BRAID CREATIVE & CONSULTING
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for creative entrepreneurs.
Play Pretend
16-Mar-2016

Play Pretend to Cultivate Confidence

Tara here. Of all the creative entrepreneurs and aspiring-to-be’s my sister and business partner, Kathleen and I have worked with, at one point or another, almost all of them have expressed that they want to cultivate an attitude of confidence and fearlessness. Kathleen’s advice to them is this: Pretend as if you are a confident and fearless badass.

Of course she would just cut to the chase (and use the word “badass”) to help them keep moving toward what they really want. But our advice to help them embrace their ability to “do this thing!” is really not that different than the lens we use to help them brand themselves. We often hear a client telling us that they know the talent, the drive, the dream, the itch to do something that’s all their own, or just something a little new and scary—it’s in there, inside them somewhere, but they don’t quite 100% believe it yet, or they don’t quite think they’ve “arrived” there yet. Pretending “as if” is a great way to articulate that scary, vague, too-big-to-describe thing they want to do—and take action.

Kathleen wrote a great post on this subject not too long ago. I want to share it below. And just take a moment to acknowledge that it wasn’t too terribly long ago, we were jumping into our own vision and adventure together. We pretended “as if.” And then we just “were.” We still have to work, but we did it.

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Kathleen here. Playing pretend might sound like “fake it ’til you make it,” but it’s more like taking on the Method approach to acting. I only know what I know about Method acting from actors like Jared Leto who talk about never breaking character (even off set) when playing Oscar-worthy roles. Actors use Method tools and techniques to create authentic thoughts and feelings true to the role they’re playing. I think we can draw from the Method acting technique to harness the feelings we want to have in our creative work and life.

How to be a confident fearless badass

I mostly play pretend when I’m scared and trying something new—big or small. One of the first times I found playing pretend to be useful was when I was the lead art director on an NBA account. I knew nothing about basketball and I was a young designer. So I pretended as if I was a senior boy (my aesthetic was quite feminine at the time) designer at Nike working on a cool sporty campaign. And it worked. But sometimes I have to play pretend for the little things too. I mean, sometimes I have to play pretend that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t get anxiety when meeting a new friend over coffee.

Today I invite you to pretend.
Pretend as if you got enough sleep.
Pretend that talking money with clients doesn’t make you break out in hives.
Pretend like you’re the most badass designer / writer / photographer out there.
Pretend as if you’re the kind of person who always makes the healthy choice.
Pretend you’re Beyonce. Or even Mister Rogers.

Pretend as if … Because then you are. (click to tweet)

 how to behave with confidence

But if playing pretend doesn’t work for you, I’ve got another “fake it ’til you make it” way of thinking about it: behave as if you’re a confident badass. So don’t worry about your attitude or mindset. You can still feel insecure, confused, or scared but still behave like someone who has their shit together. Stand up straight, initiate eye contact, have a firm handshake, and hit publish.

Behave with confidence and confidence will find you. (click to tweet)

Or let’s say you want to be a writer, but you’re not feeling inspired. Then behave as if you’re an inspired writer. Sit down and write 1,000 words. Even if they’re really awful words. Behave as if you’re a writer and the inspiration will follow.

Or maybe you want to be happy but are finding yourself in a foul mood. Behave as if you’re happy—put on a smile and give someone a compliment. Behave as if you’re happy and happiness will find you.

Perhaps you want to be more fit but are feeling like a couch potato. Behave like an athlete. Take your vitamins, lace up your sneakers, and go outside. Behave like a healthy person and soon enough you will be healthy.

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If you like this post you might like our DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love—in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.

Or check out our Braid Method Branding Ecourse if you need to find a little confidence in defining what do you do, who you serve, and how you share it with your audience.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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