Fake it till you make it - kind of
Good morning my loves and happy day 27 of our Dry January journaling series. I’m so happy you’re here.
Here is today’s prompt:
“Who do you think of when you envision what you want your life to look like? What qualities do they have? What do they do?”
So fake it till you make it is actually an incredible visualization tool. I think it’s been twisted and turned for like toxic positivity - you know like “just pretend to be happy and you’ll BE happy” type bullshit. That’s not what I’m meaning here.
When I say fake it till you make it, I mean if you want to have a different life or make a change - try and do things that you think that type of person would do.
Here’s an example: in early sobriety, life felt very foreign. I had never experienced the world in this way and I felt scared often. But then I had a thought, what if I could embody the type of sober person I wanted to be? So when looking for ideas of what to do, I asked myself “well what do I think a sober person would do?”
I had never been one before so I had to use my imagination. But in my imagination, I actually found some inspiration. Like I thought ok maybe a sober person would do yoga and meditate as a way to work through emotions and self regulation. So I did it. Half because I was bored and half because I thought it might help.
This way of thinking - by imagining what healing looks like for us through the lens of someone else is actually an incredible way to do it. It takes the pressure off of us to be “perfect” and instead gives us some spontaneity in our day.
When I was drinking, every single day looked the same. Wake up, be mom, work, have a shit ton of anxiety, repress anger, put baby to bed, get wasted, sleep. For real - Groundhog Day is a common metaphor for parenting and add in your healthy dose of addiction and mental illness and it all starts to blur together.
But anyways - my drunk life was spent doing the same thing over and over again so I figured my sober life could be different as often as I wanted it to be.
This has been one of my favorite parts of my sobriety - I don’t know if this is the case for everyone else but I have allowed myself to explore anything and everything in regards to my recovery. Reading different types of books (not even forcing myself to finish them lol), trying new hobbies, learning about different types of movement and breath work, and most of all - allowing myself freedom in all of it.
Since learning so much about myself and just the world this year, I have a newfound respect and hunger for absorbing new information. I appreciate what learning does not just for my brain but for my life. Every time I learn one new thing, it ends up teaching me about five others.
Because this is what happens when we “fake it till we make it” in the sense of doing things that we think a person who isn’t whatever we are would be doing.
Maybe that person would take a walk everyday. So you start doing that. And what do you know? You feel maybe 1% better. Which doesn’t feel huge after one day but after a month, you notice your cute little brain is looking forward to these walks and then you start finding audiobooks for these walks and in those books you start learning about new subjects and human history and a whole myriad of new topics.
And it doesn’t have to be long either, the healed version of yourself doesn’t force her or himself into anything. My girl Crissy takes a walk for her mental health but she doesn’t shame herself to get there.
So if I have 10 minutes of a walk in me, I let that be enough. Start small. Start with whatever gets you going.
Also - in regards to faking it until you make it, the phrase itself implies a learning curve. Let yours be slow. If you do anything this year - heal slowly. Move like a sloth. Lose your need to grow quickly and burn out on this too.
If you have spent a lot of your life feeling like an imposter in spaces you didn’t want to be in, it’s time to embody who you actually want to be until it feels like who you are.
Fake it till you make it isn’t about being fake at all, it’s about trying. Trying to dig into yourself until you pull up the roots of who you are. Until you learn about what makes you feel both held and free.
I started my sobriety journey guessing at what would help me heal. Not everything stuck but it was all helpful. Every thing I have done has helped me learn about what works for me and what doesn’t. Healing is beautiful that way, it lets you explore shame free.
Fake it till you make it and then fucking make it baby. And then if you make it and you want to change it, do it all over again. Starting over is your birthright, let yourself change as often as you please.
I’m so proud of the work that all of you have done this month, keep going. You got this.