Act the Part

“Assume virtue if you have it not.”
-William Shakespeare

Making Change

Have you ever been overtaken by inertia? You want to make a change in your life, but there just seem to be too many complications. Analysis paralysis can stop you in your tracks. So here’s a thought - if you want to feel happier, act happier. If you want to feel more confident, act more confident. If you want to feel less anger, act less angry.

That’s right; there is a relationship of cause and effect between our physiology and our psychology. We can “fake” our emotions to kick-start them for real. Try acting out the change you want, and before you know it the change will be real.

Act the Part and our bodies will change our minds!!

So a useful technique to create change in your life is to; ‘Act the Part’. This simply means to ‘act out the part’ of the person we would like to be with the characteristics or attributes we would like to have.

From the work of Behavioural Psychologists we know that if we feel in a certain way, we tend to act that way and our inner feelings become our outward expressions. However, if we do not feel for example, positive or confident we can ‘act’ our way into feeling those feelings. We can do this by acting as if we already have those characteristics or attributes and with in a few minutes we start to feel them.

Research has shown that by pretending we are happy or enthusiastic in a relatively short time (5-10minutes) we can start to feel happy or enthusiastic. We, in fact will start to feel the feelings we act! Our bodies change our minds!!

Carry yourself as though you have self confidence, enthusiasm, power, vitality and as though you are excited about what you are doing. Surprisingly enough with in a few minutes you will actually begin to have the ‘feelings’ that are consistent with that action.

If you start the day feeling unhappy or grumpy try pretending this is the brightest day of your life and soon you start finding yourself feeling more positive.

Key Secret:
In fact this is a key secret of success. Strange but true, even if we do not feel great about a particular matter we can ‘fool’ ourselves into it, we can ‘act’ or ‘pretend’ ourselves into feeling the way we want to feel and act.

Then it becomes our reality!

For an inspirational talk on how your body position influences others and even your own brain, watch Amy Cuddy on TED entitled “Your body language shapes who you are”.

© Peter Bishop

Summer 2014.