Have you ever heard yourself say, "I can't"? Do you feel like you are constantly failing to lose weight? Then maybe it is time to use the “Counterfeit Until You Can Do It” strategy. When we push ourselves out of our comfort zone, most of us will find that we are much more capable than we ever imagined.
The key to success in anything, including weight loss, is simply to act with the intention of being successful. In other words, fake it, believe it and you are almost there. If you are not yet fit, choose to act like you are fit. Tell yourself that you are getting fitter every day. Eat like a fit person and exercise 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 tonight).
It is time to forget everything you told yourself about who you are and what your limits are. It's time to pretend you are who you want to be. And before you know it, you become that person.
Imposter Syndrome: a Feminine Tendency?
This is an area where men and women tend to differ significantly. Research shows that a man is likely to apply for a job based on the one skill he has on a list of required attributes. However, a woman tends to drop out if she sees a skill she doesn't have. Women often doubt themselves and wonder if they are really “good enough” for the job they were hired to do – commonly known as “Cheater Syndrome”. Unfortunately, studies show that this already happens in young girls who were originally very confident (for example, at certain ages it is clear that more boys than girls put their hands up in class to answer a question). In other words, men faked it until they made it for years. Maybe it is time for women to do the same.
What exactly is "Fake Until You Can Do It?"
"Faking it" is not about pretending you can do something that you feel unable to do. It's about mimicking authority, positivity, and confidence until you change your mindset and actually achieve those traits.
I'm not a huge fan of public speaking mainly because of my shy, introverted nature, but I've had to do it for a lot of jobs in the past. At that moment, I literally had to pretend to myself and others that I had a confident, sociable personality, and guess what? It works out. Every time. And I bet you have a similar experience – you faked it until you believed it, right?
Apply it to Weight Loss Now
- Tell yourself, "This is what I want to achieve.": By saying it and repeating it daily, Jackee Holder, leadership trainer and author, says, "You are energizing that part of your brain that has evolved to help you progress." That way, she says, is ours Brain programmed to help us and propel us forward.
- Forget about perfection: Progress is not about perfection, but about perseverance. It's not about if you screw it up, you will screw it up. It's inevitable – you are human. It depends on your reaction. Just get up and start again with your next meal or exercise. Don't ruin an entire day because of a bad choice. If you fake it until you do it, you don't have to give yourself up – you will be in it for the long run.
- Dress for the part: Pay special attention to your physical appearance, not in six months when you are feeling and looking better, but today. To look your best, you need to find clothes that flatter your body in its current form. When you dress well, you feel good and reap what you sow – body positivity. Now read more about how to enjoy your clothes regardless of your size.
- Get help or training: Half the battle, to fake it until you make it, is equipping yourself with the inside knowledge of how to get things done. Even a little knowledge will go a long way because it's the small, consistent changes that lead to a good weight loss result. Your weight loss advisor is a source of knowledge and has years of experience. Talk to them and learn as much from them as you can. They are your mentor and coach who will accompany you every step of the way on your path to weight loss.
- The goal is to be happy now: Do not postpone happiness, if the dress suits you – try to be happy today. Enroll in a new class, buy a new outfit, build a career, or book a vacation. Remember that everything starts with your thoughts. As you work on your body, you need to keep working on your head, which means celebrating your successes (yes, even the very small ones) and believing in yourself. Also, write down five things you are grateful for today.
Check out Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk, Fake It Til You Make It, where the host talks about how your body language can affect your personality. It really works.
Listen to our podcast on Thinking Like A Lean Person.