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  • Acting As If

Acting As If

Earlier this week I was feeling overwhelmed. Things outside of my control kept occurring and I felt like I was unable to keep up. As soon as one problem was resolved, two or even three more would appear to take its place. But then… I wondered, “What if I tried to respond to or manage these problems in the manner I imagine someone I admire would? Or what if I pretended I was a character in a book or a movie…how would I write the script for that character to act under these circumstances?”

And then, as I imagined myself acting out this part in a movie, I instantly found myself standing a little straighter and feeling a little stronger. …and I thought, “Hey, how come I expect people I admire or even an imaginary character to be stronger and more capable than me?” This was a very intriguing revelation.

But simply taking notice of this is probably not going to suddenly transform me into a stronger, more capable, or wiser person. In the future, whenever I feel overwhelmed I need to remember stop and pay attention. If need be, act the part of a person who is able to confidently manage the current situation without becoming tense inside. I believe that with practice, this can become internalized and that I will begin to instinctively respond to chaos with detachment and clarity. It is possible that the physical process of acting as though one is centered, wise, and empowered could lead to truly becoming so.

    • Have you ever put something like this into practice?
    • Is there someone you looked up to during your childhood that you could mimic when you need strength or wisdom?
    • What is this person or imaginary character like?
    • How does he or she react to difficult situations?
    • Are there characteristics you could practice emulating such as mannerisms, speech style, posture, expressions, or attitudes toward others?

The qualities that people we admire possess are gifts presented to all of us. Examining what it is about our heroes that makes them so special opens up opportunities to discover or improve upon those qualities in ourselves. And if there is an imaginary hero that you have created, then that is a gift you have been holding inside…waiting to be called forth when you are ready to release it.