Monday, February 22, 2016

Fake It Til You Make It!

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!

 What kinds of motivators do you use to help you fake it til you make it?


18 comments:

  1. sweet advice for a slow-moving monday!
    and btw, i signed us up for the a to z theme reveal blog hop for Monday 3/21 (which is your post day, Miss Ashley =) but I'll happily help out!

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    1. I'll make that the thing that gets me out of bed that Monday morning! ;-)

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  2. Marvelous advice. It really is all about attitude. My treat is usually a cookie. I'm pretty easy to please that way! :)

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    1. There's not much I wouldn't do for a cookie! :-)

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  3. I don't think I have ever treated myself in the mornings, but these days, I can get up more or less when I like. I have never really dreaded Mondays like so many do. I suppose the secret is to like what you do for a living and to like it enough that you look forward to it. Not easy I know.

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    1. You are so right! I certainly don't hate my job (who could hate working at NASA?), but I still dream of the day I'm writing full time. In my mind, I'll never have a real "Monday" again after that ;-)

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  4. I kinda wish I could try faking being rich . . . LOL
    Nah! In all seriousness, though, this is awesome advice! I mean what have we got to lose? It's already Monday, we might as well GO for it!!!

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    1. Yep! This morning I faked not needing coffee. That wasn't a yawn you just saw... I was merely stretching my face. I hear it's great for wrinkles ;-)

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    2. You can fake being rich. Just write in high heels and a boa ;)

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  5. My grandmother always said, "You are what you pretend to be."

    Pretend to be happy and pretty soon, you're happy. Pretend you're a great house keeper or writer, and pretty soon you become it.

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    1. PS love your sign off gal. I'll have to step up my game and make a better one. :)

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    2. Haha! I just made that today. I figured it was time I got my butt together and officialized myself ;-)

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  6. I act more confident than I am much of the time, which ultimately becomes confidence. There have been articles saying just plastering a smile on your face actually makes you happier, so everyone should do it!

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  7. Remember the old show tune? "Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect and whistle a happy tune, and no one will suspect I'm afraid." It's true. Faking it until you make it really does work. Presenting a happy face to the world helps the happy seep right into the deepest parts of you, and pretending you're self-confident when your knees are knocking works, too. The first time I had to give a major speech in front of a lot of important people, I was sooooo afraid I'd bomb. But I smiled, took a deep breath, and pretended I "belonged" there. Worked!

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    1. Ah, The King and I! I love that musical - and now the song is going to be in my head all day. But that suits me just fine because I think you just helped name my new anthem :-)

      Thanks, Susan!!

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