One of the first bits and most important bits of advice in my early career came from a successful author who told me it had been the key to his success. He told me to “fake it til I made it.” Even from his first book, he never let himself get caught in the trap of believing he hadn’t earned the attention and readership yet. It was really great advice, and it kept me from devaluing my own work even during times of struggle.
However, what he didn’t realize was that he was giving me a mantra to get through every other day of my life, too.
|Pulling my hair out? Of course not! I'm just really,|
really happy that it's Monday. Riiiiiight.....
And it starts with each and every Monday morning. I wake up like I’m pretty sure most everyone else does – with a cold pit of existential dread in my belly and anger at the world for allowing Monday mornings to even be a thing – and then I start getting into character. It started out as a kind of game while I was putting on my make-up. With each bit I applied, I pretended I was putting on a mask that was happy and smiling and cheery (you know, me after like 5 cups of coffee). By the time I was finished with the transformation I found I was*gasp* actually looking forward to the day and anything it could bring. Sure, I still started out groaning and incoherent, but by the time I got to the office I was the happy morning person that everyone loves to hate. And I meant it!
After a while of such success with faking myself into making it, the process started even earlier in the morning for me. Now in my head I was becoming that TV character who wakes up with a stretch and a smile and perfect hair and eyeliner still intact. True, that only works until I see the mirror, but by that point I already feel better.
And, after all, isn’t feeling better the whole point? Here are some other ways I’ve tricked my brain into not cowering in the dark space between snoozes:
- Picking a goal that actually excites me to start on first in the morning.
- Forget worrying about the lengthy to-do list that I didn’t finish before bed. Instead, take stock of my accomplishments during the day and let myself feel some satisfaction for a job well done.
- I treat myself! I deserve a treat for getting out of bed, right? So I can look forward to whatever special diet-breaking treat I allow myself first thing in the morning. Here lately that’s been a Hansen Pomegranate Soda. Yum!