How To Create The Best Version Of You
You’ve heard of “faking it till you make it,” but does it really work? If you pretend to be someone that you want to be, does this actually change things? How can impersonating the best you help you to become the best you?
Many people think of self-fulfilling prophecies in a negative way; if you tell yourself you’re going to perform poorly on a task, you likely will end up performing poorly on that task. But really, a self-fulfilling prophecy is when a belief comes true because you have begun acting as if it’s true.
Let’s take the example of believing you’re going to fail an exam. As the date approaches closer, you procrastinate on studying, you may stop attending lectures or stop doing the reading; because ultimately, what’s the point if you’re going to fail anyway? The day of your exam arrives and because you haven’t studied or read all the materials or attended all the lectures, ultimately you fail your exam.
However, this can also work in reverse. Let’s say you’re invited to a networking event and you decided it’s going to be productive and fun, despite the fact you don’t know anyone. As you arrive, you’re more likely to make the first step in introducing yourself to others, you probably show open and engaging body language which invites others to interact more with you and are less likely to sit in a corner waiting for others to make the first step to approach you. As a result, you end up making new good connections for your career and possibly a few new friends.
So by acting as if you are already the best you, you’re staring down the path of creating the best you.
Starting Your Impersonation
It can be daunting thinking about where to start your impersonation, or where to start with creating your own prophecy.
Think of someone you admire: Think of someone you look up to, or imagine what it would look like to be who you want to be. What is important to them? What things do they actively do? How do they behave in various situations?
Reflect on your own life: Take some time to reflect on where you are now, so you know your starting point. Don’t just identify the things you want to change – also identify the areas where you think you’re already doing some of the things you want to do.
Bridge the gap: Once you’ve identified where you are and where you want to be, start making micro-changes. Identify some of the key actions or behaviours you can take to imitate this best version of you. Think of each new situation you enter as an experiment and see what happens when you behave differently.
Reflect: Stop periodically every couple weeks to reflect on the changes you’ve made: what things do you notice in yourself? Are you mentally approaching situations differently or are your initial responses changing? Take some time so see how far you’ve come and how much closer to your ultimate goal you are.