Thursday, March 7, 2013

Just fake it | by @kabaim

Yesterday, I woke up at 3am with a giant pit in my stomach.  I couldn't sleep anymore, and my mind went directly to overwhelm and disaster-creation mode, reflecting what my gut was feeling, and started racing into a vicious downward loop.  When I finally got out of bed at 5am, I was feeling full-blown entrepreneur's morning sickness, and could not shake it.

Not again!  WTF, I just came back from an amazing weekend in NYC, made some amazing friendships with an incredible group of entrepreneurs.  Why was this happening to me?  Again.

So with the little resolve I had left, while on the way in to the office, I decided to do something about it.  Something simple, something easy, just something.

So I put on a big smile.  Until it hurt.  Literally.

It wasn't easy - it was so incongruous with how I was feeling inside.

Nothing happened at first, although I did notice some people looking at me strangely ('why the shit-eating grin?').  I also noticed that there were very few other people smiling.  Actually, most people in the streets had a scowl or worried look on their face.  So I'm not the only one, I thought...  I also connected with a few other smilers - wow, there are people out there who just smile!

By mid-morning, the smile thing started to take hold.  I noticed a lightening of the weight on my shoulders, a softening of the pit in my gut, an easing of my heart.  My mind started clearing up, I jotted down the things I needed to get done for the day, and started cranking away.  I felt energized.  And good things started happening.

Don't know how much there is to this, but I know this feels solidly true to me: the mind follows the body.  So sometimes, it might just be okay to lie to yourself a little bit - I mean, tell your body to lie to you.  Yeah, just fake it, and see how it feels.  Good things might just happen.

Update: so it turns out there is science behind the smiling thing => check out this article.  Thanks +Elizabeth Hunter for sharing.


  1. I love this Eric... entrepreneur's morning sickness... ohhhhh, that's what that is!
    Well, you just confirmed what research is beginning to tell us -- smiling can increase your mood and change your stress levels.
    Check it out:

    Smiling right back at ya!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! And thanks for the articles - good to hear I'm not crazy.

      Big hugs to you!

  2. I heart Eric Kim! More of us could be smiling, it's true... and you are doing it. Our cells are listening. Thanks for the reminder.
    Big hugs and love,

    1. Thanks Robin! Now I'm trying for the full-on Duchenne smile (with mouth and eyes) - see the link Elizabeth posted:

  3. Great article Eric! God knows we all feel this time at some point or another. Don't know if you've read the experiments where they had people bite a pencil, thus forcing them to smile. The result was that even a forced smile works, fake it till you make it! Thanks for the reminder to smile! Huge hug :)

  4. Thanks Ed! Yes, Elizabeth shared the post:

    Big hugs to you too.

  5. It is the secret. If you know anything about habit then faking it eventually turns into the norm. Happiness is a virus. It spreads.

  6. Kabaim, (and everyone else) check out this article: 22 Things Happy People Do Differently ->