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Fake It Till You Make It
Many of us are stuck in the same cycles and patterns. Our lives have become a monotonous routine -we know exactly what to expect. So how can we create the life we want to live unless we’re willing to step outside of our daily habits? The concept of “fake it till you make it” challenges us to do just that. It asks us to portray some quality that we don’t currently have, and keep on embodying it until it becomes a reality.
The following practice asks you to take on this mentality and apply it to an aspect of your life that you want to improve. Since this requires a change of mindset -thus the way you think, speak, and behave- you must be willing to try this practice every day. But before long, your effort to emanate new expectations will alter your attitude and you’ll experience new emotions that align with the life you want to live.
To begin, think about or make a list of what you want to change in your life. Do you want a new job, home, or relationship? Think about all the various aspects of your life and how they could each be improved.
Once you’ve done this, read through your list and contemplate the underlying emotional need behind each item. Because it’s not the thing itself that makes us feel good. It’s the emotional response to having it that feels good -which is why happiness fades. We become accustomed to something if it’s no longer new and special. The magic of “wanting” fades away and is replaced by needing something new.
So when you look at what you want in your life, is it really the thing itself, or the feeling that it gives you? Do you really want x, y, or z, or would you really like to feel happy, fulfilled, or grateful? Determine the feelings in your life that you’re missing and make note of them.
Now that you know how you want to feel in your ideal life, it’s time to fake it till you make it! Use your list of desired emotions to guide you throughout your day. Focus on emanating them in every action and interaction. The goal isn’t simply to fake happiness by acting fake to others or smiling all the time. Instead, look for moments or opportunities to express genuine joy. It’s about altering your expectations in order to find new possibilities for love, joy, or happiness.
Once you embrace this new mindset, you’ll constantly be on the lookout for people and experiences that allow you to exude your wanted emotions. While this doesn’t eliminate the unwanted ones, the more you’re aware of what you do want and how you do want to feel, the more you’ll be in control. So instead of following your normal routines and patterns, look for ways to shake it up and respond to situations differently.
If you’ve always been annoyed by a co-worker, hate your commute to work, or feel distant from your family, you can decide to change your reactions. In order to bring more courage, patience, or hope into your life, you are the only one that can bring it. So surprise yourself and think, speak, and act, in the way of the “new” you. By faking your wanted emotions and expressing them to others, they become real. Then in time others will respond to your new responses and the emotions you were once seeking will return to you.
The goal of this practice is preparing to become the person you want to be. And sometimes the only way to embody that new reality is to force yourself into it. Because once you see it, you’ll believe it. So don’t settle for the way things have always been and do things the way they’ve always been done. Choose to experience life through the eyes of who you will be!
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