lives with passion, be happy, and have fun. It’s a step that sometimes gets overlooked, but from my point of view, the second part is the good stuff. It’s where we get to actually to experience the fun, feel the passion, and be happy… and it can be summed up in three simple words:
Act as if.
That’s right. Act as if. I’ve actually written about this principle before, but it’s so important it bears repeating. When I say act as if, I mean that you act as if the life you want was a reality right now. Act as if you were already a bestselling author. Act as if you already had the perfect relationship. Act as if you already lived in your dream home. Act as if you already had a super-successful business. Whoever coined the phrase, “Fake it ‘til you make it” was really onto something. People may say those words jokingly, but I’m a believer.
Acting as if means developing the attitude and the mindset of the person you want to be and acting the part. I remember hearing a story about Freddie Mercury, the former lead singer of the British rock band Queen. Long before the band became famous, Mercury’s band mates claimed that even when he performed in front of small crowds, he would act as if he were performing in front of a packed stadium of tens of thousands. Later, when Queen became one of the most successful bands of the 1970’s and 80’s, Mercury continued to perform the exact same way he did as when the band was just getting started.
Another example of how powerful “acting as if” can be comes from my own experience. As a Certified Infinite Possibilities Trainer, I have attended every Train the Trainer conference since I became certified. I love the entire conference, but one of the highlights for me is the “Come As Your Future Self” dinner. Conference participants dress up as if we are living five years in the future, and the entire night we talk and act as if our wildest dreams have come true. It took a little getting used to at first, but I quickly found myself talking, thinking, and acting as if I had achieved my vision of being a bestselling author and motivational speaker.
I continue to do so, and I see the pieces of that vision falling into place. I sometimes get messages from people I’ve never met telling me how much they enjoy my Reflections. I’ve been invited to speak to groups because a random conversation and someone mentioning my work as a Happiness Champion. (Yes, I’m still a Happiness Coach, but my path has been taking me away from working with individuals to working with larger groups and audiences, hence the shift in how I address myself.) My recent book, The Power of G: Powerful Lessons on How Gratitude Can Transform Your Life continues to be well received, and I am developing new classes and programs to expand on that work.
When you care about how you feel and you reinforce those feelings by acting as if you are already the person you want to be (and living the life you want to live), something miraculous happens; you become that person and you end up living that life. You have to. It’s Law. I’ve seen it happening in my own life, and I see it happening in the lives of my friends and students.
So go out there and fake it ‘til you make it. And after you make it, do it again, and again, and again. Then watch as you come the realization that your life has always been one big adventure filled with passion, joy, and fun.
About the Author
Appio Hunter is an author, speaker, spiritual guide, and self-described champion for living joyously. He uses his seminars and workshops to facilitate conversations about authenticity, alignment, and the daily experience of community, connection, and joy. Appio is also a weekly columnist with The Good Men Project and co-host of the Real Men Feel Show along with his good friend Andy Grant.