When you haven’t got those qualities or aspire to have those high qualities, it’s OK to fake it until you make it. Some people say it isn’t OK, that it is inauthentic. But I disagree. What you’re doing is acting your way into a new way of thinking. When you behave in a new way, your brain responds accordingly after numerous repetitions. It begins to form new neural pathways. It begins to cement the new behavior into who you are as a person. After lots of practice in the new behavior, it becomes unconscious — you do it without thinking. Then, it is you. This is what’s so great about acting your way into a new way of thinking: the more you behave your way there, the faster you get there. This works for just about any value or quality you wish to possess. If you want to be more positive toward people, starting acting more positive toward yourself and towards people multiple times per day. If you want to exercise more (and mean it), start with a small amount of time devoted to daily exercise at the same time each day so that you stick to it. Act your way in. If you want to develop your social skills, force yourself to go out and be around other people in social settings. Join a group of people who’s mission you believe in. Volunteer. Act your way in.
This involves a lot of self-awareness. There aren’t many people who will choose to do this. Most people will think it is BS and dismiss it outright. But acting your way into something new is a great way to begin changing our behavior and changing how we view ourselves. Behavior change is part identity change. We’re changing a part of who we think we are. This is no small feat. Many people possess the false belief that they cannot change a feature or property of themselves, such as shyness or being an introvert. Only you can. But you must believe you can first or else you won’t put in the effort.
Acting your way into a new direction is far more important and effective than thinking your way in. Because our actions define us and become us, not our thoughts. Most thoughts are worthless. Yes, even mine. Much of what I think about isn’t worth thinking about. It is what we choose to act on that makes the largest difference. And this is defined by behavior and action. Thinking about becoming more extroversive won’t get you there. Acting more outgoing every day, multiple times per day, will. Thinking about starting a new business won’t get you there. Acting on writing copy and making offers to people and selling will get you there. Thinking about writing that book won’t get you there. Taking daily action on writing at specific times each day will get you there. Thoughts do not get us our desired behavior. Actions get us our desired behavior.
Think about what you want for you. What is a quality that you admire, that you wish you had but currently do not? What would it take to get it? To learn it? To become it? Start acting like you’ve always possessed it — starting today. Even if it is weird. Even if it is awkward. (It will be.) Do it anyway. You’ll quickly start to feel it become more natural. And you’ll be surprised how little time this takes. You can cement new behaviors in about three weeks. Yes: You can become a new version of you in about three weeks. That is not that much time to forge a new quality or set of qualities for your identity. In fact, it is rather incredible. Who you want to become is not that far away. It is closer than you think.