Fake it until you believe it
“Fake it until you make it” is such an overused, cheesy phrase, huh?
But it still holds a lot of truths, especially in helping those who feel like imposters (a lot of people).
Another realization I had recently is that this could be applied to our beliefs and attitudes towards life.
When the visa issue (more time for this later) first occurred, I forced myself to believe “Hey, this is happening for a reason. You wanted a break, right? Take this time to do what you’ve been wanting to do, figure out yourself, and it will be over before you know it,” partly because that’s what I really believe in, but more so because I thought that was the “right” mindset to have, and in some way because I couldn’t keep myself stable without telling myself this over and over.
But after a while, or when a really tough news broke (sometimes it was that my school wasn’t willing to help out with the case, sometimes it was that cases are taking 4~6 months as opposed to the usual upper limit 3 months, sometimes it was that I needed to leave the country by October 4th to avoid unlawful presence), my fabricated belief was shattered. It wasn’t strong and real enough to withstand the real, tough news.
I sometimes went into a few weeks of depressive mental states, making poor decisions at times, and beating myself over this as I was supposed to be strong throughout this struggle and that’s how someone will eventually come to the rescue.
But first of all, it’s okay to feel down and sad. You are not a robot, nor Joker. Don’t restrict those emotions and let them out. Embarrasingly enough, I did end up crying a lot through this struggle, and I’m glad I did. It felt like finally I was letting go of the obsessive control I had over my own emotions, and letting them out free. Liberating.
And next, eventually, if you put enough efforts and thoughts into managing your mental state positively (after all, you can’t stay down forever. Wait for yourself to unpack all the emotions, and then kindly extend a hand to lift ya up). Those beliefs that were weak and made up, will come around and over time, get stronger and be planted as genuine beliefs.
I’m not saying I’ve got this down. I still have my good and bad days, even good and bad weeks. With the combination of accepting and freeing my negative emotions and really beleiving in the “Fake it until you believe it” mantra by bringing myself back up whenever I fall down, I think I’ve found the right direction to go towards, though.
Remember, it’s okay to feel down. Shits are hard. Fake it until you believe it, and kindly bring yourself back up. We’ll get there before we know it.