[Video] Fake It Until You Make It

by Scott Crabtree

Your choice: read the article, and/or skip to the bottom to watch the video.

Why Fake It Till You Make It?


Why would we encourage you to “fake it til you make it” at work? Well, because sometimes you need to be in a better mood than you actually are. One way of improving your mood, is to act like you’re happier than you really are. Yes, this is mockable and ridiculous, and not recommended in all circumstances, right? We want you to be authentic, and authentic people don’t hide their real mood. There may be circumstances where you need to do just that or you need to change your mood. If I need to deliver a Science of Happiness workshop to you and I’m in a terrible mood, it’s not going to be a very good workshop.

In a situation like that, I might try to boost my mood with a variety of things, including, “Fake it till you make it.” You may have seen Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk, one of the most common, popular TED Talk’s in the world. It talks about power posing and how wide body posture can boost your mood. Maybe even boost your testosterone, present in women and men and associated with assertiveness, and decrease your cortisol, which is a hormone in your bloodstream that indicates your stressed out or reactive to stress. You may have heard there’s a bit of controversy about this science recently. Some have tried to replicate those studies and not found the same significant changes in hormones, in the bloodstream for example.

Research To Back It Up


There’s a whole family of research here that suggests there’s a valid trend. What we do with our face and our body effects our minds. Most of us think our mind decides and then it shows up on our face and body, but there’s a very active two-way street. A variety of studies suggest you stand up taller, your mood goes up. You smile, your mood goes up. You walk with a spring in your step, you take up a lot of physical space, you pose wide, and your mood goes up. Women who get Botox injections to remove this worry-line I have here from decades of Olympic level worry, women who get Botox injections feel less anger and depression because they’re incapable of making a sad-angry face like this. I’m not recommending Botox injections.

What I’m telling you is, controversy aside, there’s a whole family of research that suggests what we do with our face and body effects our mood. If you act like you’re having positive emotions, you will actually start to feel more positive emotions. Those positive emotions will broaden your intention, improve your ability to think creatively, and allow you to deliver better results. If a bad mood is getting in the way of you doing your best work, you might just “Fake it til you make it” when the circumstances right, so that you could boost your mood and perform better until you give yourself a chance to be sad again later if you need to.


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Scott Crabtree

As the Founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happy Brain Science, Scott Crabtree empowers individuals and organizations to apply findings from cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology to boost productivity and happiness at work.

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