Fake it ’til you make it, baby

This is part 10 in a series on why we are so afraid to be ourselves, how that fear keeps us broke and invisible – and how to stop that shit.

Previous installments can be read via the links below.

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Just as I tell my kids, my clients and closest friends, the Universe responds to the messages you send it. 

If you want to earn $50,000 by the end of the second quarter this year, you need to act as if it’s already happened. Declare it to the U, thank the U for the money, maybe even plan out how you’re going to spend the money as it comes in. 

The concept of acting as if you already have what you want isn’t new. This phrase is – obviously – not new either. Yet, there are far too many people who don’t do this because they’ve tried it once and didn’t get the result they expected. 

Most of the time, that’s because you hiccuped along the way and veered off course. 

It happens.

I am asking you to pretend as if the weight of your past doesn’t exist (and never did). 

How would you feel if you never made that mistake? Would the overwhelm go away if shame wasn’t lurking in your shadow?

To let go of the shame, you need to pretend the pain isn’t there. That it never was there, and you have no idea what it feels like to make that mistake. This gives you the opportunity to focus on the future and – of course – tell yourself the future is safe and everything is well. 

Who doesn’t want to start over with a fresh slate?

If you pretend you are free, you’re going to start feeling as if you are. And I like imagining I don’t have to carry a lot of shit on my back as I climb success’s ladder. Ya dig?

Repeat.

New levels bring new devils. In truth, you’re never going to live a life that doesn’t involve mistakes. The point of this entire post isn’t to keep you from making mistakes, it’s just to help you deal with them as they pop up. 

Just as I said earlier, it takes quite a bit of practice for you to become an expert. This practice is no exception. If you’re not giving yourself the exercise you need, you aren’t going to get better about letting go of mistakes. 

Practice these steps every day (especially the faking it piece) until they’ve become habits. The more you acknowledge when you have an unhealthy, unhelpful thought, the easier it’ll be to push it aside before guilt or shame or depression takes hold. 

The kind of peace you want to make with your past is possible, but it takes work on your end. I believe it’s totally worth it to put in the time and effort, because I’ve watched myself become a more positive, less exhausted person. 

What I’ve found is that changing my perspective has allowed me to view the world with kinder eyes. And the world has returned the favor by being kinder to me. 

This doesn’t mean shit doesn’t hit the fan every so often. I just deal with it better. 

When I was getting this house ready to sell (while my “dream house” was still on the market), there was still snow on the ground here in New Hampshire. In fact, it had snowed so much that the drifts were well past the window level, and there was a ton of snow on the roof of my 228-year-old house. (That’s not a typo.)

Enter the moment I realized it was leaking because my office walls were covered in water. 

Now, I could have bitched myself out for not getting a new roof on the house before the winter. I could have screamed about how unfair it was that I’d already laid a tarp down to make sure the water rolled off the top. And I could have really fucking panicked about the fact that this wasn’t going to help me sell my house (and it was January, meaning no end in sight to the weather).

Instead, I shifted my perspective. Reminding myself of the things I put in place to protect us absolutely made me feel better. Because what would have happened if I didn’t tarp the roof? I have a feeling it would have been way worse than what I was dealing with. 

That’s when I wrote down this perspective shift, along with the things that made me most grateful. And I immediately gained clarity, called a company and came up with a game plan. The impact was reduced and I was able to continue working at the same rate, peace of mind intact. 

I do this every time something comes up, and I’m getting better and better. That’s really effing cool.

Yes, you let yourself blimp up 50 pounds your first year in business. But didn’t you also support yourself without the bridge job? Wasn’t this something you’ve dreamed of doing since Alf was on the air? 

Why is it that we only focus on the negative?

(Science actually solved that mystery. It’s called the Negativity Bias and it keeps our species alive. But that’s a story for another day.)

You have a business you love that’s keeping food in the pantry and a car in the driveway. Weight, however, is something we can change (you could lose it all or gain more, up to you). And there’s no reason you can’t keep working toward the body you want.

However, if you gave up on your business when you started seeing the pounds packing around your waist, you wouldn’t have it as a good thing on your list.

We waste so much time thinking about the what-ifs and fuck-its that we don’t step outside of the darkness. That’s just depressing (and will keep you depressed). 

Quit dwelling and start living, love. 

If all you’re trying to do is make sure you never make the same mistake again, you’ll probably leave yourself stuck, fearing a decision will make everything worse. 

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Read part 11 here.

Up next: Why realism helps you sell

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