I often find myself telling people “just fake it till you make it.” Although this seems a little insincere the truth is that it is based in some solid neuroscience. The way knowledge makes its way into our hearts for change is through faith. Faith is risk. Often times we know what we need to do, or agree with our therapist, but we can’t quite see ourselves doing it. Faith. Fake it till you make it… Visualize it! As we make that change through our behavior our brain is reconstructed! We begin to be better at it and essentially own it!
This is why faith is a two edged sword. Because the real truth is that we are already living out what we have faith in. We say some irritated retort, feel bad about it and then remember that “we are a bad person anyway.”
We have to participate WITH our beliefs no matter how small. We need to DO them.
Neuroscience evidences some of this with our understanding of Mirror Neurons. These essentially are neurons in our brain that turn on when another part of our or another brain turns on. This happens during visualization, imagination and relationship. For example: the athlete visualizes making basket. He is not even standing up he is lying in his bed. Yet if we were to see his brain activity we would see the part of the brain that controls movement light up as if it were moving even though he is not. Science has proven that visualization does make us better at performing tasks.
Mirror Neurons are also greatly involved with empathy. We see someone sad and our emotional brain lights up. OR we watch someone do what we WANT to be able to do and that part of our brain (even if we have never done it) lights up! Acting inside of the discomfort of doing something new works to knit the other neurons together and BOOM new network!
Have faith! It is difficult to do new things. When you fake it till you make it you are on your way to owning it. If you are purposeful and desire to believe it you need to behave it! Even when the other beliefs that you’ve realized you disagree with get in your way.