Pretend until You Can!


Last Sunday my husband and I celebrated Thanksgiving with our boys since they will not be with us on the traditional Thanksgiving holiday this year. We made a turkey and had all the fixings. We went around the table and said what we were thankful for and of course we played football as a family! It was a great holiday for our family.

The funny thing is several times during the day we forgot that it was not actually Thanksgiving day. That morning we realized we needed one more ingredient for our meal, and my husband and I discussed whether the stores would be open or not!  When we headed out to Percy Warner for a family hike, we were surprised to see so many other folks out on Thanksgiving! As we drove to the field to play football, one of the boys commented on all the traffic on a holiday. For us it was Thanksgiving and we did a good job of living it and believing it!

I took a training course at my Pilates conference earlier this month and the instructor said, “If you can not do it just yet – pretend until you can.”  I loved that sentiment. How often do we convince ourselves we can’t?  We say ‘this move is too difficult’, or ‘I’m not flexible enough’, or ‘I’m not young anymore’, and so on. Before we even begin – the negative self-talk has decided it’s impossible for us.

So what if we told ourselves instead that today was the day, we were going to succeed? Maybe today’s success is taking one step closer to mastering a movement or maybe it is actually mastering the movement. What if we pretend? Wouldn’t that be more fun … and ultimately more successful?

I’ve been doing a little experiment with some of my students this week.  I’ve taken one of the harder movements in Pilates – The Teaser – and I have presented it like something new. I’ve noticed in the past when I say we are going to try the Teaser – the negative “I can’t” speak begins.  So this week I have broken it down and presented it in simple steps and before my students realize it – they are doing the Teaser!!! My students are having success because I haven’t allowed them to believe they can’t. I haven’t allowed them to be scared off by the thought of a Teaser.

My challenge to you next class is to embrace positive thinking. Pretend until you can! You may just surprise yourself.

And a Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving to you and yours 😉 !

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