BLOG_2020_08_20 How to Try On and Actually Get the Life of Your Dreams
How to Try On—and Actually Get—the Life of Your Dreams
20 AUGUST 2020
Many articles, books, and workshops advise dreamers to act “as if.” Act as if you already have your dream job. Act as if you’re successful. Act as if you’re confident.
While some may see this as being “Woo Woo”, it is actually based on neuroscience.
If we subscribe to the Law of Vibration and the Law of Attraction theories behind this “as if” action, it means if we try on the thing we've always wanted, we’re more likely to achieve it. Another version of this is: “Fake it till you make it.”, or as Amy Cudhy states, “Fake it till you become it.”
Problems arise, however, if we don’t actually want the life we say we want. For instance, we may say we want to start or grow our own business, but if we actually don’t want the added responsibility, acting “as if” will be an empty exercise. We will not take the needed actions to get out of our comfort zones to make it happen.
So what’s the solution?
How does a person turn what they say they want into what they actually get?
Here are some ways to begin.
Start slowly. When people decide to make a significant change in their lives they often try to do too many things at once and get overwhelmed or discouraged. Focus on one thing at a time that’ll get you closer to the “you” you’d like to become. Discuss your ideas with others to see if they think it is a good fit based on how they assess your skills, attributes, and experience. We often underestimate our skills or take them for granted, so it takes others to point them out to us. And don’t be afraid to change directions if what you were focusing on doesn’t work. It’s all market research.
Align your goals and values. If your goals do not align with your core values and beliefs, you will meet resistance every step of the way. For example, if you think rich people are greedy and mean, you will likely be unable to grow your business, as deep in your subconscious you do not want to become “greedy and mean”! We need to reframe our mindset to align with our desired outcomes. Given the above example, a useful mantra would be, “I am running a successful and ethical business where I provide enormous value to my clients.”
Face your resistance. Change is challenging for most of us. Give yourself a leg-up by being willing to face any underlying beliefs that might be getting in your way. This can be your biggest obstacle in becoming the “new” you. We all have limiting beliefs (e.g. “I’m not good enough”, or “I can’t do that”) that can sabotage us so we stay in our comfort zones. This is where it is especially helpful to get help, as often we don’t even see the limiting belief until someone points it out to us.
Don’t just set goals, visualize them. Whether you make a list or create a dream board with magazine photos of your life as you’d like it to be – a visual representation is a potent and tangible reminder of what a customized, ideal life looks like. Every day, set aside a minimum of 10 minutes to actually visualize the life of your dreams. Who are you with, where are you, what are you doing? Be as detailed as possible. Really embrace the experience and feel the emotions.
Start acting like it. Once you’ve visualized yourself living “as if” you’re already becoming that person, start taking the actions that person would take. Actions can either reinforce the old beliefs or new ones. So again, be careful how you think and feel.
Hang out with people who are like what you want to be. Role models are a great way to learn what works and avoid what doesn’t. Ask questions. Observe them. Notice the language they use. Change. Grow.
Self-care. Ask yourself, “How would these ideal 'as if' people I'm hanging out with treat themselves if they were experiencing similar challenges?” Then respond accordingly. You’ll likely find they are compassionate and full of grace when they’ve made mistakes because they acknowledge mistakes as a learning tool for growth.
Change your environment so it's in alignment with your new “as if” reality. There’s no better killer of change than a negative environment that encourages stagnant behavior. Try a change of scenery. It can be the impetus for a positive attitude and behavior change. Start changing the environment of your mind as well as the physical environment. Meditate, and read about changing limiting beliefs to deepen your transformation.
Habits die hard. It’s easy to become stuck with (or comforted by) old habits. When routines get in the way of change, the best way to shed them is to replace them with something new. Identify your bad habits; create new productive habits to help you stay focused, positive, and taking action. Remember a dream without action is just entertainment.
Grow into it. Make choices in your business, career and personal life as though you already have the growth you want. That doesn’t mean getting into debt spending “as if” you have the million dollars you’d like to have. It can be as simple as replacing a scarcity philosophy with one of abundance.
Be accountable. Most of us require an accountability buddy when we are undergoing significant transformation. It’s too easy to slip back into our old, useless habits otherwise. Check in weekly, or daily if needed. Don’t choose an accountability buddy who will let you slide or who will be judgmental. So choose wisely.
Acting “as if” doesn’t mean change occurs overnight. We’re all faced with dozens of decisions every day that either support the life we have or the life we want. By incorporating some of the steps above, you’ll be ready to make choices that will help you realize your dreams sooner rather than later. Don’t give up. Making changes is like developing a stronger muscle; it takes practice.
If you could wave a “magic wand”,
so everything is possible, who would you become?
What is one step you can take today to make it so, or even better?
Everything is possible!