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Pretending

Pretending

Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes

Wessel (21): “I am the chairman of an association. Everything is going well, but it doesn’t feel like I am really the chairman. I play a role. Should I continue or would I be better off quitting?”

Ingrid: A yoga weekend in Zeeland. I am twisting my sweaty body into the dog, cat and cobra position. Time and again. “Don’t allow your brain to convince you that you can’t do this,” the yoga teacher says encouragingly. “Just conjure up a smile on your face.” Although I am rather sceptical about this kind of thing, I change my expression. I laugh, and indeed, it is easier.

You can come a long way by pretending. Look at the guys on the television programme Streetlab. By carrying out social experiments, they answer all kinds of questions. In a number of episodes, they try to find out whether you can work somewhere where you don’t actually work. Without having spoken to the companies, they go to work at McDonald’s, at Albert Heijn’s cheese department and at a car dealer. They just walk in and start working. How do they do that? By pretending. The imagined salesman, for example, constantly tells himself on the way to the car dealer: “I am a car salesman, I am a car salesman”. It is not until he has sold his first car that they catch on to him.

So just pretend and you will become the chairman you want to be. Fake it till you make it. One condition, however, is that this is really what you want. Not because it is expected of you or because you want to meet certain criteria, but because being a chairman fits in with who you are and what you stand for or what you deeply wish to be. If that is not the case, there will come a time when you will regret having taken up this position.

I will never be a yogini, but I will be a writer. In fact, after pretending for so long, I feel and think that I am one now. 

Ingrid Candel      

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