Einstein put it this way, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” I say, “Let’s just play pretend something amazing and see what happens.”
Consider how powerful it can be to play Make Believe.
* Pretending is the mother of all creation and innovation.
* Pretending and being responsible are not mutually exclusive.
* Pretending can move you away from anxious to more relaxed.
Think about this. If stress, which only exists in your mind, can literally kill you, just how powerful is your imagination? What is stress really, other than your imagination masquerading as an outside force of darkness? Is stress not the vivid imagination of negative outcomes?
Coaching some awesome sales reps the other day, I got reminded of how powerful it is to change the way you see a situation. Yet seeing circumstances differently is like asking a fish to change how she sees the water.
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Pretending allows anxiety to dissipate, replacing it with a more accurate perspective on the situation. If you want to see a situation through a new perspective and you can’t even, try a game of Make Believe.
Of course pretending isn’t always the answer. It’s never cool to make believe something doesn’t matter just because you’re uncomfortable talking about it.
Scenario #1 Someone annoys you deeply.
Color me bitter but it’s perfectly normal to be annoyed by the one-uppers, the chip-on-the-shoulder carriers, the back stabbers and credit stealers. But getting annoyed hurts you (not them) and doesn’t help the situation at all. So here’s the deal.
Pretend that person suffered some childhood trauma that has made him insufferable today.
Perhaps he was publicly humiliated by the love of his life in 3rd grade. And he never got over it.
Maybe she had such a traumatic childhood that she ended up narcissistic to survive.
Make believe you’re the only nice person they’ve ever met.
Scenario #2 You experience setback X.
X can equal anything that didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. You feel disappointed, sad, mad, irritated, etc. Yes, you are, just admit it.
Now, make believe that X was actually a blessing and you wanted X to happen (the bad thing) in order to learn something of great value.
It’s asking a lot, but you know that good things always come from bad things. Even from terrible things. So to pretend get over your mad, embrace X and the good by-product will come to you all the faster.
I got to use this on myself a few weeks ago while feeling completely exhausted and overwhelmed. As soon as I stepped out of the victim-feeling default by pretending I was right where I should be, I felt better. And magically, there appeared a moment to rest.
Scenario #3 Your Big Meeting/Pitch is this afternoon.
Your Big Meeting can be for an interview, or simply you have to meet with a Scary Important Person (SIP). Pretend it’s pre-ordained to come out in your favor. You’re just going through the motions of the meeting but it’s already been decided in your favor.
You won! Yay! There is no pressure to perform. You can relax now.
It’s a beastly truth that detaching from the outcomes makes you the more confident player in any scenario. So pretending you’ve already got it helps you to do precisely that.
Fighting reality usually doesn’t work that well, but by playing Make Believe, you can often outsmart adverse circumstances and nervy situations!