Act as if it were impossible to fail.Dorothea Brande
A phrase that is often heard in recovery is “fake it till you make it.” It’s also said another way, which is to “act as if.” In other words, if you are working toward a goal (sobriety, for example), act as if it has already happened. I think the theory behind this relates to the power of positive thoughts and manifestation.
Ironically, and speaking of manifestation, the day after I shared my thoughts about being on the lookout for “new life” in my post, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, my son announced that some baby birds had arrived in our backyard.
It was so exciting! When I went outside to check them out, one of the babies hopped clumsily behind a wood pallet in our vegetable garden. He seemed nervous (probably because we have a cat!), and he slowly made his way up our brick wall by grabbing hold of the mortar, and then briefly letting go to hop up to the next level. He had the makings of a good rock climber!
My mom and I watched as he came into view from behind the pallet, a little nervous ourselves, and we called out “fly birdie, fly!” When he was about halfway up, he let go of the wall and flapped his little wings as fast as he could, making his way to the trunk of the tree about five feet away where his parents were chirping loudly. There was definitely some turbulence in his flight, but he landed safely.
I started thinking about him, clinging to that wall the way that he did, and all I could imagine was that he was holding on in fear. He had to take a leap of faith in order to attempt that flight, and… in a sense… he was following the “fake it till you make it” rule. Would he fly or would he fail? He’d never know until he flapped those wings and tried. He had to “act as if” in order to find out.
Thinking about this little bird made me realize that “acting as if” might also refer to the simple act of “trying.” My middle son and I both have some deep-seated (and self-sabotaging) belief that in order to do something, we need to do it perfectly. We need to be an expert before we’ll even try. We even talked about this recently, and I think that both of us have held ourselves back from fulfilling a few of our dreams because of this mindset.
If I were that baby bird, for example, I’d peruse the local library looking for books on flying. Does the wind need to be in my favor? Which way should my wings be flapped… up and down, or down and up? And how do I land? These are the kinds of questions I would ask, and I’d look for the answers in books. Or by talking to experts. Or maybe by watching YouTube videos.
But, as that baby bird proved, sometimes you need to act as if. Fake it till you make it. Flap those wings as if you’ve flown a million times before… and see what happens. And he did.
About the Image
I’ve been working on my FLY image for a couple of days now. I’ve been wanting to try some new images that combine photographs and illustrations – so I used an old photo that I took from a Ferry in Texas, and I added a pair of wings that I made in illustrator. Then I sent it through several apps, including Photoshop, and added overlays, coloring, paint effects, and who knows what else.
Do I love what I produced? Not really. But as I stressed myself out and reworked the image again and again, I realized that it was the perfect example of “acting as if.”
I told myself “Just finish it. Believe it will work. Tomorrow will be a new day and there will be a new image to work on and this one won’t even matter.” So, I think I learned a little lesson from my thoughts.
It’s ok to just TRY.
Nothing will ever be perfect, but it can be perfectly complete. And it is.
That’s about all for tonight. Thank you for reading!
Until next time…
Peace & Love!