Day 16-Fake It til You Make It!

“Fake It ‘Till You Make It”. You usually hear it in the business and show business world.  The idea is that if you look successful, others around you will treat you like a successful person and will send more opportunities your way.

I first heard this years ago from Mary Kay Ash, who started Mary Kay cosmetics. She was speaking to all of us beginning beauty consultants, advising us to pretend we were wildly successful until we got the experience and tools we needed to make it real.  You then stop faking it because you’ve become what you’ve pretended to be.  I can hear you now-“What? Be inauthentic or lie? No way.”  Faking in this context isn’t as phony as it sounds. What you are really doing is modeling behaviors until you’ve internalized them. Once that happens, you will start to see results, because you’ve been working hard at exactly the types of things a successful person does. It only makes sense then that you start to see results.

I did not become a wildly successful Mary Kay consultant, but in the process of “faking it” I learned that I did not want to do what it would take to become one. I later used the same technique”acting as if” to become a life coach, helping people discover all their strength and beauty, which I love!

The interesting thing is that this works in all sorts of different contexts. If you want to be a thin and fit person, start acting like one, eat the things they eat, work out, move around more. After a few months of doing that, it’s no wonder that you’re starting to slim down significantly.

Since happiness is on my mind a lot during this project, I did a little research to see if the same concept could also work for feelings – including increasing a feeling of self-worth, wellbeing, and of course being happier. The good news is that it does. You really can fake happiness until your mood improves.

How to Start Faking Happiness

Faking happiness is a lot easier than you may think. You can start with nothing more complicated than smiling. Remember yesterday’s post? A fake smile will do in a pinch, but if you can get your entire face, including your eyes involved. Give smiling your best effort, even if you aren’t feeling like it. After a bit of smiling, you should feel your mood start to get brighter. Remind yourself throughout the day to smile more! I have to remind myself to smile—I have a neutral facial expression most of the time, so I really do have to work at the smile thing.

When you’re ready to kick it up a notch, give laughing a try. Again, no kidding. Laughter is great for you! Find a laughter yoga class in your area.  If there’s nothing funny going on, just start giggling and laughing. It has a profound impact on the body. Not only will it instantly lift your bad mood and make you feel happier, laughing has also been shown to increase your body’s ability to heal and it will improve your immune system.

Give it a try! Start practicing faking happiness. You can smile and laugh at yourself in front of the bathroom mirror in the mornings. Try to smile more and laugh often as you go about your day.

About Karen

Karen Karsten, CPCC, CAC, has had several business careers, in government, finance, retail and publishing. Each career was a building block that helped her create the life she has now as a coach, writer and executive director of Rich Chicks and Creative Principle of Think You Can LLC.

Her companies, Think You Can ( and Rich Chicks ( both explore the magic of prosperity and creating clarity about life values. Karen has total faith in the magic of belief. Notice how that works either way: belief of magic, magic of belief. Magic is there—in you, too. Take a moment right now and honor the magic in you.

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