Acting As If:
Do wealthy people go shopping and make their decision to purchase things based on the price? Do millionaires say, “that’s too expensive” or, “OMG that is way over priced?” No, they either like it and buy it, or they don’t. In a previous article titled, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” we talked about asking yourself the right question. There is another aspect of obtaining your desires that we need to understand as well: “Acting as if.”
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Not A New Concept
Acting as if is not new. The phrase was coined over a century ago by a man named William James. The phrase was described by William James as a great way to “motivate individuals to do tasks they didn’t want to do.” By “acting as if” people liked doing something they didn’t like, they could experience different feelings towards that task and no longer associate that task with a negative feeling – increasing the odds that they would complete that task, or chore. It works!
Today, the personal development industry and psychology gurus have taken the terminology “Acting as if” to a whole new level, and it works too (extremely well by the way).
What You Will Learn
In this article, we will explain how to use “acting as if” to manifest whatever you are intending to acquire in your life. This is wrapped in manifestation, but this is also backed by psychology. It works, it truly works. We are going to explain how to practice “acting as if” and how to make it work in your life.
Let’s start by talking about William James’s interpretation of this phenomenon. After all, he coined the phrase, so giving him “props” and talking about his research theory a little bit is warranted (respect lol).
William used this phrase to explain how we could motivate ourselves to do certain tasks we were not likely to do, because we didn’t like doing them. Interestingly, when his terminology was stolen by todays personal development industry and twisted a little bit (which I will explain in a minute) the psychology stayed in tack. Even today’s usage of this terminology incorporates the psychology behind William James’s research, which takes advantage of the power of our emotions. It’s the psychology aspect of “acting as if” that holds the power, the key, regardless of how you use the phrase.
We can us Mr. James’ interpretation of this phrase to make positive changes in our lives. How? Let’s look at an example:
What I say and feel #1:
I hate exercising. I know exercising is good for my health and I know being overweight is not good for my heart, but exercising sucks. I hate it. When I am over weight I am devoid of energy. I feel terrible and I don’t feel that great about myself. However, none of this is enough to get me off the couch. I hate exercising more than I hate being overweight. Therefore, I don’t exercise.
What I say and feel #2:
I love exercising. Exercising is good for my health and that is important to me. Being in shape not only makes me look phenomenal, but I love having more energy! I love exercising. I feel incredible about myself when I exercise too! I love exercising so much and it makes me feel so amazing that I look forward to my workouts and I get stronger everyday!
I don’t really think I need to beat a dead horse on this point I am trying to make do I? You can clearly see that feeling like example #2 would undoubtedly put you in a much higher category of “likely to succeed” concerning exercising. It isn’t “positive thinking,” its a complete change in perspective.
The Power of Perspective
This change in perspective brings a “positive emotion” into the equation. It is that “positive emotion” that holds the power. Emotions are the language of our subconscious mind, which is superior to your consciousness (what you think). When you “feel” the emotion of greatness, that feeling will override your consciousness – not allowing your brain or your negative thoughts concerning the matter, to interfere.
Your emotions are stronger than your thoughts. If you wake up one morning and you are sore and don’t feel like exercising, acting as if example #2 is “who you are and what you believe about yourself” will enable you to override your thoughts.
“Acting as if” will inevitable change your thoughts over time. However, you don’t have to wait for your “feelings to change.” Acting as if will instantly change your emotions towards exercising, for example, and the results will be instant (you won’t get in shape instantly, but exercising will become more than just tolerable instantly, it will become enjoyable instantly). This will enable you to continue exercising, be consistent and see results!
Not Just Exercising
We used the example of exercising, but his same philosophy works concerning every aspect of our lives.
If we don’t like going to school – acting as if we do, works!
If we don’t like going to work – acting as if we do, works!
You get the point
That’s William James’ interpretation and it’s awesome. We can use acting as if to make positive changes in our lives, and we should. Act as if you already do (that’s supposed to be funny)
Getting Where You Want To Be
Let’s talk about using “acting as if” to get where we want to be. We know from the previous article, What do you want to be when you grow up” that we need to be asking the right question. The question is, “where do we want to be when we grow up,” and to get there we need to know “who we need to become to get there.”
In the previous artivle, we talked about becoming the person that you need to become to “slip into the role” of the kind of person that would have the things you wish to have in your life. How?
Acting As If
Here is where today’s interpretaion of this psychology comes into play.
- To be a millionaire, act like one
- To be a billionaire, act like one
This doesn’t mean you need to buy a private jet tomorrow, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go shopping for one either. When you are looking though magazines or searching the internet for your new private jet, try not to think to yourself for a split second, “That’s too expensive.” Try instead to think to yourself, $54,000,000…is that all?
Trust me, this is going to be a little strange at first. After you practice this a few days, notice how you are walking around. Is your back straight? Is your chin up a little bit? Do you walk into a restaurant and think to yourself, “If I wanted to, I could buy this place.”
Eventually, you will have an heir about you. This doesn’t mean that you should go out and by a King’s robe and a staff and start acting like you are too mighty to be spoken to – you must try to remain humble (it’s not going to be easy lol, but you must try)
The point is this, you will begin to “feel the emotion” of abundance. This feeling will bring about a sense of confidence (try it, you’ll see). This confidence will bring about opportunity (people like doing business with people they perceive as competent and “confidence exudes competence.”)
If you don’t think this works, here’s a suggestion. Acting as if it does work will help (that’s not a joke).
Use “acting as if” to change how you feel, your emotions. Your emotions will convey to your subconscious mind that you already have the things you “feel” you have. Your subconscious mind is not of this world and doesn’t conform to reality. It will believe you if you trick it, or flat out lie to it. You can communicate with your subconscious mind using your feelings, or emotions. You can evoke your feelings and emotions by acting as if.