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Scientific Theory To Explain Why We Should Always Fake It Till We Make It

Scientific Theory To Explain Why We Should Always Fake It Till We Make It

The most successful people in the world weren’t always successful. They were once nobodies who lived a mundane life. Everyone was once a child, everyone had to start somewhere. The common traits that successful people share is simply hard work and a determination to keep their focus on their goals and take steps towards achieving them every day. Every decision, every action is calculated and directed to take them one step closer to being the person that they want to be. In some ways, at some point in their life, they had to fake it.

To ‘fake it’ isn’t necessarily a lapse in authenticity

It isn’t that you have to make false claims or lie, it’s not about being superficial. It’s actually a matter of attitude. A way of living your reality in a way that manifests your deepest desires.

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The notion of positive thinking and the power of the mind to influence our lives is not a new idea. There is a long history of how happiness is a right and should be endorsed as a state of mind that can alter our physical reality. In Bhutan, they actually measure Gross National Happiness or GNH as a means of determining the prosperity of the nation. Rather than relying on data surrounding Gross Domestic Product or GDP to measure material affluence, a more western concept, they instead are more concerned with their spiritual and attitudinal health and wealth, which stems from their Buddhist heritage.

The idea that we should ‘fake it till we make it’ alludes to the notion that if we live as though our goals are already within reach, that we are already the person we want to be and have the success we envisage, then the reality will naturally manifest itself because every thought and every action will contribute to and shape the reality of its very existence.

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The Power of Placebo

The power of the mind to heal the body has been documented extensively. Placebo is a means of suggestion. It tells the brain what the outcome should be and tricks it into making it a reality. In medicine, doctors have given patients what they think are remedies, a sugar pill for instance, and because the patient believes that they are being treated, the brain and the body behaves in a manner that makes it a reality. Many alternative and complementary medicines rely on this very method.

The same principles of placebo or being willing to ‘fake it’ when it comes to achieving personal goals, works in much the same way. If you harness your state of mind and convince yourself that your goal is within reach; if you behave as though you are living the desires and ambitions that you dream about, there is no reason why it isn’t possible for those fantasies to actually occur. Within reason. It can be argued that factors such as luck of birth, inherited wealth, physical ability and genetic make up will almost certainly influence the reality of what you desire.

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Be Careful of What You Wish for

What you desire needs to be realistic and healthy, but that doesn’t mean that a positive attitude needs to be abandoned if your reality doesn’t match your goals. A positive attitude will in fact give you the tools to conquer anything that comes your way in life. It will also give you the clarity and strength to discover your true path and find your most authentic self. The end objective should always be personal happiness and satisfaction.

Whether you want to be a better partner or parent, live a healthier and fitter life, travel the world, climb a mountain, start a business, write a book, lead a country, change the world; whatever your ambitions, your mindset and the manner in which you conduct yourself and face adversity is half the work.

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Having a positive attitude allows you to ‘fake it till you make it’ while at the same time being the most genuine and truthful that you can possibly be. A positive outlook lets you see obstacles for what they are and makes you solution oriented so that you tackle each event of adversity with creativity and optimism.

Believing in yourself and having faith in your capabilities means not comparing yourself to others. It means looking inwardly to the self determination that exists within you and running a one person race. It means living each day being the best person you can possibly be and knowing that with every step you are one step closer to success.

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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