I like to think of myself as someone who flies the flag for the old personal growth methods. The ones that work but not everyone could figure out how to work them.
They have been replaced with new ‘twists’ on old themes. One of those old themes is my valued ‘fake it till you make it’ and the other is writing and using affirmations. Today I want to add a new way of seeing these under appreciated but very valuable confidence building methods.
Ghandi said that you have to be the change that you want to see in the world. That means in order for the world to stop hating each other you yourself must stop hatred of other people.
If it can work on a worldwide level how much easier is it to bring it down to a personal level. In order for you to BE more self-confident you must BE self-confident. It is the simplest self-help advice you can ever hope to read… and yet while it may be simple it is not always easy.
Think of the old technique of teaching a child how to swim. What did a parent do? They threw them in the water and told them to swim. A little drastic for my taste but it was an effective method!
There was no time to worry about lying to yourself, you simply moved your arms and legs. You faked swimming until you found you were being held up above the water by moving your arms and legs, you continued doing that until swimming became something you could do.
I have no doubt there are people in the world with horror stories about being thrown in and told to swim – it didn’t work for everyone – but it did for some.
I want you to look at this another way.
In the film The Secret (of which I am not a major fan) the one thing they tell you is if you want to attract a car you have to see yourself sitting in it, you must smell the new leather, you must go out and test drive it so you have a real experience of having ‘owned’ it even if it was only for five minutes.
Well faking it until you make it is just like that.
Its about owning something that you want to experience that isn’t fully in you yet, but that you know you want to experience.
By allowing it to work through you, you find it begins to feel real.
My experiences of ‘faking it’
When I first started to ‘fake it’ I walked into conferences and meetings rooms and I spoke to people and I participated in groups.
After introducing myself (I would put my hand up to be the first one to do it) I was left shaking, actually trembling, and I had to learn to control my body. That is how scared I was about speaking up. Yet, being the first one to speak put me into a state of mind of being confident.
Continuing to speak during meetings or at workshops helped to build that feeling within me.
Walking up to people and introducing myself helped it grow even stronger.
I faked it all. The ultimate faking experience was when I decided to become a teacher.
I decided the best way to get over my fear of speaking to groups and of people looking at me was to be a teacher and stand in front of a class. I had no option then than to get over it. when I first started as a speaker I thought the same way.
Doing work as a teacher and speaker taught me how to relax in front of groups.
I FAKED being confident. People would come up to me at the end and tell me how confident I look up there and I would smile and thank them because the truth is I WAS TERRIFIED… Whenever I ran workshops I got the group doing an icebreaker as quickly as I could so I could calm my shaking hands and body!
By the time they finished the icebreaker I was usually in control of myself.
Of course none of that is present now. Its all gone. I stand up. I speak, I take part. In fact now I take part so often a workshop leader will say “let’s hear from someone else….” 🙂
When I discovered the joys of (EFT) it was a real bonus for me and the people I worked with because I was able to help them tap away their fear and resistance within minutes. EFT adds to the power of faking it and affirmations.
Writing and using affirmations
This is another valuable tool that will help you be the change that you want to see in yourself. If you are looking to be more self-confident, or you want to spend more time developing and listening to your inner voice learning how to write and use affirmations WILL help you with that.
When you repeat ONE affirmation on a regular basis they do work to help you feel better, almost as if they clear the negativity from your head and allow you to think clearly. They can also bring a sense of peace and release frustration. Of course it depends on the kind of affirmation you write.
Saying “I don’t want to be afraid anymore” is NOT an affirmation. That is a sentence that will keep you stuck and in fear because you are affirming the very thing you do not want to experience.
When written from a place of what you do want to experience “every day in every way the self-belief and courage I have in myself grows stronger and stronger” then you are more likely to experience that.
If you affirm courage and self-belief then FAKE them – live your life as if you already have courage and self-belief. While faking it you use EFT to release any negativity you have that may stop you from experience them.
And you write an affirmation that you speak and FEEL the emotions of being courageous on a regular basis saying your affirmation out loud or in your head. You have more than doubled your chances of experiencing courage and self-belief.
Negativity can NOT survive that kind of positive pounding!
What most people do though is say an affirmation once or twice. Or they try to fake it and mess up and never bother believing that it doesn’t work for them.
Or they fake it one day, forget about it for a month or two. Come back and fake it for a few days.
Forget about it for another month or two…. they are inconsistent with their use of affirmations and faking it so they will be inconsistent with their results.
Understand The Small Print
Here is the small print… there is no specific time or date for when they (courage and self-belief in this case) will come into your life.
I really wish I could say do this for a week and things will magically change. I will say do this for a week and you should notice a difference in yourself.
A feeling of happiness or lightness. As you experience that feeling keep it with you as you say your affirmation and as you continue to fake it and at some moment a switch occurs. A transformation happens when you are no longer faking but you just are…
You suddenly think to yourself “wait a minute, I just managed to ask my boss for a raise and I wasn’t even afraid to do it!”
Something that filled you with dread or fear in the past will suddenly become easier almost natural to do and that is when you will know the switch has taken place.
When faking it has become being it.
‘Fake it till you make it’ is a timeless classic that works when you work it. Give it time. Fake self-confidence every day for 30 days and see what happens.
Before you know it (and you may not even notice the switch) you will naturally be walking and speaking confidence. All you do then is work on ensuring your thoughts remain positive and confident.
Using and writing affirmations is a great skill to have in your efforts to build self-confidence. Whenever anything negative happens you will be able to put together an affirmation to counter-act it and repeat it to help you feel better.
I find they raise my energy, my vibration becomes higher and positively charged when I speak affirmations. It may take a little while of you using them on a regular basis to make that happen but it is possible.
Go off and learn new techniques.
There isn’t just one way to build self-confidence there are many. There isn’t just one way to learn how to use and listen to your inner voice there are several. Your job is to find a few techniques and use them for a long enough time so that they can work.
Impatience is the devil that robs you of experiencing the life you want.
None of us can accurately predict when things will change but as long as you learn a technique and use it correctly EVERY DAY there is no reason why you won’t see change sooner rather than later.