One fun, new thing that has been happening in my studio with the addition of a large screen desktop computer, is that I’ve been watching things while I work with my hands. There is a lot of great stuff out there. If you haven’t discovered TED.com yet you are in for a treat. It is full of a lifetime’s worth of short, amazing talks by amazing people who are doing amazing things. My favorites are the scientists. They all seem to be trying to make the world a better place.
Here is one of my recent favorites. A talk by Amy Cuddy, a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School. It’s titled “Your body language shapes who you are.” If you have time, grab some hand work and take 20 minutes to watch it.
Ms. Cuddy discusses how our body language is read by others, but more importantly, how it literally effects our body chemistry. She found that body positions can effect the levels of testosterone (feeling powerful) and whatever the hormone is that causes stress – can’t remember it. It’s fascinating! “Our bodies change our minds, and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes. When we think of nonverbals, we think of how we judge others. … We tend to forget, though, the other audience that’s influenced by our nonverbals: ourselves.”
But this is what resonated with me…
“Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.”
Do you have that horrible voice in your head that constantly doubts and criticizes everything you do? I’ve mostly banished it but every once in a while it shows up with a whisper here and there. One of the ways I’ve gained not only confidence, but actual skill and experience is by practicing this very thing. Pretend long enough and it becomes real. Go out and act as though you have confidence and soon enough, you will have it. Make art as though you know what you are doing, and in time, you WILL know what you are doing. See this sign over the door of my studio? It’s not on the outside for everyone to see. It’s on the inside where I can remind myself.
I’m not saying pretend to be something you are not. I AM saying, pretend to be the thing you very most desire to become. This kind of pretending involves DOING. And if you DO for long enough – it is inevitable that you will BECOME!