When I first heard the saying I was a bit perplexed. I get it, but is that really the kind of attitude you want to share with people? Growing up I always heard, “Be who you are” and “If you have to change who you are, then that’s probably not for you.” etc, etc. So why all of a sudden do I start hearing people, not just people but role models, use this term? It was odd to me until I really understood the context.

Now, if you search the phrase, you’ll get a mixed bag of results. From the psychology behind it, to it’s origin, even links to depression and coping. I’m sure all of these definitions and uses have their place but let’s look at it from a TGDS perspective.

All of us, Grinders included, run into situations where, flat out, we just don’t want to be there. You could be at the company’s quarterly meetings, that 5am gym session that sounded great when you committed yesterday, or the neighbors on the corner that finally roped you into coming over to watch the Bachelorette they have on DVR, it’s the last place you want to be. So what do you do? Bail? Make up an excuse? That get’s tough after a while and then you have to remember which excuse you used for what and then you find yourself in a pickle.

That’s when it’s time to Fake it Til You Make it. Now, get all all carried away. I’m not saying you have to be bouncing off the walls and Mr./Mrs. Enthusiasm (we all know a few of those people and they can be exhausting) or bring the life of the party. Trust me, that’s not my style. But, when faced with something I really don’t want to do or when I find myself in a situation where I’d rather be anywhere else, I fake it.

Fake it into existence. Fake it into a positive meeting, event, workout, or chore. Researchers have recently added to and expanded upon the science of smiling and how it effects our attitudes. According to findings, there is a direct correlation between smiling and stress reduction and lifting our moods, even if it’s fake! Conversely, frowns have the same negative effect.

But wait, all I have to do is smile and everything I don’t want to do will magically turn into something I do? Not exactly.

Faking the smile is an action. An action dealing with an underlying issue, your mood. It’s off. Maybe it has to do with the situation or maybe it’s just one of those days. But the simple act of your fake smile creates a domino effect. By simply pretending to be happy, even briefly, your body’s chemistry changes and your spirits start to lift, even just a little. That’s all it takes. Attitudes are contagious. We’re wired to be social beings and we feed off the energy of those around us.

Let’s not limit our thinking about faking it to just a smile. The “smile” can be any number of things. Positive feedback (giving or receiving), accepting criticism (definitely a challenge to stay positive there, but can open yourself to new ideas you were previously closed off to), asking questions or being involved in the conversation, but a simple smile can start it all. Fake the energy and watch the positive vibes and good energies flow.

The next time you’re lacking motivation or feel your mood starting to tank, look in mirror and smile. Fake it. And know, you’re already on the road to a more positive outlook and energy.