I did some searching on Google to try and find the origin of this concept but couldn’t find any clear reference to where it came from. If you know then please drop me a line. I have read a number of books that have used the idea and wanted to give you my interpretation.
The saying is widely used in positive mental attitude (PMA) circles and if you are not familiar here is the basic premise. If you have a goal then you should think as if you have already attained the goal. By thinking this way you are likely to act differently and be noticed. For example if you would like to be a manager, then you should think like a manager. If you think like a manager you are likely to act in the way that a manager would act. As a result you are more likely to be promoted than someone acting as a team member.
On the down side, displaying great confidence and attitude in the workplace (which may endear you to management) does not always go down well with peers. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and if you get a reputation for being ‘over keen’ it can be a ‘cold’ place.
When the concept is taught in the classroom it is usually done in conjunction with goal setting. Its other use is in coaching as a tool to work on a specific soft skill, such as a lack of confidence; Think confident, act confident and become confident. I’m sure you can see the flaw though, how do you think confidently when you aren’t?
For me the most important factor in the equation is actually missing, the vital ingredient is ‘why’? Unless we have a real burning desire within ourselves to change then we won’t. Anything that becomes a burning desire within us is called ‘motivation’ and is the reason why we do what we do!
Most business soft skills training is attended by people who are there because they have been told to attend and not because they want to be there, or indeed change. When I use Think, Act, Become I therefore ensure it is always preceded by a session on ‘Motivation’.
If you are on a course to be a better listener then you must want to become a better listener, if you on a course to build confidence then you must want to be more confident. As an educator it is my job to engage the delegates on my courses and to ‘sell’ them the idea as to the benefits of the results. Even so, I can only teach, I cannot make them learn.
So the trio of Think, Act, Become in my classroom becomes a quartet headed by ‘Motivation’ and the most important question of all, WHY are we here? Until the why is fully understood I never proceed to the how!