Have you ever heard yourself say, ‘I can’t do that’? When it comes to weight loss, do you feel like you’re constantly failing? Then it might just be time to employ the ‘faking it til you make it’ strategy. By pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone, most of us will discover that we are a lot more capable than we ever imagined.
The key to being successful in anything, including weight loss, is to simply act with the intention of being successful. In other words, fake it, believe it and you’re almost there. If you’re not fit yet, decide to act like you’re fit. Tell yourself you’re getting fitter every day. Eat like a fit person would eat and move like a fit person would move (yes, that means not sitting on the couch but getting up and, most importantly, enjoying that brisk walk with the dog this evening).
It’s time to forget everything you’ve been telling yourself about who you are and what your limits are. Its’ time to pretend you’re the person you want to be. And, before you know it, you’re beoming that person.
Imposter Syndrome: a Female Tendency?
This is one area where men and women tend to differ significantly. Research shows that, while a man is likely to apply for a job based on the one skill he has on a list of required attributes, a woman tend to abandon the application if she sees one skill that she does not have. Women often tend to doubt themselves, wondering if they’re really ‘good enough’ for the job they’ve been hired to do – commonly known as ‘imposter syndrome’. Sadly, study show that this begins to take place even in young girls who were originally very confident (for instance, at certain ages it’s clear that more boys than girls put their hands up in class to answer a question). In other words, men have been faking it til they make it for years, so maybe it’s about time that women did the same.
What Exactly is ‘Faking it til you Make it?’
‘Faking it’ is not about pretending you can do something that you feel you aren’t capable of. It involves imitating authority, positivity and confidence until you change your mindset and actually achieve those qualities.
I’m not a huge fan of public speaking, mainly due to my crowd-shy, more introverted nature, but I’ve been required to do it for many jobs in the past. This is when I’ve had to literally ‘pretend’, to myself and others, that I have a confident, outgoing personality and, do you know what? It works. Every time. And I bet you have a similar experience – you faked it until you believed it, right?
Now Apply it to Weight Loss
- Say to yourself, ‘This is what I want to achieve’: by saying it, and by repeating it daily, Jackee Holder, leadership coach and author says, “You give energy to the part of your brain that has developed to help you progress.” In this way, she says, our brains are programmed to help us and to propel us forwards.
- Forget about perfection: Progress isn’t about perfection, it’s about perseverance. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ you mess up, you will mess up. It’s inevitable – you’re human. It’s your reaction that counts. Just get back up and start again with your very next meal or workout. Don’t ruin a whole day because of one poor choice. Faking it til you make it means not giving up on yourself – you’re in it for the long haul.
- Dress for the part: Take extra care with your physical appearance, not in six months, when you feel and look better, but today. Looking your best is about finding clothes that flatter your body in its current shape. When you dress well, you feel good and then you reap what you sow – body positivity. Read more about enjoying your clothes right now, regardless of your size.
- Get help or training: Half the battle in faking it til you make it is arming yourself with the insider knowledge on how to achieve something. Even a little bit of knowledge will go a long way because it’s the small, consistent changes that add up to a good result when it comes to weight loss. Your weight loss advisor is a fountain of knowledge and has years of expertise. Talk to them and learn as much from them as possible. They are your mentor and your coach who are with you every step along the way of your weight loss journey.
- Aim to be happy now: Don’t postpone happpiness for when that dress fits you – try to be happy today. Sign up for a new class, buy a new outfit, move forwards in your career or book a holiday. Remember that it all starts with your thoughts. As you work on your body, you have to continue to work on your head, which means celebrating your successes (yes, even the very small ones) and believing in yourself. Also, write down five things you’re grateful for today.
Watch social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk, Fake It Til You Make It, where The presenter talks about how your body language can shape who you are. It really does work.