Faking Your Way to Success

“Fake it until you make it,” suggests Jane Brody in her health column A Richer Life by Seeing the Glass Half Full in the New York Times.

 

Faking Your Way to Success

Optimism is the attitude of success. We all know that. But translating that understanding into a positive attitude – that’s something else again.

Murphy’s law, which we all know too well, promises that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. But in her book “Breaking Murphy’s Law,” University of Kentucky Professor Suzanne C. Segerstrom explains that “people can learn to be more optimistic by acting as if they were more optimistic.” She recommends a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy where you start by faking it: act on an optimistic plan, and expect attitude to follow action.

What’s an optimistic plan? Instead of avoiding issues, optimists tackle them. Optimists plan for success, solicit advice and focus on solutions. Segerstrom’s “faking it” is “being more engaged with and persistent in the pursuit of goals.” She suggests that “you might succeed more than you expected.” And even if the plan doesn’t work, there’s a good chance that the experience will arm you for the next similar problem you encounter.