Fake it til you make it

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Recently, an incredibly supportive Spark friend was nervous about an upcoming event. My two cents for having fun instead of letting nerves get the best of her -- fake it til you make it. After her event, she reported that it worked, and she had a good time.

Isn't it amazing that we can trick ourselves into having a good time? We have so much influence over our own emotional reactions to things -- even when it feels like situations are getting the best of us, it is OUR mindsets that determine our responses.

I'm particularly conscious of this right now, as I (continue to) struggle with my Mom in the wake of Dad's death. Because her life feels out of control, she wants to control everything around her...and since I'm the child who is in town, I'm often the one at her house, to help. Which means I'm often in the line of fire. Given my complicated relationship with my Mom, I often react and play out my part in the same way I have since I was a kid -- defiant, angry, hurt. Not a great combination when I'm there to help.

And, the truth is, I want to help...and she needs help. But I struggle with wanting my help to come from a loving place without being disrespected in the process. And, yes, even with an ailing Mother, being treated with respect is a minimum expectation. At the same time, I am absolutely bringing my own attitude to the table right now, by waiting for the slightest sign of disrespect. I'm watching for it, defensively...and when you come at life from that attitude, you're bound to find exactly what you're looking for. So I am creating part of the dynamic, too.

So my goal for myself right now is to take my own advice...and fake it til I make it. I will go into my interactions with my Mother anticipating nothing but love and respect from her. By going into her home with that energy (even if I'm faking it) I really think it will change the dynamic between the two of us.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi there- I know when times have been tough with family members (ususally teenagers at my house- but occasionally parents/in-laws too), I try to follow some advice I heard or read somewhere along the line of treating these individuals as if they are their highest selves- as if they are really at their best in other words. For example, with one son, rather than railing at him all the time and consequently feeling negative myself- I treated him as if he were really a great kid- the kid I knew he really was inside. And, it worked some great changes in our relationship. He was still a challenge some days, but not all of them. So- along with faking it- maybe this can help too?
    2843 days ago
  • SAL2525
    I think you are 100% right! Expect the best and it will come! I think you are going to see a change and if not in your Mom in YOU! You are an amazing person and I am glad to call you my friend! Hugs Sal emoticon
    2845 days ago
    You are so wise my dear. I admire your desire to honor your mother even in the difficult times. Did you know that hospice offers grief counciling. Would she be open to that?

    Take Care,
    2845 days ago
    Great blog. I hope everything comes together for you.
    2846 days ago
    fake it til you make it has worked for me many many times. I know it must be hard to be thrust back into the childlike mold we grew up in, and it is hard to force ourself to get out of that way of thinking and reacting. We can be successful with the fake it til you make it strategy. I sympathize with you in all you are going through and I know it is hard to deal with, but I also know that you will come out of it a much stronger person.
    2846 days ago
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