In the past I’ve often rolled my eyes at people who have suggested acting ‘as if’, as if it were so easy to just act, after all, wouldn’t we all be due an Oscar if that were the case? Whilst acting ‘as if’ may not be as easy as it sounds, it is extremely effective. Of course I believe in assertiveness and being authentic too, so I in no way advocate acting ‘as if’ something doesn’t bother you or ‘as if’ you are a comedian in an effort to conceal the real you. What I have found is that acting ‘as if’ is most effective when you are trying to overcome something. Should this grey area leave you feeling a little confused, I have listed the situations when acting ‘as if’ can be seriously advantageous.
- Acting confident when you are nervous or shy
- Acting calm when you are anxious (and using breathing exercises)
- Acting assertive when you are naturally passive or aggressive
Whilst it may start off as acting, the theory behind the act ‘as if’ principal is simple, soon you won’t be acting at all, but rather it will become part of how you operate and who you are. It’s a little like the study I read about whereby people who were unhappy smiled for a period of time and actually became happier as a result when compared to a group who were instructed not to smile. The very process of acting means sooner or later it becomes part of our psyche.
So the next time you are nervous, shy, anxious or feeling passive or aggressive – act ‘as if’ until ‘as if’ becomes ‘I am’.
Are there any areas of your life where you would like to act ‘as if’? If so, what are they? Do you agree that there are advantages to acting ‘as if’ or do you think it is inauthentic? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.