Fake It Until You Create A (Positive) Habit

October 6, 2012

in inspiration


This wonderful TED Talk by Amy Cuddy is about body language, or actually, “Power Posing” and how it can improve both how other people see us and how we see ourselves. (the video is just 21 minutes long so watch it now, you’ll find it’s useful for your personal and professional life).

Cuddy explains the importance of body language in human interactions, especially in power dynamics between people. For example “when people watch 30″ soundless clips of real physicians-patient interactions, their judgements of the physicians’ niceness predicts wether or not that physician will be sued”. Even the use of the right (or wrong) emoticon during an online negotiation can have a tremendous impact in the non verbose judgement.

We – our thoughts, our feelings and our physiology – are also influenced by our own body expressions.

Expanding oneself – make yourself bigger by opening up – is a clear demonstration of powerfulness (Photo credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)


In the end, Cuddy  shares an emotional personal anecdote that leads her to conclude that the saying fake it until you make it” should be rekindled as “fake it until you become it”.

I find that this observation is quite in line with the teachings of behavior design expert and Stanford Professor BJ Fogg, with whom I studied in 2011.

BJ is famous by creating an insightful and actionable model for understating behavior and driving persuasion through technology (the BJ Fogg Behavior Model),  but also by his “Tiny Habits” program that has the scope of creating new (positive) behaviors by executing a small and simple activity (also know as baby steps) every day until it becomes natural.

“When you know how  to create tiny habits, you can change your life forever.” – BJ Fogg

So what Cuddy calls “fake it” is actually a sort of “perform a certain action” and the “until you become it” becomes “until you create a habit” out of it and you no longer have to fake it.

Below is a video of BJ Fogg presenting his Behavior Model and the Tiny Habits to a group of tech entrepreneurs focusing on health. I think both videos work perfectly as a combo…  I might as well rename this post Power Posing & Tiny Habits FTW!

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