One thing I’ve learned is that you can fake it until you make it.
What I mean by that is that while you might not feel so great on the inside, you can try and look your best on the outside, and it often will help improve your mood.
I’ve also learned that smiling can actually help you feel happier.
According to Wikipedia, fake it until you make it is an English aphorism which suggests that by imitating confidence, competence and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life. It echoes the underlying principles of cognitive behavioral therapy as a means to enable a change in one’s behavior. Or in other words: faith in one’s self helps one’s self improve.
Making it can mean different things to different people at different times. Sometimes for me it’s to make it through the day without crying, other days it’s to remain calm and centered in spite of receiving bad news or a setback.
After going through one of the hardest periods of my life both professionally and personally, I finally feel good both on the inside and outside after much self- reflection and time. (The pandemic has set me back of course.)
When I wasn’t feeling so great and dealing with the stages of grief, I was diligent to still try and look my best and give everything 100 percent as soon as I was emotionally capable of doing so.
I often give public presentations, many of which I am paid to do, and so I’m required to leave all of my emotional baggage temporarily behind and be my best self during that time no matter what’s going on in my life. This is not easy. I often look at it as if I am an actress, step back from my current situation and just focus 100% on the project at hand. Presenting gives me confidence so I always feel recharged afterwards, which is helpful to improving my mindset too.
My mom was a middle school teacher before she passed away from cancer, and she would often say to me that she had to leave all of her worries and issues at the door when she went into the classroom because she had to be “on” all day. She said she would compartmentalize her stresses and anxieties, and temporarily “put them in a box.”
This box technique has also worked for me, and I encourage you to try it, especially right now when we are all on edge, stressed and dealing with cabin fever.
Also, while I am working from home and self isolating, it’s important to me to still put on makeup and blow dry my hair, and not just because I am on Zoom calls and doing a live TV program each day. I do it to feel good about myself and to continue some semblance of normalcy. While you can’t tell that I’m likely wearing leggings on the bottom and my nails and eyebrows are a mess, I am regular me as much as I can be.
I know so many people aren’t feeling like their regular selves right now, but try it and see If it makes you feel better especially if you are FaceTiming during the day.
This photo was taken on a trip during a time when I was very happy and I post it with this story to remind me of the fact that I felt good about myself then on the inside and outside. When you get knocked down, you get back up again like I do. This is where resiliency comes into play.
It’s not easy to always feel that way but you will, and until you do, fake it until you make it. Xo and stay safe.
PS – you can watch Legal Marketing Coffee Talk live every day at 2pm ET on Facebook Live (on the Kates Media page) and catch past episodes here.