Many articles, books and workshops advise dreamers to act “as if.” Act as if you’ve already got your dream job. Act as if you’re successful. Act as if you’re confident. If we subscribe to the theory behind the action, it means that if we try on the thing we’ve always wanted, we’re more likely to achieve it. Another version of this is the 12-Step refrain told to newcomers: “Fake it till you make it.” Problems arise, however, if we don’t actually want the life we say we want. For instance, we may say we want to run our own business, but if we actually don’t want the added responsibility, acting “as if” will be an empty exercise. So what’s the solution? How does a person turn what they say they want into what they actually get? Here are some ways to begin. Start slowly. When people decide to make a significant change in their lives they often try to do too many things at once and get overwhelmed or discouraged. Focus on one thing that’ll get you closer to the “you” you’d like to become. Face your resistance. Change is challenging for most of us. Give yourself a leg-up by being willing to face any underlying beliefs that might be getting in your way. Don’t just set goals, visualize them. Whether you make a list or create a dream board with magazine photos of your life as you’d like it to be – a visual representation is a potent and tangible reminder of what a customized, ideal life looks like. Start acting like it. Once you’ve visualized yourself living “as if” you’re already becoming that person, start taking the actions that person would take. Actions can either reinforce the old beliefs or the new ones. Hang out with people who are like what you want to be. Role models are a great way to learn what works and avoid what doesn’t. Ask questions. Observe them. Change. Grow. Self-care. Ask yourself, “How would these ideal ‘as if’ people I’m hanging out with treat themselves if they were experiencing similar challenges?” Then respond accordingly. Change your environment so it’s in alignment with your new “as if” reality. There’s no better killer of change than a stagnant environment that encourages stagnant behavior. Try a change of scenery. It can be the impetus for a positive attitude and behavior change. Habits die hard. It’s easy to become stuck with (or comforted by) old habits. When routines get in the way of change, the best way to shed them is to replace them with something new. Grow into it. Make choices in your business and work life as though you already have the growth you want. That doesn’t mean getting into debt spending “as if” you have the million dollars you’d like to have. It can be as simple as replacing a scarcity philosophy with one of abundance. Acting “as if” doesn’t mean change occurs overnight. We’re all faced with dozens of decisions every day that either support the life we have or the life we want. By incorporating some of the steps above, you’ll be ready to make choices that will help you realize your dreams sooner rather than later.

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