I had someone send a private question to me on Quora the other day and I thought I’d share with you on my blog. Their question was “how can I change myself for the better when it is such a habit to be who I am right now? How do I make those changes?” Habit is indeed a terrible beast to fight but my weapon is both fun and can kick habit away. What is it? Imagination.
Okay, I know, you’re asking “how can imagination help this situation?” The thing is… your imagination is such a very powerful tool for many diverse situations and uses. It can help you get better at a task (ask Olympic athletes about visualization), it helps with motivational issues, and it can help you break/change a habit for the better.
Think back to when you were a kid playing make-believe with your friends/siblings. When the titles or names were handed out, you played the part of the ruthless king or the beautiful but fierce dragon maiden (or in my instance, the Ewok Princess). You did what that particular person/being would do. You spoke they way they would speak (as far as you know), and you’d act how they would act. Essentially, you believed you were that person/being. How did you feel then? If you played the king, you felt strong and acted decisively towards the other kids (even if you yourself were shy!) Think about that for a moment. Your imagination was the key here.
How can that help you change yourself for the better? The tie-in to your imagination is the phrase that I’m sure you’ve heard many times before, ‘fake it ’till you make it’. If you know what it is you want to change about yourself, you’ve won half the battle already. The last step is to just pretend. Want to be more confident in yourself? Pretend to be a confident person. Think about how that confident person would act. Do they walk slowly, staring at the ground or do they walk with purpose, up-right, and facing each person the see? Want to be a better public speaker? Think of how a public speaker would act… or better yet, act like a fantastic public speaker that you know about. Think, “what would X do right now” as you present yourself. Trying to lose weight? Again, act as if you are a person who has a great physique. How would they treat food? What are their views on exercise? DO what they would do!
The more you do this, the faster it will grow on you and become second nature.