There are many jewels in the AA program. One of my favorites is : Fake it ’til you make it. Contrary to what you might think, this doesn’t mean you are being phony. It is simply practicing a new way of thinking, or a new behavior, in the hope that it will become second nature. In AA the practice is not drinking alcohol, but there are many opportunities for growth in other areas of your life.
An excellent way to see what might be helpful is to scan through the list of affirmations on this site and, as you read each one, monitor your reaction. Is adopting this concept likely to change your world view? Make it easier to emotionally adjust when things don’t go the way you think they should? Enable you to be more flexible and open to new experiences?
Try a little experiment. Choose an affirmation and repeat it to yourself for 30 days as often as you can. At least, twice a day. At the end of the month ask yourself if your attitude or behavior has changed. Very little is as powerful as what you tell yourself.
Another approach is to heighten your awareness of your inner dialogue. Is it kind and loving, or harsh and critical? If you find the latter is true, gently steer your thoughts towards something supportive and positive, away from the self-downing and negative. Since you have been practicing thinking a certain thoughts for years, substituting new ones, or faking it ’til you make it, is challenging. Sometimes, you will think it’s hopeless. Persevere, with repetition your new ways of looking at yourself and the world will become automatic.
Faking it ’til you make it can also mean you pretend you already believe those wonderful new ways of thinking, and act as if they were your truth. How would you react to bad news if you really believed that everything was happening for your highest good? How much more relaxed would you be if you really believed you don’t have to figure it all out now? How much more peaceful if you chose to believe you were calm and could handle anything that crossed your path?
If simply reading those last three sentences makes you feel better imagine how great your mood would be if you owned them.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang