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Acting As If You Are Enthusiastic

I am reading a book that my daughter recommended: How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success by Frank Bettinger. (Just a note - it was written in 1947 and the gendered language is a reflection of the time it was written). It has become my nightly go-to reading.

His first chapter shares the message that you need to act enthusiastically in order to be enthusiastic (fake it til you make it in its early form). Turns out, if you act as if you are enthusiastic, then you will be enthusiastic. This article shares several studies that show that “acting as if” is a much more powerful way to change your behavior than thinking, daydreaming or visualizing the change you want.t

As I was reading the first chapter, I thought about a talk I was preparing for about mindfulness in the workplace. It’s a topic I am absolutely passionate about. I recorded myself giving the presentation. I wanted to sound empathetic and intelligent and let people know “we’re all in this together”. Instead, in the recording, I sounded boring and dull and the pacing was so slow. One trick to practicing is to alter the speed at which you practice. So, I warped-speed practiced my talk over and over. I also did it while marching in place and riding my stationary bike. When the time came to give my presentation, my pacing slowed down from warp speed into a friendly energy. It came across with the gentle enthusiasm I wanted. I attribute it to acting as if I were enthusiastic.

Have you used this “acting as if” principle? I see so many potential uses for it!



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