I will admit it: sometimes I am a total fake.
It’s true. There are plenty of times that what you see on the outside isn’t what is going on inside. But I’m going to say something that might surprise you…
There are times when it’s really important to fake it.
Many things can’t be taught, gifted, or forced. Confidence–believing in yourself and your true capability–is one of them. It’s a feeling that is either there…or it isn’t. But there’s another interesting thing about confidence. The more you practice it, the easier it is to access.
…which seems like a paradox, right? After all, how can you practice something that you can’t access?
You fake it.
There have been lots and lots of days lately when I don’t feel beautiful, capable, or business savvy. And the temptation is to believe those thoughts when they come into my mind–especially when they feel overpoweringly strong. But those are the most important times to fake it.
In those moments, I muster up all of the courage that I have, look in the mirror, and inwardly say, “You look great, you’re doing awesome things, and you are totally going to rock this today.” And I’m going to be completely honest: sometimes the words sound hollow when I say them, and typically when I need them most they go against every single thing my feelings are telling me. In that exact moment, I don’t necessarily believe them.
But I say them anyway. Because words have power.
When I say those things to myself, I am taking the power away from the darkness and giving it to the light.
The messages we tell ourselves are significant, even if we don’t fully buy into them. (And it definitely beats the alternative, which is letting a cycle of negative thinking spiral you further and further into self-doubt.)
Our brains are wired in such a way that we give more weight to that which we hear repeatedly. This is one of the reasons that we give out our “Beautiful You” affirmation cards for free at shows and include them when we send out online orders, always telling people to put them in a place where they will see the message every single day. (And if you don’t have one yet, then please download the graphic here, print it out, and put it some place where you’ll see it daily.)
One of the biggest ways I am able to remain in recovery from my eating disorders is by continually telling myself that I am worthy of health and happiness, even when the darkness tries to convince me that I am not. We need to be careful curators of the messages we let permeate the surface. And when the dark messages are strong, it is up to us to tell ourselves things to counter them. Even if we don’t necessarily believe the affirmation in the moment.
Our immediate belief in a positive message isn’t what will make it powerful. What will make it powerful is hearing it over and over and over and over.
Sometimes, it is important to fake it. Because eventually, with time and patience, we create our own truths.