Yesterday I was in a horrible, no good, very bad mood. I had slept horribly, I was trying to learn a new software program and it was not going well, and traffic was so bad I stayed late at work rather than sit in my car going nowhere.
When my phone rang at 5pm, I didn’t want to answer it but it was a project manager I had been trying to get ahold of. In my usual way, I plastered a smile on my face and answered the phone. As we were wrapping up the phone call, he said something that stunned me for a second. He said how wonderful it was I was always so positive and upbeat. I sat there thinking, but I am cranky! I am tired! I just want to go home and sit on Couch Island!
Then I thought back to our conversation. How had I answered? In a cheery tone (yes the fake smile helps). How had I responded to his questions? By saying of course I could try and do that. How had I ended the conversation? By saying thank you for checking it.
So yes, I was in a bad mood. But no, I didn’t take it out on him. At the end of our phone call, I was a little less cranky. Why is that?
I recently watched a TEDTalk given by Amy Cuddy about how our body language effects us. I can’t summarize it any better than she said it in the video, so take the 21 minutes and watch it. But she said something at the end that stuck with me. She said, don’t fake it till you make it; fake it till you become it.
Did I fake my good mood long enough for it to be real? If it only took 5 minutes for me to see results, what could I do with an hour? A day? The rest of my life? During my longer than usual commute home I thought more about this. How can I use this idea to make my life better, make me a happier person?
I didn’t have any epiphanies or find any perfect solution, but I did decide to apply her “fake it till you become it” idea to more than just my moods. In the past I have quit or stopped trying because I felt I didn’t fit in, even though I wanted it. But no more! Or well, less. Sometimes I just don’t belong, and that’s ok. But I shouldn’t let that feeling keep me from a passion or a dream. After all, it could all be in my head and I do belong there after all.
Love and positivity,