Act As If
How Ben Affleck Was Right, That One Time, in That One Movie
What Could You Be?
“Act as If” is a phrase many are familiar with, but few truly understand how powerful it is.
I first realized this phenomenon shortly after 9/11.
In 2005 I was a young professional, working for a large Fortune 500 company. My days consisted of traveling from sales call to sales call, and using the down time in between to cold call (unscheduled visits to businesses that weren’t yet my clients) for new customers.
Most offices had signs up that said “no soliciting”, but we never paid attention to them.
The fear that consumed our post 9/11 world was so all encompassing, that most office buildings had instituted a system of badges, swipe cards, and electronic locks on the entry doors to secure every office.
If you were unknown to the security team, or didn’t have an appointment with a business, you were refused entry; or wouldn’t get “buzzed in”.
I found early on, however, that dressed in my suit and tie, and using my body language to project confidence and authority….that these doors magically opened; without my uttering a word. Without having a scheduled appointment.
I simply acted as if I belonged and voila! I did.
What’s Holding You Back
So when I hear people say that they are “waiting for” their boss to make them an office leader; or that they truly “need to be” an expert before they start that new venture; or that they “just need one more” advanced degree and then they’ll be ready (which, arguably, is true for some professions…I certainly don’t want an “Act As If” situation the next time I need surgeon or an attorney!).
I get a little frustrated.
See, you’re living the life you want to live…right now.
If you wanted to be an expert, you would be one already;
If you wanted to be an office leader, you would be one already.
If you really wanted to make more money, you would.
But the truth is, many of us don’t actually want those things. We just want to say we do, because of how it makes us feel. It relieves us of the responsibility for how things are right now.
It’s a “future goal” that we will (presumably, probably, maybe, gosh I really hope so) attain in the future. That magical, mystical, future.
But time is short.
So if you want to get there faster, hell if you want to get there today, here’s what you can do:
If you want to be an expert, act like an expert. Dig in, and identify the behaviors, knowledge and habits they possess that make them an expert…and then DO THOSE THINGS!
If you want to be an office leader, spend time talking to the leadership in your organization and then exude those qualities. If your leadership isn’t readily accessible, there are plenty of great books / podcasts / videos on leadership.
People don’t follow leaders simply because of the title assigned, they follow leaders that inspire and motivate them. GO INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE!
If you want to make more money, ask yourself what you would have to do to make that happen. Perhaps you need to take a different job; or acquire different skills; or improve your margins. These things aren’t easy, but they’re simple…and YOU CAN DO IT!
Believing in yourself alone won’t get you there, but believing in yourself is a vital component of success. Taking action is the next component, and that’s what I hope this post inspires you to do.
Go Seize Your Present — Go “Act As If!”
You’ll be amazed at what you’re really capable of.