This morning I’m recommending an activity that everybody does especially children. Pretending is generally viewed as a childish, playful activity, but I feel it is actually more important than that. Caught gazing off through the window in study hall a student is admonished to stop daydreaming, but I’m asking you to do this as a vehicle to make your day more interesting, to help you move past a physical pain or a fear and to enjoy your day more fully.
As a child we pretend all the time. As an adult we have put away our childish things and moved on with life. I’m asking you to pretend. And, I know you can do it. Notice I’m not saying the word visualize? Visualize was actually a tough one for me to do as an adult. Pretend I was okay with.
So, let’s pretend.
Take a deep breath and pretend that your shoulders are relaxed. This is like a runner prior to a run where they shake out their arms and legs and stretch some. Now, stretch your back and twist it some listening to all the little cracks going on. Quiet yourself and once again pretend that not only are your shoulders relaxed, but your back is too. Take a deep breath. Remember how relaxed you were this morning when you woke up, how it was to lie in your bed thinking it was the weekend and you did not have to get up right away. Remember that and with the pretending allow that feeling to come back again. Take another deep breath.
Now, this is where this exercise can begin to focus in on something you would like to work on. Say you need some courage for something. You are getting promoted and don’t know exactly if you can do this new job. And, you are afraid and you need some courage. How exactly would you use this pretending to do this?
Think back to when one other time you once needed courage. Something a long time ago where in the doing of whatever it was you were in this same boat, nervous leading up to it, moved through it okay and came out the other end victorious and competent and did well with the task. It doesn’t have to be a promotion. Something that illustrated that you had courage. Like the time you had to speak in front of your whole class. You imagined then that they were actually interested in what you had to say. That was all it took. And, you moved through it.
It was natural. It was seamless. Time moved smoothly as it always does. It was years ago. You can do this again. It’s not quite the same but it’s the same fear you had then that you have now. You’re afraid they won’t listen to you? You’re afraid they won’t take you seriously in your new position? Pretend they are grateful to have you to advise them. Pretend that you are competent. Pretend that you really know what you are doing and guess what? Anything you don’t know you will learn. All will be well. And, for a few moments in time you can begin to lessen the fear you are holding about this upcoming promotion just by pretending like you did as a child.