Play Pretend

Fake Smile = Real Smile
Fake Laugh = Real Laugh
Fake Life = Real Life

I watched a TEDTalk about body language and how it affects our behaviour. In the talk Cuddy mentioned sticking a pencil in-between your teeth to force yourself to smile, which is as effective as actually smiling. I also remembered that fake laughing produces the same benefits as real laughter. Then I thought about how kids play pretend all the time – playing pretend until they actually do it as adults. ‘Fake it till you make it’ seems to hold true in many ways.

So I concluded that it’s quite straightforward; we should just all play pretend. We can pretend to be anything we want in the world -pretend you’re good at poker, pretend you’re good at golf, pretend you’re a millionaire, just “fake it till you become it.”

To test this, last Saturday I went to Clapham trials for ultimate and I tried this idea out. This was all my own bias judgement but I thought I played much better than I would have without the pretending. I said to myself, “I am pretending that I am better than Europe’s best”, and as long as this mantra was in my mind I was better. However as soon as I stopped saying this mantra, I reverted back to  “comfort beliefs”, which for ultimate was, “I am a decent player.”

I could have said “I am better than Europe’s best,” and it probably would have produced the same results. However a thought like that can be hard to take seriously if my comfort beliefs were too thoroughly ingrained in me. By simply pretending, I essentially tricked myself, which still gave me the same benefits.

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