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Act As If January 11, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in NLP, state management.

There’s a strategy in Neuro-Linguistic Programming called Act As If. The idea is that if you behave in a certain way for long enough, your mind will begin to believe it.

For the past few days, I’ve been acting as if on a very deep-seated belief to see what will happen to it. I know at an intellectual level that it’s a silly belief, but acting as if has exposed its flaws even more.

I feel silly stating this belief, but maybe it’s one that others have too. You see, I’ve pretty much believed my whole life that no one could ever really like me. So, I spent a lot of time trying to get people to like me. And then when they did something that hurt me, I would say, “See, I knew they didn’t really like me.”

But now I see how destructive that belief was. It made me defensive, and sometimes mean in a “hit them before they hit me” kind of way.

Maybe I’ve finally come to a point in my life where I like myself enough to believe that others like me. The acting as if has been easier than I thought it would be. It’s actually been fun. I find that I enjoy people more when I’m not worrying about whether or not they like me. I can focus on being interested in them and liking them.

Every now and then, the old pattern emerges. Someone hurts me, and I equate it with “He doesn’t like me.” But since I’m paying attention and acting as if, I can stop that pattern and make a new choice. And as I walk along the path of that new choice, I can look back and see how silly the old choice was, how it led me to exactly what I was afraid of. Basically, I was creating my own den of dislike. What a waste of my time!



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