All of my coaching clients at one point or another express that they want to cultivate and attitude of confidence and fearlessness. My advice to them: Pretend as if you are a confident and fearless badass.
Playing pretend might sound like “fake it ’til you make it” but it’s more like taking on the Method approach to acting. I only know what I know about Method acting from actors like Jared Leto who talk about never breaking character (even off set) when playing Oscar-worthy roles. Actors use Method tools and techniques to create authentic thoughts and feelings true to the role they’re playing. I think we can draw from the Method acting technique to harness the feelings we want to have in our creative work and life.
I most play pretend when I’m scared and trying something new – big or small. One of the first times I found playing pretend to be useful was when I was the lead art director on an NBA account. I knew nothing about basketball and I was a young designer. So I pretended as if I was a senior boy (my aesthetic was quite feminine at the time) designer at Nike working on a cool sporty campaign. And it worked. But sometimes I have to play pretend for the little things too. I mean, sometimes I have to play pretend that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t get anxiety when meeting a new friend over coffee.
Today I invite you to pretend.
Pretend as if you got enough sleep.
Pretend that talking money with clients doesn’t make you break out in hives.
Pretend like you’re the most badass designer / writer / photographer out there.
Pretend as if you’re the kind of person who always makes the healthy choice.
Pretend you’re Beyonce. Or even Mister Rogers.
Pretend as if … Because then you are.
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