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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

Acting "As If"

by Lori Paterno on Monday, January 16, 2012 3:02 PM

People often have the idea that to change something, you have to feel like it first. But, unfortunately, the feeling may be the last thing to change. For instance, some people will think, “if I could only stop feeling so hungry all the time, I could lose some weight.”

Just like courage is not the absence of the feeling of fear – but rather “feeling the fear and doing it anyway” – meeting a goal or making a big change almost always requires us to act long before we “feel like it.”

Here is a good example. Let’s suppose you want to be more confident. One of the best ways to do this is to pretend to be confident - as in the expression, “Fake it till you make it.” People sometimes object to this idea because they think it is somehow dishonest to pretend to be confident. But, it is not dishonest if it is your intended outcome. In this case, you ask yourself, “What would a confident person wear, look like, etc.? How would a confident person stand and act? What would a confident person say in this situation? How would he or she shake hands, greet people, etc.? By acting in these ways, you will almost instantly start feeling more confident.

The feelings will follow the action – not the other way around. If you have some goals for yourself that have been hard or if you have been feeling stuck in an area of your life, ask yourself if you have been waiting to “feel” the way you want to be instead of taking action first. Act “as if” before you feel like it – you may be surprised how even small actions can inspire you toward your goals.

Blogs Parent Separator Lori Paterno
Author
Lori Paterno

Caregiving is hard work. This blog is designed to help caregivers with insights, practical ideas, and hopefully some humor along the way.

2 comment(s) so far...

Sierra 2/7/2012

Makes me thing of the Little engine That Could - I Think I Can, I Think I Can. Good advice.

 
SK 3/5/2012

reminds me of a class I once took that talked about positive self talk. keep telling yourself you can do something help with getting it accomplished.

  

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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