When I was fifteen, I read an article in a teen magazine called “Fake It Till Ya Make It,” in which the author explained that if you wanted to change things about yourself or your life, you only needed to “act as if” it were already the case.
For example, she said that if you wanted to become more popular in school, you should behave as though that were already the case. So, one might be more open and friendly with other students, or one might be more likely to volunteer for clubs and other student activities.
I applied this concept to my life at that time, and had some positive results and it still sticks with me to this day. I have used it over the years to overcome various hurdles.
It all sounds too simple, am I right?
But the idea is that when one focuses on something, when one BELIEVES something, really wants it, it happens. When you become conscious of your thoughts, you can make a difference in the things that you bring into your life.
It can also happen unconsciously. For example, during maternity leave after having my second child, it occurred to me that I wanted to work from home. I focused on this fact, and hard.
Sure, I went back to work. But every day, I thought about being able to work from home. I felt jealous of friends who were able to do it (which was wrong–I should’ve been happy for them–that way things would’ve gone much faster). I read everything I could get my hands on about HOW to work from home, and I discussed it with my husband. I talked about it with my friends, family, anyone who would listen. I wanted it, badly.
And one day, even though I had just been informed of a forthcoming promotion the day before, my boss called me into his office and fired me.
Of course, I asked him why, and he didn’t have a logical answer. I felt horribly insulted and upset, but when I drove away that day, I realized that I was feeling lighter than I had in months. I called my husband and told him.
That night, my husband and I decided that it was time for me to try working from home for awhile. I’ve always been a writer and editor (even when I was working in different fields, even when it wasn’t technically my job–so the transition was natural and totally motivation-based).
And here I am, years later, working from home and following my passions at the same time. This is something I never thought I’d do, much less love, but I am and I do. I am so grateful for the opportunity.
Speaking of gratitude, that is the first step to all of this. Remembering to be grateful for the things you have (and expressing gratitude for those things you WANT) seems to be a great starting point.
A few years ago, a friend gave me a copy of “The Secret.” This is yet another example of this concept bringing itself to the forefront in my life. I have to believe that there’s a reason for it.
So here I go, learning to live again, learning to change my mind. And by changing my mind, I am making positive changes in my life. It’s amazing really, but it’s something that truly works.
I could list example after example of how this concept has affected my life, and have used it both consciously and unconsciously many times.
As I begin this new phase in my life, I am focusing now on the power of thought. I am making a concerted effort to be aware of my thoughts, and to avoid saying, doing, or thinking negative thoughts about myself or my world.
I’m no saint, of course, and occasionally I still let the mundane things get to me.
However, instead of dwelling on things and letting them ruin my day (like the cranky husband in the morning for example!!), I focus on the positive things and move forward. (I’m grateful that my husband goes to work every day to take care of our family financially so that I can take care of them in other ways…etc.)
It works, folks, and this is just the beginning. Join me, if you will, on this journey of self discovery and self empowerment. Remember this: YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK.
Live it, learn it, love it. It’s real.
What do you think? Tell me in the comments section, below!
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.