They say that you should “fake it until you make it” and I never really held much by that because I believe in only telling the truth.
Yet, last Monday when I was feeling truly horrible and I literally had to drag myself to work, something interesting happened.
As I walked into the building, the receptionist called me over and she said that she wanted to ask me what my secret was.
“What secret? I have no secrets…” I said
She replied’ “why do you always look so good? You always look so happy and energetic. I wish I had some of what you had, you must have a secret!”
I was taken aback because I really did feel horrible and I was fantasizing about being in bed, lying in the sun, being on a beach… anything other than having to be at work.
But I did make sure that I looked good before I left for work. I had red lipstick on and caffeine gel under my eyes, layers of mascara and red shoes, I had a lovely driver to deliver me to the front door of work.
And before I walked through that door, I put on a smile and took a deep breath and started my day. It started with a compliment on how wonderful I looked!
Obviously I am a better liar than I thought I was!
And I now really think that there is room for making yourself look good and adjusting your face into a happy look even when you don’t feel that wonderful.
The more you convince yourself that you are OK, or much more than OK, the more likely you are to believe it. I don’t think that it is necessarily about trying to convince other people that you are anything other than you are but believing that you are better than you allow yourself to be.
I heard about interesting research that was done where a few people randomly went up to somebody who was clearly well and asked after their health with some concern. The message they gave this person was that they didn’t look well.
The person started by saying that there was nothing wrong with them but as more people gave them negative feedback about how they looked, they started to question whether perhaps they were not actually as well as they thought they were in the first place.
They went from feeling well to feeling sick just by responding to others’ feedback.
Imagine then, the power of positive feedback and of acting wonderful even if you’re not. If you had to tell yourself (or other people) how well you are, how amazing you are, how happy you are, even if you don’t feel that way, how brilliant would you end up feeling?
I have a feeling that it might just work!