Make believe

I can’t remember where I heard or read this, but I’m pretty sure that it is a genuine technique suggested by life coaches and the like: if you can’t get up the courage to try on a new belief system and wear it like you’re favourite old jumper which gets brought out every Christmas, begin by just pretending. Or make believe, as the kids say! Obviously the aim is that, with time, we begin to embody the new qualities or beliefs which we set out to develop, but in the meantime, pretending is a good start, and is certainly preferable to giving up before you’ve even started.

Another way of looking at this is to think like your future self, rather than your current or old self. You have made some important decisions about which qualities you would like to develop in order to live a happier and more contended life. This is your future self, the version of you that you will grow into slowly but surely (and trust me when I say that we can each begin to lead completely different and more joy-filled lives if we put our minds to it). So when a situation comes up, ask yourself: “am I going to deal with this situation like I usually would, or am I going to have a go at approaching the situation differently?”

The added benefit of doing this is that, as you begin to question your approach to situations, you can identify certain stumbling blocks and areas in your life where you could benefit from some personal development. Afterall, you can’t hope to resolve a problem area until you know it exists!

So what has any of this got to do with worrying what others think of us? Well I suppose one of the problem areas us human beings struggle with the most is worrying that we’ve said or done something wrong – that we aren’t enough just as we are, and that we somehow have to twist and morph our personalities to suit what we believe others expect of us. Perhaps you have one or two key relationships where you feel it’s particularly difficult to just be yourself, without fear of seeming less than worthy in the eyes of others. (I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of us have at least one of these relationships!) Well whenever you are with this person – your own personal kryptonite – have a go at acting the part of the person you would like to grow into. Gain some perspective and view the situation from a different angle if you possibly can. And it doesn’t have to be a groundbreaking performance! You’re not aiming to win an Oscar straight away. Just take on a bit-part to begin with, and see what happens.

I hope some or all of this makes sense to you lovely readers.

Bye for now x

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