How does one reconcile the notion of “acting as if” with the notion of “being true to yourself”?
The concept of “acting as if” essentially says that if you are feeling sad, and wish to feel happier, then act as if you are happy and you will be. And this turns out to be somewhat true – if you turn your facial expression into a smile and sit up straighter and focus your attention on happy things, you will genuinely become happier. If you are feeling unsure of yourself, and you stand up straighter, look people in the eye and talk with a tone of authority, then you will feel more confident.
What if you have a strength or value of honesty and integrity? From the Character Strengths and Virtues: “Integrity, authenticity, and honesty capture a character trait in which people are true to themselves, accurately representing – publicly and privately – their internal states, intentions and commitments.” (p.294)
It’s going to be awfully hard to “fake it until you make it” if you have a strength of integrity and authenticity.
What do you think?