A bulk of my posts talk about how to transform your thoughts, which will then change your emotional response, which will eventually lead to a change in behavior and create a desired outcome. As effective as this simple method has proven to be for me, there is another theory out there that sparked my interest which explores the idea of behavior directly transforming the subconscious. This is the concept of “acting as if”- basically, to behave in a manner that reflects already being in the state you wish to attain. Originally written over a century ago by Harvard psychologist William James, this principle was created to bring people the motivation to do things they are reluctant to do.
“This technique is the process of acting like you want to do something, even though you may not feel like doing it. To use this motivation building trick, you adopt the posture, tone, physical approach of someone who you imagine would like doing the activity that you are struggling to motivate yourself to do. Then start the activity in that manner and maintain this acting approach. After a short time the positive feelings which you would like from doing that activity if you really were keen and motivated to do it start to emerge naturally.”
Basically, positive psychology shows that behaving as if you enjoy an activity actually creates the positive emotions associated with doing the activity. The reason this aroused such interest in me was the curiosity of taking this a step further and using it not only to change behavioral habits, but also to directly change your internal state of thought and feeling. Enter the law of attraction (If you haven’t heard of this before, I highly recommend you check out The Secret and how to get started) and its secret to being so successful. The basis of the law of attraction is to ask the universe for what you want, believe you already have it by imitating the behaviors and emotional state of already having it via expression of gratitude, and receive it by creating space in your life for it to enter.
Many of you may be able to relate to my previous posts in which I describe my struggle to attain certain goals despite knowing they are within my realm of control, simply because I was feeling down and lacking motivation. Since research supports the idea that behavior can affect the subconscious mind, I tried acting as if I already had the behavioral tendencies and consequent emotions attached to that state of being, and I am excited to share that it has been successful so far! So, if we act as if we have something and raise our frequency to truly believe and feel as if we are in that state, it will manifest into reality. This is why it is so vitally important to stop placing your focus on what you don’t want, and instead to what you do want…and that is the magic of positive psychology.