Act As If…
“To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”
-Muhammad Ali, Boxer and Activist
I started my job knowing nothing about being a fraternity/sorority professional.
I have a degree in higher education, I have years of experience in residence life, I’m a really good researcher, and I put myself out there and “faked it until I made it.” It was uncomfortable at first (and for a while after that), but I acted with confidence and the amazing thing is … now I’m actually confident in my work.
Being new in any position, role, place, or experience is hard. You don’t know what is expected of you, and you don’t know the culture. I encourage you to put yourself out there and learn, which is not always easy.
But listen to me for a second, because I’ve been where you are and I know you can do it:
- Put yourself out there.
- No really, do it.
- It will get better.
- Seriously, it will.
When I say put yourself out there, I don’t just mean talk to people. I mean stand tall, speak strongly, and use physical posture that makes you feel powerful. Doing these things will physiologically CHANGE your confidence.
The other thing I’ve learned about this trick is that it doesn’t just apply to work, but is a true life skill (and remember, it CHANGES your confidence):
- Never been to the gym before? Put yourself out there: act like you know what you’re doing by keeping your head high, observe those around you, and ask some good questions – soon you’ll be lifting like a crazy Crossfitter.
- Haven’t dated in a long time (or ever)? Put yourself out there: walk openly up to the person next to you in line at the grocery store, at the park (literally anywhere) and be honest about whether that person seems interesting or not – you deserve that honesty. Soon you’ll have All. The. Dates.
Now, I know all of this is easier said than done. Seriously, I get it. I’m an introvert, and what I’m recommending to you is also uncomfortable for me. And awful. And stressful. But trust me, you can do this. Push yourself, act confidently, pose confidently, even speak your intentions out loud and you WILL be rewarded with actual confidence, relationships, experiences, and deeper
Try it. Trust me.
But once you do … Don’t. Stop. Know what you’re doing at work? Feel comfortable with the gym? Having all the dates? Keep pushing yourself and posing confidently. Trust me.
“Continuous effort-not strength or intelligence-is the key to unlocking our potential.”
-Winston Churchill, Prime Minister
My inspiration: “Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions-and perhaps even our own body chemistry-simply by changing body positions”. Check out her work on research on body language and presence here & https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are