I do this thing.
When I’m struggling to get something done, or when I have to make a tough phone call, or when I need to do/be/sound better than feel, I just pretend I’m someone else.
Now, I don’t go by a different name or anything. I don’t misrepresent who I am. That would be super weird. This is an internal thing I do, an inner monologue type situation. When faced with something I feel powerless to do — and you better believe sometimes that’s just like, getting out of the house and being a person in the world — I say to myself, often out loud:
“Well, I can’t do this. So I’m just going to pretend I’m a woman who can.”
Sometimes I pretend I’m a Katherine Hepburn type or a Madonna type. It’s not that I’m doing an impression or that I would trust Madonna’s judgement in all things. It’s that I need to channel a woman who seems like she would not be afraid of X, Y, or Z.
Shoes help me here, too.
If I am feeling weak, feeling sunk, it helps me every time if I put on a pair of smart shoes. I’ll brush the dirt off my shoulders (metaphorical dirt, usually, but you never know), buckle myself into a snappy shoe, and bing. Something changes. Suddenly, my feet are stronger, more … accounted for, strangely? Yes, I become more accounted for, somehow, on the Earth. And this makes me better able to pretend to be someone else who can do all the things I can’t.
It’s then that I can walk out the door. And wonder of wonders, the woman I’m pretending to be?
She does okay.