“Someone asked me recently how to do something she thought was going to be difficult, in this case recording an audiobook, and I suggested she pretend that she was someone who could do it. Not pretend to do it, but pretend she was someone who could. She put up a notice to this effect on the studio wall, and she said it helped.
So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom. And if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.”
(from Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” speech)
So I could pretend that I’m someone who can…
…publish a book of gospel-inspired short stories
…walk the Camino
…get a PhD
…tell a story to a crowd with ease and enjoyment (teach?)
…deal well with a difficult family situation
…be good at my job
…write articles for magazines/newspapers/journals
I can pretend that I’m someone who can write for magazines, so I do what someone would do who can do that. I write articles, I send them to various magazine editors and I might well get one published at some point. Which means, I’d have become someone who can write for magazines…
I can pretend that I’m someone who can do her PhD, so what would a person do who can do that? Get information, write a proposal for the thesis, meet a professor who they’d like to be mentored by, apply for funding, … Even if I did all that and were defeated by not getting the funding, I’d have done a huge deal more than I achieve by doubting myself into defeat before giving it a go.
If I pretend I’m someone who can walk the Camino, I might buy walking boots. I might ask someone to walk with me. I might end up going to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. I might end up doing it.
What would you love to do that seems pretty much too difficult to achieve? Pick one. Pretend you were someone who could do it, and then behave like that person…