Remember “Fake it ‘til you make it.”? I used to hate that phrase. It felt like being phony or pretending life was rosy even if everything was going to $hi!. Not that I wanted to wallow in $hi!. For me it came down to being in integrity with myself and others.
While I’ve come to appreciate the intention of that adage, I would say it another way. But I have yet to come up with a pithy, tweetable replacement…
When I ask clients to brainstorm a wellness vision, the first go-around is often less than inspiring. When I ask them about it they say things like, “But, it’s not true today so how can I believe that?” Or more commonly, “I can’t see how I’m going to get there from here.” The problem is, they were seeing the gap more than the vision.
It’s a struggle to reach your goals when the gap takes over. If you only see the gap, there’s no vision to get beyond it. Have you ever felt that way? You want a better result but seem stuck in a perpetual cycle of trying and failing?
Why is it so hard? To start, because we keep telling ourselves it is! Our self-talk has tremendous influence over how we feel about things, which in turn affects our behavior.
While the gap is reality, it’s uninspiring, even downright discouraging if you focus on it. But when you look at it logically, then create a vision along with a plan and the support to get there, the reality of the gap loses its depressive power.
I walk clients through this process all the time and it’s remarkable to see them work through obstacles and maintain healthy habits more easily than they could have imagined when we started.
Rather than “fake it ‘til you make it” it’s more about believing in yourself, your vision and your abilities to help you traverse the gap. It’s sticking with it even when you feel like quitting. It’s celebrating the small successes and building upon them. Perhaps most critically, it’s forgiving yourself when you fall short.
If the vision you hold for your health and well-being doesn’t quicken your pulse and excite you at the prospect, you may be focusing on the wrong thing. Or, your vision is mediocre which will keep you stuck. Maybe both…
The next time you find yourself asking why something is so hard, stop and ask a better question. Here are some possibilities:
- What’s the best thing I can do right now given the circumstances?
- Who can I ask for help?
- What am I doing well?
- How can I get what I really want?
- What would it look like to be kind to myself right now?
Even when it truly feels hard, acknowledge that feeling and know it will pass. Trust that you can build the capacity and resilience to push through challenges, bridge the gap, and get to where it truly is not hard.
Now that would be inspiring.