Do you have a hero or someone you wish you could be like? It’s healthy to have people who inspire you to be your best. Whether you know your hero or not, or even if the one you revere died before you were born, it’s possible to embody some of that person’s traits into your own life. There are two primary ways to do so. First, you can work for many years to slowly develop whatever trait you admire in your idol. Characteristics ranging from courage to charisma can be gradually learned through effort and life experience. Yet, there is another possibility. Through a method I call Transformational Acting (TA), you can become just like your hero almost instantly.
Transformational Acting is a powerful way to quickly change how you feel. Yet, its deeper function is to help you grow towards becoming the person you yearn to be. By trying out new forms of behavior in this deliberate manner, you can immediately experience the joys and benefits of new ways of being. It can be reassuring to see that a specific attribute that you thought was a lifetime away could, in fact, be experienced right here, right now.In addition, I’ve noticed that “trying on” certain traits have helped me see what interferes with my growth.
Because the TA technique is so simple, it’s easy to assume it can’t possibly be as effective as it is. Only by trying it for yourself will you get to see how useful and potent it can be. The first step in using the TA method is to choose someone who possesses a trait you truly admire. It’s okay if you’ve never met this person, as long as you have a clear sense of his or her positive qualities. Next, ask yourself, “What one or two traits does this person have that I would like to experience more of in my own life?” Once you know what you are aspiring to, visualize this person in your mind. Observe how the person breathes, walks, talks, and interacts with other people. Then, imagine that the one or two traits you selected are becoming infused into your own being as you take several deep breaths. When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes while maintaining your connection to the qualities you desire. The potential uses of the TA technique are almost endless. If you need a boost of confidence before an important meeting, take a couple of minutes to tune into a favorite president or movie star. If you desire to be more loving, focus on emulating someone like the late Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama. With practice, you can more quickly and easily learn o “merge” with a variety of traits borrowed from people you admire. In order to maintain the effectiveness of the TA technique, I recommend only using it for brief periods of time. By being deliberate about the situation in which you’re using this method, you can keep your experience of it very crisp and alive. Before you know it, you may begin to naturally express many of the traits you previously had to “pretend” to have.