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Expanded Gandhism

Posted on 2012.06.23 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
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In speaking with my mother the other day I was explaining the effects her psychology ultimately had on me. As I've mentioned here many times before I initially shunned her "fake it until you make it" wisdom as a foolish and nonsensical masquerade through the eyes of immaturity.

I regaled her with the tale of understanding through practical application the meaning of her words when I was in Korea and frustrated at my own timidity. Wanting to emulate those around me who exuded self-confidence I began walking with my head held high - and though I was terrified at the time - looking strangers in the eye and addressing them directly and sincerely in passing.

Soon, because I appeared to be self-confident, people started treating me as if I were self-confident, there were even those who confided to attempting to emulate me much as I was endeavoring to emulate others. With each new milestone, my act of self-confidence actually transformed me to what I was desiring to be.

While Gandhi's quote of being the change you want to see in the world seems daunting, its far more surmountable when you add the modifier I have used to great success in my own life:

Pretend to be the change you want to see in the world.

It really is that easy.


slchurchman at 2012-06-23 11:55 (UTC) (Link)
I so can relate to your experiences of "fake it until you make it". I was so shy as a young 20 something. But like you I began acting as if I knew something and was self-confident. Today my cousin marvels at the fact I was under confident. She always thought I had it all together. This is the premise of cognitive behavioral therapy. "Changing maladaptive thinking leads to change in affect and in behavior." (Wikipedia) Athletes know that being a better athlete means practicing over and over those things that will lead to athletic prowess . The same is true for our psychological fitness. One must train the brain in practicing over and over those mental attributes we wish to have.
ehowton at 2012-06-24 01:28 (UTC) (Link)
This is the premise of cognitive behavioral therapy.

Stay tuned.
michelle1963 at 2012-06-23 13:03 (UTC) (Link)
The thing that most people do not understand is that no amount of training ever gets one fully ready for the real thing. We always have to "fake it til we make it" to some degree when undertaking a new endeavor. And silly us, we think we're the only ones faking it, never realizing that everyone is else either is doing the same thing, or has done the same thing.

It worked for me with my latest job change ~ becoming an instructor. I knew the material I was hired to teach, and I had a mother who was a teacher and had heard a lot about both about education theory and the practical application thereof ~ but I had never taught.

It's taken me a semester to get a feeling of certainty about teaching. And yet, when I try something new with my teaching methods, I have doubts. I pretend (fake it) to my students that the new method is the best thing since sliced butter, and see what happens. Sometimes my risk pays off in spades. Other times I find that I need to re-think my strategy. No matter what, I always learn something that will make me a better instructor. Consequently, I'm finally getting to the point that I can fake it less.

However if I'd walked into the classroom waiting to feel like I knew what I was doing rather than faking it, I'd have washed out early on. You really do have to practice being who you want to be.
ehowton at 2012-06-24 01:31 (UTC) (Link)
And silly us, we think we're the only ones faking it, never realizing that everyone is else either is doing the same thing, or has done the same thing.
This rings so true. Its one of the things I remind my children when they're nervous :)

Your example is usually how everyone walks into new situations - and how we all eventually excel at what we do when we take the time out to do it.

pcofwildthings at 2012-06-23 23:13 (UTC) (Link)

Act as if...

I have heard this also referred to as "act as if," and "the law of attraction," in that you exhibit behavior that you don't yet have the experience of, but of a type you want to attract or manifest. It is interesting that in order to do this, you have to put yourself out there "on faith" and without experiential evidence that it "works." And yet, often it does indeed.
ehowton at 2012-06-24 01:28 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Act as if...

In many ways faith to me is a cop-out. Its easy to believe whatever you wish to without any evidence to the contrary. That being said, I considered my own leap an empirical study. Then again, so might those who choose to believe what they believe. That they are embroiled in their own empirical studies. Who am I to argue?
pcofwildthings at 2012-06-24 02:18 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Act as if...

Why did I know you would frame it that way? ;)
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