Jennifer B. Davis
Have you ever watched that show called "Pretender" where each week Jarod, the main character, who was some "raised in a bubble" genius, takes on a persona and new career in an effort to help others. I always wondered how he pulled it off. After all, how could he be a psychologist one week and a geologist the next and not have people catch on that he was faking it?

There was a great blog entry by Michael Bungay Stanier, a Canadian coach and author, that reminded me of this today. The point he was making is that we can actually be more powerful and more capable than we are by employing some techniques of acting more capable and powerful than we feel. He had some excellent ideas and techniques to employ.

So, with the Pretender and Stanier's techniques in mind, here is a little experiment for you to run in your own life or career. I am very interested to know how it turns out.

1. Decide on a character that demonstrates the kind of vibe that you'd like to embody. It could be a historical figure or a fictional character. It should be someone that enough has been written about or that you can learn about to get to know their style and "observe" their behaviors.
2. Write down three things you like about this character that you'd like to embody. Post these prominently in your home or office. Remember you don't have to emulate everything about this person, just those characteristics you like.
3. Take the time to notice some physical thing that this character does/did that embodies an admired characteristic. For instance, if you like Jarod's intensity, note how he looked people in the eye and didn't say much. If you admire, Buzz Lightyear's bravo, notice how he stands up straight and speaks in a definitive tone. How does the person stand, sit, talk, work, organize their thoughts, learn new things, ask for help, work a room, etc?
4. Next time you are in a situation where you want to embody those admired characteristic, think about your character and emulate the physical action or attitude you observed and see what happens.

Remember, this is all within the boundaries of good ethics, honesty, and respect for others. If you are not qualified/trained/certified, don't offer to perform brain surgery or to do electrical work, please.

By changing your behavior, your language, your posture, and most of all, your attitude, can you change your circumstances? That is the question. If we have any influence over our circumstances, I would say "yes." The key is then deciding who you want to be and realizing that you don't have to wait to act like the person you admire
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