Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Looking for a better life?

Trans4mind Training, our series of online, interactive video workshops, presents the most effective methods of holistic personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Why 'Acting Like a Success' Can Help You Be a Success

By Dr. Stephen Kraus

You've heard the old question about which came first: the chicken or the egg? You've probably also heard the related question: How do you get a job without experience, and how do you get experience without a job? Here's the question for today: How do you build confidence without success, and how do you become successful without confidence?

I review several proven belief-building strategies in my book, but today I'd like to focus on one in particular. It's no guarantee of instant or lasting success, but research is clear that it can get the ball rolling, and help you build momentum toward real successes. It's often recommended by today's self-help gurus, although they often act like they invented it... in fact, it's a centuries-old idea.

It's simple. To be successful, just act like a success.
For example, people often ask me how they can come to be viewed as a leader by their co-workers. The easiest way to get the ball rolling is to just start acting like a leader: take the lead on projects, speak like a leader, act like a leader, dress like one, etc. It's obviously not the ultimate solution, but it's a start.

Perhaps most importantly, acting like a success begins to change how you think about yourself. One key to successful change is adopting a new identity, particularly a public identity. The process of kicking a drug habit, for example, often begins when addicts begin thinking about themselves differently, abandoning old identities (drug addict, rebel, non-conformist) and adopting new ones (parent, responsible adult).

You can use this process to your enhance your own success and motivation simply by choosing an identity you want, and begin acting accordingly. Soon the expectations of others, and your own internal need for consistency, will get cycles of confidence, motivation, and action spinning in the right direction.

The "emotional expressivity effect"
Just as you can take on outward appearances to shape public perception, you can also take on outward appearances to create internal emotions and build confidence. Psychologists call this idea the "emotional expressivity effect": express an emotion physically, and you will feel that emotion internally.

Today, everyone from sports coaches to popular self-help writers and motivational gurus urge people to exhibit the "physiology" of successful people. Actors routinely take on the facial expressions, poses and postures of their characters, even when off-camera. This not only helps actors create convincing outward appearances, but also helps them better feel the emotions of their characters.

This idea is actually an ancient one. From Homer's Iliad to Shakespeare's Henry V, literature documents how soldiers have long been urged to express anger physically as a way of pumping themselves up for battle. In science, Charles Darwin first explored the idea systematically: "He who gives way to violent gestures will increase his rage; he who does not control the signs of fear will experience fear in a greater degree."

We all know that depressed people are prone to specific postures (head down, shoulders slumped). The postures don't cause their depression, but they can definitely help perpetuate a negative mood. Adopting different postures, wearing new clothes, increasing physical activity, and exercise can all temporarily help enhance motivation and mood. None are magic-bullet cures for depression, but all can be helpful as starting points for creating new habits.

The 'Far Side' Cartoon Study
One well-known study illustrated the emotional expressivity effect in a mild but very clever way... Hold a pen in your mouth using your teeth (not your lips) for a minute or two. Pay close attention to your thoughts and emotions. How do you feel? Don't say "silly!" If you are like many people, you may feel slightly happier because you are adopting the facial pose of smiling, and that facial expression can actually drive a slight increase in mood.

Now try holding it with your lips -- this causes you to adopt a frowning facial pose and results in a slight drop in mood. People holding pens in their teeth (i.e., smiling) rated Far Side cartoons as significantly funnier than those holding pens in their lips (frowning). Of course, arbitrary facial expressions like these, that you took on only because someone (or some newsletter) told you to, have very mild effects.

Ideas Into Action: How To Go From 'Acting Like a Success' To Being a Success
If you use your whole body, and more spontaneously express emotions relevant to your goals, the effect is much more powerful than just holding your pen in your teeth. Here's how it works:

  • You will begin to feel the emotions you express physically

  • The phenomenon of 'state-dependent memory' will bring to mind thoughts and memories from when you experienced the same emotion in the past

  • You'll start to feel a boost in your mood and motivation

  • That momentum will get a boost from the people around you because your outward expressions will change how people respond to you (if you act like a success, people are more likely to start treating you that way)

Of course, you'll need some goal-oriented behavioral successes to keep this cycle going. But acting like you are already a success is a good way to get the ball rolling. It helps build the confidence and motivation that can drive true successes.

Stephen Kraus, Ph.D., a Harvard-trained scientist, separates the science of success from self-help snake oil.
Out of the box
More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:
Visit the INSIDE-OUT Blog
Wallace Huey & Peter Shepherd
Imagine if - with the help of personal development - the values of the heart could be brought into our families, communities and businesses... What kind of a world would this create?
By Wallace Huey & Peter Shepherd, Trans4mind Founders

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Sweet Tooth ~ Train your brain to lose your sweet tooth.
  • Finish What You Start ~ Sprint all the way past the finish line.
  • Do It Now ~ A hypnosis audio to trigger deep, emotionally driven activity.
  • Life Priorities ~ Hypnosis can help you clarify what really matters to you.
  • Stop Thinking About Someone ~ A session to help you move on from thoughts that have been constantly pestering you.
  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
I think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2017 Trans4mind Ltd