Acting as ifPosted: January 9, 2007
Today’s post prompted by …in other words….
Quote for , Jan 9
Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem.
— W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence
As someone trying to heal through making lifestyle changes, and as someone who quit smoking (on my mind because a good friend in on Day 1 of her quit today), this quote reminds me of all the times I’ve had to act as if. Act as if I’m feeling fine. Act as if I enjoy getting up early in the morning to go to the gym. In the case of quitting smoking, act as if all was well and I didn’t need no stinkin’ cigarettes.
In both the diet and addiction industry there’s a saying: Fake it until you make it. Sometimes that’s the only way to get through when you’re tired and feel like you’ve had enough of the quitting or the dieting or the exercising or whatever it is you’re trying to give up or accomplish.
Of course I don’t think that’s what W. Somerset Maugham had in mind. The quote, it seems to me, is more about how many of us put on a public persona, a mask we use to hide who we truly are because for one reason or another, we’re afraid to let people in and get to know us. Over time, we merge with the mask, becoming the persona we created to hide behind.
I suppose, in a way, it’s pretty much the same because to act as if, to fake it until you make it, requires the use of a mask to hide behind until you become the change or the reality you were trying to create.