Have you ever noticed your sudden change of mood after you’ve seen a movie that inspired, enthused, motivated or impressed you. When I saw Will Smith in his role as “Hitch-the date doctor” for the first time, I felt so bold, brave and flirty, I instantly walked out of the cinema after the movie and felt like I could flirt “professionally” and easily with anybody on the street. The movie inspired me and the conclusion I draw from Hitch was that there is really no reason, why we shouldn’t approach someone we find attractive, even if we don’t know him or her yet.
This is exactly the type of learning, I call “imitating”. When we see a person we find inspiring and this person has certain skills, traits we like to have ourselves, or an attitude we find very appealing, we can learn these desired features by watching the person closely, feel the role model’s attitude and picture ourselves in this situation or having those skills, traits etc. The inspiration plus the observation of the desired attributes facilities the process to learn these things faster and easier. What is more, since we already SEE how the desired outcome in attitude, skills etc. already looks like, we have another powerful tool at our hand: our imagination. If you see, feel the things you want to achieve, it becomes easier and seems more accessible which puts you into the right mind setting.
This can help with a lot of things, but especially with skills that you can actually see. If you want to become a confident speaker, you can watch for example TED talks-see which body language the speakers have, how they engage their audience, how they place their feet and hands etc. This helped me a lot to develop my presentation and speaking skills. Now I always have in mind, how I want to look like and act when I’m giving a presentation, based on many confident speakers I observed.
Along with daily practice, this imitating tool can be very powerful to learn certain skills, traits, attitudes you want to have. Of course it won’t work if you’re goal is to learn perfect french for example. But it will definitely work if you aim to become more self-confident (observe body language, attitude of very confident people), an outgoing, talkative and open person or, as already mentioned a good speaker. Experiments have shown that your facial expression or body language is not only an effect of your inner attitude and mood but that it also works the other way around. A “fake-it-till-you-make” body language and attitude is therefore, by all means a helpful approach to influence your actual attitude, behavior and finally your character and skills.