Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough for your goals? Like you don’t have the skills, the confidence, or the luck to succeed?
You’re not alone. Many people struggle with self-doubt and impostor syndrome. But what if I told you that there’s a simple way to overcome these feelings and achieve your goals anyway?
It’s called the ‘As If’ Principle, and it’s a powerful psychological technique that can help you to become the person you want to be.
What is the ‘As If’ Principle?
The ‘As If’ Principle is based on the idea that your behaviour influences your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes, rather than the other way around.
In other words, if you act ‘as if’ you’re already the person you want to be, you’ll start to feel and think like that person too.
For example, if you act confident, you’ll start to feel confident. If you act successful, you’ll start to think successful. And if you act happy, you’ll start to feel happy.
It sounds too good to be true, right? But there’s actually a lot of scientific evidence to back up this principle.
How does it work?
The ‘As If’ Principle works by creating a feedback loop between your behaviour and your brain.
When you act a certain way, your brain receives signals from your body that tell you what kind of person you are. For example, when you smile, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel happier. When you adopt a power pose, your brain lowers your stress hormone and boosts your confidence hormone.
Your brain then adjusts your thoughts and feelings accordingly, which in turn reinforces your behaviour. For example, when you feel happier, you’re more likely to smile. When you feel more confident, you’re more likely to adopt a power pose.
This feedback loop creates a positive spiral that can help you to achieve your goals.
How can I use it to achieve my goals?
Using the ‘As If’ Principle is easy. All you need to do is choose the person you want to be and start acting ‘as if’ you’re already that person.
For example, if you want to be more confident, start acting more confident. Walk with your head held high, make eye contact, and speak clearly and assertively.
If you want to be more successful, start acting more successful. Dress professionally, set high standards for yourself, and surround yourself with successful people.
At first, it may feel fake or awkward. But don’t worry. The more you act ‘as if’, the more natural it will become. And the more natural it becomes, the more likely you are to achieve your goals.
You don’t have to change everything at once. Just pick one thing that you want to improve and start doing it today. Then when it becomes a habit, try another one.
Examples of the ‘As If’ Principle in action
If you’re still sceptical about the ‘As If’ Principle, here are some examples of how it has been proven by psychological research:
- Strack et al. (1988) showed that holding a pen in a way that mimics a smile makes cartoons more funny, implying that smiling can make you happier.
- Carney et al. (2010) found that adopting high-power poses before a mock interview improves performance, confidence, and hormonal balance, indicating that acting powerful can make you feel powerful and less stressed.
- Dweck et al. (1999) demonstrated that teaching students that intelligence can be improved through effort increases their persistence, enjoyment, and achievement in challenging tasks, suggesting that acting capable can make you more motivated and successful.
(More on this idea of the Growth Mindset on my blog [Link] and in my book review [coming soon!])
Want to learn more about the ‘As If’ Principle?
If you’re interested in learning more about the ‘As If’ Principle, I recommend reading the book Rip it Up by Richard Wiseman. It’s a great book that will give you all the tools you need to start using the ‘As If’ Principle to achieve your goals. And if you want to read more about “Rip it up!” check out my book review [coming soon!]
You can also subscribe to my blog or follow me on social media for more tips and advice on how to achieve your goals. Why not check out my post on the benefits of a monthly self-check-in next?
What are your thoughts on the ‘As If’ principle? Share them in the comments below!
See you soon