Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fake It Till You Make It

In my years in a 12 step program, I often heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it?” For me, it means even if you don’t feel ready, or confident, or hopeful, you act as if you are by doing what you would do if you were. Faking it by acting as if is great practice until being ready or confident or hopeful becomes real.
I’m just beginning to realize how often fake it till you make it was a lifeline for me over the last 18 months. The day I was diagnosed with uterine cancer, a boulder of fear and projection took up residence in my chest. Many mornings, that weight was the first thing I felt when I opened my eyes. My over-active imagination and sense of worry didn’t help. I’d cajole myself to close my eyes again and instead of imaging the worst, envision what I’d feel like if I felt hopeful—as if cancer had never happened. Then I’d try to act as if. Most days, faking led to lessening the weight and genuinely feeling more hope.
One morning a couple of weeks ago, I realized it had been a few days since I woke up feeling bogged down by that ever present stone.
Feeling almost-serenity instead of anxious is new and fragile—I still don’t totally trust that it’s real. One day at a time, I’m encouraged to keep faking it until I wake up one day to find serenity has taken up residence and evicted worry and fear.
I hope you'll share in comments what thoughts and worries weigh you down, and what it would take to fake it and act as if. 
And, what experience can you share about how fake it till you make it and acting as if has worked for you?