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Fake it Until You Make It

In 1987, I was hired by Allstate Insurance to present a motivational seminar for their sales team. One of their executives saw me speak on TV and thought I could help his team. This was my first motivational speech. Funny thing was that I was dead broke in the time and would be “motivating” a group of salesmen earning six-figure incomes. But, in the spirit of “fake it until you make it,” I created a 20-minute presentation mixing martial arts and motivation. For instance, I’d have one of my students attack me and I’d take away his balance by sweeping him to the floor. I’d then turn to the audience to describe the importance of balance in life. I was way out of my league, but they loved it. Allstate doubled my pay to $1,000 and booked six more seminars. More than the money, the confidence I gained from the experience was life changing. Had I not been willing to fake it I would have no chance to make it.

Part of my pay that day was a room at the downtown Hilton in St. Petersburg, Florida. This was the nicest hotel I’d even been in at the time.

Even though I lived just two miles away; visit –   I opted to spend the night at the Hilton. That evening, I sat in the lounge, creating list after list of new goals for myself.

The response to the seminar was so positive that it catapulted my confidence to new levels and I made these goals with a new sense of daring and ambition. This was a major emotional threshold in my life. Had I sat down a couple of days earlier to make a list of goals, they would have been far less ambitious than the list I made that night in the Hilton.

While you may not have yet had an experience such as speaking for a group of executives, what would be the equivalent for you in your life? Is there a short-term goal or accomplishment that you seek that would give you the same confidence boost? Here is a little technique that will help you to get that confidence boost right now. It’s meant to be done with your eyes closed and relaxed so read the next two paragraphs and then close your eyes and walk through the process.

I want you to name that goal or if the goal is really large, name the first step and then repeat this process for each step towards accomplishing that goal. For instance, if you want to change careers, you may want to start with taking a class or a seminar in the field you want to transition to. Second would be to get whatever license or certification that may be required. The third step might be to make the transition. Write these steps down or fix them in your mind right now.

Close your eyes and project your mind forward and imagine that you have accomplished that first step. What does that feel like? See yourself accomplishing your goal. Listen to the congratulations from your friends and family. I want you to feel it, see it, hear it, taste it, and smell the sweet smell of success for yourself. Drink it all in for a moment before moving on to the next step and the next step until you have accomplished your goal.


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