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I Am Choosing To Fake It Till I Make It

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve seen the saying ‘You choose your feelings’. Probably thousands. But it’s only been in the past few months that I have started to really ingest that idea and try to truly make it part of who I am.

The concept of choosing your feelings seems so foreign to me. It means when someone insults me, I’m supposed to choose how I want to react rather than instantly be angry. Or when someone hurts me, I’m supposed to choose how much and how long it will bother me rather than automatically burst into tears and hold a grudge forever. Or when a guy I’m into tells me he has stuff to work out and needs some time but that it doesn’t have anything to do with me, I can choose to believe him and be confident that it really has nothing to do with me or choose to feel like it really was me and it’s probably because I was too fat, forward, sarcastic, dumb (pick one…or several). Or when I didn’t get that promotion I so badly wanted, I could choose to mope about it, ‘eat’ about it, whine to all my friends and family and become a general b*tch at work to let everyone know how unhappy I was with the outcome or I can choose to accept that it’s not something I have control over and move on.

In the past few months I’ve been confronted with opportunities to make these choices about all of these things. And they have been SO HARD to make. And it’s not like I can make this choice and then forever-more am not bothered by it, reconsider it, rework it in my brain, think about it etc. I have to keep making that choice every time it comes back up. When that hurt, sadness, disappointment re-emerges in my psyche and says “hey, you should be pissed off about this – I can’t believe that happened to you”, that’s when it becomes the hardest. That’s when I have to tell myself, “No. You chose to look on the brighter side of things, to accept the things you cannot change and to look forward and not back. So stop thinking about it.” I have this struggle every day. But in spite of all the work it is to keep having that struggle, it’s infinitely more work to hold the grudge, stay disappointed, be sad, eat my feelings and then feel guilty for eating my feelings. I’m still struggling to emerge from this years-long depression era that was my mid-30s. And even that is something that runs through my head – that I wasted my 30s wallowing in misery and sadness. But instead, I’m reminding myself not to look back but to look forward. To imagine what could be in the years ahead and not what was. Because I can't go back anyway, I can only take the lessons I learned and use that knowledge for my future.

I admit that I wallowed in self-pity a bit after learning I didn’t get the job but by Saturday had decided to embrace my personal challenge to choose my feelings and to move on. On Monday morning, I looked at my vision board that I created for the BLC22 and in particular the saying that I had put front and center on it: “I am in charge of how I feel. And today I choose happiness.” I read that statement out loud (advantages to living alone – no one knows when you talk to yourself!) and then I walked out the door. I was choosing to be happy that day in spite of knowing I was heading to work where I would have to congratulate the guy who did get the promotion and keep working with him as we always have. And that’s what I did. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy but it instantly reset our working relationship to 'normal' mode. It made my co-worker relax because I could see him hesitating about how to act around me the second he came in. He shouldn’t feel bad about doing his best and being rewarded for it, I know I wouldn’t have.

Having said all this though, it still rears its ugly head. On Tuesday when I had the debrief with my boss about the interview etc. I let him know how I felt, how frustrated and disappointed I was, how the process was flawed etc. but then I told him that now that I had said what I wanted to say, I was done. And since then I haven’t mentioned it and I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude. As much as it sucked to come in 2nd, there is a consolation prize in that they are trying to get another position like it approved and when it does, I won’t have to compete for it as I was put 1st on the eligibility list. This again is something I can CHOOSE how I feel about it. It will probably take months for that to happen, so I could be pissed off about that too. But I am choosing not to be.

I am choosing to start thinking that the glass is half-full when I’ve traditionally seen it as half-empty. I am choosing to believe that I am awesome and that this guy or another one soon will agree. I am choosing light-heartedness, fun, happy, contentment and joy as my go-to moods and am working at banishing sadness, loneliness, disappointment, anger and general b*tchiness from my person.

I am choosing to make changes. Physically, mentally and emotionally. And it’s so hard, and so out of my comfort zone but I know it’s the only way I’m going to grow. And if I have to, I’ll fake it ‘till I make it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MARIANNE9855
    you are growing so much as a person- you should be so proud and you are such a good writer- everything seems to flow so naturally.
    Attitude and choosing to see the positive really does make a huge difference in our lives- some people do this naturally and some of us have to work a little harder but it does make life so much better for us. emoticon
    1665 days ago
    It IS sooo difficult to stay positive when life is getting you down..especially at OUR age for some reason. Yesterday I got some kinda crappy news, got insulted by a stupid older woman at work who is too dumb to realize that she is insulting a person (grumble grumble sorry quick rant) but then I almost got hit by a friggin truck on the way home from work. So then I said to myself, "Hey stupid, you are LUCKY to be here to worry about this stuff". LOL! How's that for a reason to be positive? hahahahaha! seriously tho..that happened..
    1675 days ago
    Minea, how have I not read your blog before? Such great writing! I often also "fake it until I make it." Thanks for sharing this!
    1677 days ago
    Thanks for sharing ;*) It was just what I needed to read today.
    1682 days ago
    Oh Minea, I am just now reading this blog (I've been on vacation) and I can't TELL you how happy it makes me!! You are an amazing woman and this attitude is going to take you far in life!! Not to mention helping you build the life you want!! I'm so very proud of you - you ROCK!!
    1682 days ago
  • SBFT84
    Thank you for posting your job angst... I was so tortured today at work . I am used to getting pos feedback and today it was neg. I was feeling so hurt and wanting to punish something, (pity I don't have a garden) :) and your blogs gave me insight, sympathy, action plan, and grace. I was following each step you made, and I will fake it till I make it, and I will not eat through the hurt and disillusionment . I even think I will do some physical action to release the stress . Your outcomes help point the healthy way to deal with performance disappointment in the workplace. My evaluation is coming up Aug 4, and now I know I will not be getting the kudos I was expecting. I was so tormented, and you showed me a better way to respond. You showed me how to keep my dignity and still experience my true feelings. Feel them, not feed into them. THANK YOU!
    1683 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/18/2013 3:09:48 AM
    Great blog! You have a great attitude and thank you for sharing.
    1687 days ago
  • AMY4593
    What an amazing mindset you have!! Consider how far you have come! I am proud of you!!
    1688 days ago
    I cannot tell you how much I admire you for being able to handle things with so much grace, dignity, and aplomb. Rising above the turmoil of hurt, wounded emotions---however very much justified and real they are---is a great way to feel in control of yourself and to feel good about how you perceive and are perceived by others. emoticon
    1688 days ago
    You are a deep thinker. I enjoy reading your blogs. Years ago I took the Dale Carnegie Course and one of the lessons learned was exactly that. Thought does not always precede Action. Action can precede Thought.
    1689 days ago
    That's the kind of attitude that will take you places! It is hard to put away the angry and bitter feelings, they seem to want to stick around all the time! But in the long run you will be so much better off for getting rid of them and adopting a more healthy and positive outlook.

    1689 days ago
    This is a fantastic and motivational blog. Good for you!!

    I don't know why I can look at you and think, wow she's pretty and smart and fun, she could pretty much have anyone. And then turn around and think, no one is going to be interested in me because I'm so fat. WHY is that. I must choose to stop thinking this way.
    1689 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/11/2013 9:49:09 PM
    Good for you! Great blog! What an awesome attitude! YOU ROCK!
    1689 days ago
    Love your blog! Thanks for sharing!
    1689 days ago
  • TREV1964
    This is superb stuff and shows a wonderful character.

    A Winner is just someone who gets up one more time than they are knocked down and reading about how you have done this has made you in my eyes an inspirational winner.

    You are a winner - simply because you won't allow yourself to loose.

    I for one feel privileged to know you on here.


    1689 days ago
  • _BABE_
    Like any other muscle or skill we have to train. It may seem foreign at first and we probably won't be very good at it. You have to believe that sooner or later something has to give. You didn't come into this world with the fate of being pessimistic or depressed or cynical because that was learned too.

    Just think when you do see the more positive side of the issue you will still have that wicked sarcastic side to whip out when necessary....that is versatility my friend! emoticon
    1689 days ago
    Good for you. Faking it until you make it is easier said than done, that's for sure. It took me a while to realize that feelings are the result of our behaviors, it's not feelings that cause behaviors (or at least ideally).

    Does this make sense, lol?! Anyways, great blog. :)
    1689 days ago
  • MTAL203
    Great Blog and a good message for all of us! Keep that positive attitude. I bet soon you'll be writing about your new promotion and how everything is going great for you! Keep it up!
    1689 days ago
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