Act As If – Part Two

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

– Shakespeare

You are the writer, producer and director of your play. This is very exciting and liberating.

We get to create who we are. However, this awareness is easy to disregard. If we are not careful we can allow ourselves to feel victimized and/or stuck. It’s easy to get into a pattern of bad habits and then feel unmotivated and lazy about changing the things in our lives that we want to. Usually our negative behaviors become filled with excuses, “Oh, that’s just the way I am” or “My dad always did ‘that’, now I do too.” But, if it is a trait that in your heart you wish were different, you have the power to change it! If it’s something that bothers you about yourself, you can safely bet it bothers those close to you as well. In fact, one reason we are in relationships is to learn about ourselves and to grow and change for the better.

Think of life as your stage production, your play. You can re-write your character to act how you want him or her to. While it takes practice and rehearsals, as preparing for any role does… you can do it. Want to be more patient? Want to be more calm? Want to be more confident? Re-write your character to portray those traits.

It’s easy to stay stuck in old patterns that no longer serve you and then complain about it. Isn’t it frustrating to hear someone complain about themselves or their situation, but then they just sit there and do nothing about it? If you find yourself complaining about something that you have the power to change, take action.

The first action step is to re-write your character. What traits make you feel good about yourself and make you happy? What traits do you admire in others? Writing them out will set the intention and get the wheels in motion. Writing and affirming intentions helps you reprogram your brain. Create your character and then act the part. The most beautiful, freeing part of all of this is that you can re-write your character anytime you want, even in the middle of a scene. YES! Did you ever have a time where you needed to call upon this wisdom?

Have fun with it! If you find yourself acting out an old behavior, try this: pretend the director of your play, which is you, just yelled cut and pulled you aside to have a talk with you. The director takes a moment to gently remind you that in the meeting this morning they had re-written a few things about the character you are playing. You take a moment to integrate this and then re-enter your scene with the new idea in your head…and action, you start playing out the new part, the new you! I know this takes imagination, but you may find it helpful and it certainly adds an element of fun to it. That’s why it’s called a play…so play and have fun!

Life’s like a play; it’s not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.

– Seneca, Roman philosopher

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