I’m applying this to happiness but this is a very simple hack you can use in many areas of your life. If you want to be a happy person but you’re having a hard time getting in the mood then try this. Tell people, your family, your friends and coworkers you’re a happy person. That sets the bar that you’ll have to live up to. People will expect it from you so you’ll have to live up.
This is a bit of a strange phenomenon, but when people put expectations on us, and they’re people we respect, we feel a need to live up to them. When it’s somebody you respect, their opinion matters. You want to live up to what you told them. This may seem like a bizarre why to use psychology in your favor, but it works.
I know for me; I’m motivated to strive for what I want rather than push off of what I don’t want. Knowing that, raising the bar to a new goal I want to achieve makes me work my butt of to achieve it.
I liken this to setting deadlines. It’s a little different but you’ll see where I’m going. At work, when I don’t have a deadline, I find myself sitting around lollygagging and goofing off. When I have a deadline, I step up and make sure I hit that deadline.
The point I’m trying to make is when you let an expectation be placed on you, you have to step up. Try it. This really works. When you pretend to be happy you do start to feel happy. Hence the phrase fake it to you make it.