What are you going to dress up as?
Halloween is coming. Many of us go to the store looking for costumes last minute while many others know, months in advance, what costume they will be wearing. The big night arrives, we put our costume and assume the persona of our character. If we dress up like Dracula we act like Dracula, if we dress up like a witch we act like a witch.
We no only dress up, we also act as if…
For most of us, we participate in Halloween to have fun and we assume a personality other than our regular self. We dress like a particular character and in some ways, psychologically, we become that character. Have you ever seen a kid dressed up as Superman, or Batman? All of a sudden they are full of self confidence and they are ready to save the world. They believe in justice and equality and they hold their persona to a higher moral standard.
Dressing up and acting is not restricted to Halloween
But it is not only during Halloween when we dress up and assume a different persona. While having lunch with a friend, she was telling me that when she dresses well and puts on high heels, she feels more confident, more powerful. Me too, when I put on a suit, I feel more assertive and self confident.
Kate Stern, style coach and writer at http://www.katerstern.com, says that the way you dress tells other people how you want to be perceived. “Confident, successful people often use a sharp appearance to their advantage. Just ask yourself which person will attract more positive attention: the one whose look says powerful and professional, or the one whose outfit is bland and timid? If you want to get better results in life, learn to dress well. And as for having the confident personality to match: fake it ’till you make it.”
Act as if… for one week
What about if, for one week, this coming week, we were to dress up psychologically and act as if we were the person we want to be. Maybe we will act as if we had more self confidence, act as if we care about our health and go out for a run, act as if we were interested in learning and read a book, act as if we cared about our job and arrive on time, act as if we were full of ambition and do something to show how ambitious we are, act as if we care for others and perform many random acts of kindness.
William James, an American psychologist once wrote: “If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.”
OK, let’s do this:
- Visualize the person you want to be. Do you want to be happy? Do you want to be a person with better eating habits? Do you want to be in better physical shape? Do you want to be better educated?
- Study other people who you admire who represent that character. Let’s say that you want to be in better physical shape, read about others who are in good physical shape and figure out what they do. Let’s say you want to be a better business person, read about other successful business persons. I recently read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and decided to model some aspects of his life.
- Find out what the daily habits are that you need to integrate into your life: watch less tv, do some meditation, do some daily exercise, stop eating junk food.
As you practice your new persona and perfect it, you will believe you are that new person and soon you will no longer be pretending, you will be that person.