See how you like the re-write:
If social psychologists have proven anything during the last 30 years, they have proven that the actions we take leave a residue inside us. Every time we act, we amplify the underlying idea or tendency behind it. Most people presume the reverse: that our traits and attitudes affect our behavior. While this is true to a certain extent (though less so than commonly supposed), it is also true that our traits and attitudes follow our behavior. We are as likely to act ourselves into a new way of thinking as to think ourselves into a new way of acting.
There is a practical moral here for us all. Do we wish to change ourselves in some important way? Perhaps get better at Scrum or convince people of the principles behind Scrum? Well, a potent strategy is to get up and start doing that very thing. Start doing Scrum. And ask them, as Coleridge said, to willingly suspend disbelief. Don’t worry that you don’t feel like it. Fake it. Pretend that you want to do it. Feign optimism. Just do it. Do it as an experiment.
In doing Scrum, they typically find that all the fears of how it won’t work melt away, or at least become much less. And they also experience all the good things about Scrum (one example: the building of trust between the technology side and the business side).
Yes, telling people to act or talk positively sounds like telling people to be phony. But, as usually happens when we step into some new role–perhaps our first days “playing” parent, salesperson, or teacher–an amazing thing happens: The phoniness gradually subsides. We notice that our uncomfortable sense of being a parent, for instance, no longer feels forced. The new role–and the new behaviors and accompanying attitudes–have begun to fit us as comfortably as an old pair of blue jeans.
The moral: Going through the motions can trigger the emotions. Surely you’ve noticed. You’re in a testy mood, but when the phone rings you feign cheer while talking to a friend. Strangely, after hanging up, you no longer feel so grumpy. Such is the value of social occasions–they impel us to behave as if we were happy, which in fact helps free us from our unhappiness.
Granted, we can’t expect ourselves to become adept at Scrum overnight. But rather than limply resign ourselves to our current practices (waterfall?), we can stretch ourselves, step by step. Rather than waiting until we are utterly and completely confident that we *know* Scrum will work in our new special situation, we can begin. If we are too anxious, modest, or indifferent, we can pretend, trusting that before long the pretense will diminish as our actions ignite a spark inside–the spark that will lead to happiness.
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