Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Choosing joy: Fake it.


  I'm a huge fan of fake it til you make it. It's a theory {ok ok, so it's not an actual theory} that I actually use a lot in therapy with clients. And in my own life. While I think the phrase gets a bad rap and people often assume it means to pretend to be something that you're not- I think it's worth it's weight in gold if you do it right.
  What I mean is, sometimes you just have to go through the motions. Doing and accomplishing despite or in spite of something else. You just have to do and eventually the feelings or thoughts will come along. I have a hunch experienced that the same is true when it comes to joy. Life isn't all gumdrops and lollipops, but if you keep actively choosing joy {aka faking it 'til you make it}, it will be easier. And better. And will probably eventually lead to a feeling of joyfulness. Or at least less of the opposite. 
  I propose that joy is a choice and a practice. And like with anything, you choose and practice {fake&make} on the days you're feeling pretty confident in it along with those days when you can't seem to find a glimpse of it anywhere. 
  Still with me? Before I show the short list of ways I fake it, know that it looks the same as the list of ways I choose joy on the best days, when I'm overflowing with the stuff. That's the key to faking it til you make it. You go through the same motions, and that's what makes joy a choice rather than a feeling. Not dependent on your situation or condition of your heart. Here are some ways I fake it til I make and practice joy, when I'm feeling anything but joyful but continuing to choose it...

:thankfulness journal
:consistent time in worship {corporate and private}
:intentional art in my spaces {home, office}
:time with people
:phone calls with friends
:daily {er, mostly} Bible study
:encouraging music
:regularly encouraging/building up others

The Whole series:
Day 2. Let's chat. 
Day 3. Nouwen's words. 
Day 4. A choice. 
Day 5. A picture. 
Day 6. A quote
Day 7. In marriage.
Day 8. Fake it.  


Beth said...

I love this and I totally agree. Choosing Joy is sometimes the best way to be joyous. There are positives in our lives, so be thankful for them and rejoice!

Chelsea E. said...

Totally agree with you on this one! You have to fake it for sure, and I think eventually it becomes true...maybe...

Jessica Sliman said...

I'm learning this. I have struggled with being joyful lately. I'm tired, we've moved, my husband is opening a new business...there's a lot of stuff going on. And for a while, I was just letting myself sink. But I'm working really hard on "choosing to be joyful" in spite of what's going on around me....and although a lot of the time, it MIGHT be fake, I think I even convince myself at times that it's real :)