Walking as if. This idea was presented to me in passing in book club and the concept has stuck with me. The premise is that you begin “walking as if” your life is already what you dream it to be. Dreaming of that promotion at work? Act as if you already have it. What would you wear? How would you treat others in your office? What time would you get to work? The idea is that by going ahead and behaving as if you already have the thing you want the most, your life will begin to take shape around it.
What does that mean for me right now? Here are a few practical examples of how I’ve tested the concept. A current desire of mine is to have a beautiful, well-organized home. My current reality is that much of the remodel isn’t finished and the house is far from beautiful or organized. Most of my belongings are still in boxes, stacked haphazardly in the back bedroom. My furniture is stacked on top of itself like a poorly executed Tetris game in the living room. Up until this past weekend, there wasn’t anywhere to sit besides my bed! What does that mean when it comes time to put away the tube of Lysol wipes? If I “walk as if” my home is beautiful and well-organized, it means that I put the container away in the cabinet. Normally, I’d wait until I had time to clean all of the cabinets and put away all of the cleaning supplies in their new home. Instead, I wipe out that one cabinet and put away that one container.
Normally, it would take weeks to do something so simple. With this new strategy though, it means one thing is in a cabinet that wouldn’t have been otherwise. It means I can easily put the dish soap in the cabinet once it’s used because that one cabinet has been cleaned and made ready. The momentum is started and I can make progress much more quickly than if I waited until I had time to clean all the cabinets and put away all the cleaning supplies.
Another example is baking cookies. I wanted to bake cookies and while I couldn’t possibly make them from scratch as I normally would, I could fairly easily make some from a grocery store tub. I simply needed to wipe down the stove, find a pan, and buy some cookie dough. Normally, I’d wait to do something of the sort until the entire kitchen was cleaned and boxes were unpacked. “Walking as if” I live in a clean and organized home though, means I can bake some cookies when I want to.
These two examples alone have led to a kitchen with a cleaned, functional oven and a cabinet prepped for storing cleaning supplies. I went around my usual tendency to have everything done and ready before enjoying something. I moved away from everything having to be perfect first. Had I not employed this strategy, I’d still have a dusty stove and one less cabinet cleaned. I definitely wouldn’t have had warm cookies.
What would it look like if we used this strategy in other areas of life? What if you walked as if you had a happy marriage? As if you had a great relationship with your mom? As if you had well-mannered children? As if you loved your job?
If you behaved differently, as if you already had these things you desire, how different would your day look? How much more at peace would you be? How much more positive would your mindset be? I’ve only been using this little trick a few weeks and I’ve already noticed such a magnificent difference. Our mindset often makes the biggest difference in our reality and it’s worth looking at things a little differently.
Currently, I’m walking as if I have a clean and organized home, among several other things. I’m learning that your reality can be whatever you create. In the house example, I’m beginning to see this place for the ways it’s beautiful and cozy and fulfilling. I’m seeing less of the dirty, unorganized, and unfinished. While those things are still there, a tiny shift of focus has made me so much more content. It’s allowed me to focus on progress, not the unfinished. I don’t currently live in a beautiful, clean, and organized home, yet I’m most certainly “walking as if” I do.
Thank you, Theresa, for this wonderful tip. I know you weren’t intentionally helping me when you discussed this and yet I can tell already that it’s going to make a spectacular difference in my world. Thanks for inviting us into your home on Monday nights and for sharing yourself with us.