What I Continue to Learn about ‘Fake It till You Make It’

Last week I took an adult ballet class.

While executing the adagio (a slow combination of steps requiring balance, high leg extensions and absolute control), I critically compared the reflection in the mirror with my younger self…a former professional dancer whose movements were certainly more agile and balance more dependable.

As I wobbled on one leg, three words floated up from deep within. Just dance it. Don’t over analyze your balance, don’t obsess that your leg that won’t go above 90 degrees, don’t think about the next transition. Just dance it.

So I immediately committed to expressing the music and making meaning of the movement. I shifted to performance mode and danced for an imaginary audience. And as I did this, my balance took care of itself, my leg lifted with greater ease, and the steps meld together.

Everything changed the second I committed.

It felt a lot like ‘faking it until making it.” However, it’s less about faking and more about committing. Committing to the action and getting out of your head.

At RRR, we work with women transitioning into new roles, trying on new careers and advancing into challenging leadership positions. In this state of transition, many women question their capacity and worry that they don’t have what it takes. We find that it comes down to this idea of committing to action – to the dance, to speaking up at a meeting, to a new career or leadership role.

There are over one hundred verified studies that show committing to a behavior will yield wanted results eventually. Stand in positions of confidence and you’ll begin to feel more confident. Force a smile on your face and you’ll begin to feel happier.

Perhaps the most celebrated researcher in this space is Dr. Amy Cuddy who has spent a decade studying power poses. Although her initial research correlating power poses to a rise in testosterone (power hormone) and decline in cortisol (stress hormone) has been challenged, she now stands by her findings that show expansive postures can actually breed confidence and increase capacity.

As Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity once said, “It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting.” It’s a lot like riding a bike. You can observe the mechanics and study how to pedal and apply the brakes from afar, but you don’t actually learn to ride a bike until you commit to the action – pushing the pedals, steadying the handlebar, and making constant micro adjustments with your body.

We will leave with you a heart-warming video of a young Spanish dancer who commits to action and transforms before your eyes. https://www.instagram.com/p/CAflReKAiIo/

Perhaps Nike has had it right all along…Just Do It!

By Retreat Reinvent Recharge
Retreat Reinvent Recharge