"Fake it till you make it" is an English aphorism which suggests that by imitating confidence, competence and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life and achieve the results they seek.
The idea of faking it till you make it is controversial, with some people feeling that this behavior is being inauthentic and ego-driven. In my opinion a misinterpretation of the phrase as being the culprit here. This old aphorism is not meant to suggest that you tell lies or take a position for which you are strongly unqualified.
The correct interpretation is that this concept is about ramping up your confidence, pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone and learning new things. There is a plethora of research available to prove that embodying the persona of a successful, happy individual is one of the most effective methods to meet your goals and achieve your dreams.
When I was younger I had horrible self confidence. I felt like I wasn't good enough to enjoy life, to have a good career or to have a happy relationship. I didn't do anything about it because I didn't think I could.
Then I had my first daughter, I was so worried that I wouldn't be a good mother. I didn't feel confident enough to be a good mother, so I started faking it. I didn't feel confident enough to be a good provider, so I started faking it. I didn't feel confident enough to be a survivor, so I started faking it. I didn't feel confident enough to thrive in life, so I started faking it.
Sometimes I felt overwhelmed, but I kept trying, kept learning, kept faking it until I finally started feeling like I was a good mother, a good provider, a survivor and to finally thrive in life. There were so many things that I never thought I could do, but I started to fake it, until I actually made it and you can too!
When you are feeling insignificant, not good enough, not smart enough try out these 6 tips to "fake it til you make it".
1) Reflect on a recent situation in which you felt not good enough or upset in your behavior due to a lack of confidence. If you were a confident person, how would you have reacted differently? Challenge yourself to approach an upcoming situation with greater confidence. Be bolder than you feel you usually are at the next meeting, the next social event or family activity and put your hesitance aside. Practice approaching new people, talking to them and smiling. It might feel odd at first, but keep trying to be confident and it will continue getting easier and more natural.
2) Force a smile, even when you have a bad day. Facial expressions and body posture creates what researchers call a feedback loop. This action causes the brain to interpret and respond to a smile and positive postures in such a way that triggers a satisfying chain of events. In this study, participants were asked questions that identified their emotional state before and after smiling. The subjects overwhelmingly scored happier after smiling. In one study, participants watched themselves smile in a mirror. These participants showed a more significant change in mood than those who smiled without the mirror.
3) Rather than focusing on the negatives in life, spend some time thinking or writing about your goals and how you want to thrive in life. This study had groups of participants prepare for a group exercise in three different ways. One group wrote about their desires and aspirations, another group was asked to write about their duties and obligations in life and yet another about their commute to the location. In the next step, they were separated into subgroups containing one person from each exercise category. They were directed to create a hypothetical startup company. Finally, participants were tasked with ranking the initiative of each person in their group, including themselves. The individuals who wrote about their goals and aspirations were most respected and admired by their teammates. They were also viewed as more proactive and competent. Writing, thinking, and talking about your dreams and goals will give you the boost you need to stretch your comfort zone. Faking being successful in life can lead to being exactly that.
4) Pay attention to the behavior of leaders that you admire. Watch how they respond in various scenarios and practice those behaviors. Commit to events that provide learning experiences and challenge yourself in learning to raise your skill level. Faking it till you make it does not mean faking knowledge that you never bother to gain.
5) There is a danger of falling into The Imposter Syndrome patterns if you believe you're faking your success by lying to get what you want. You are not an imposter, not if your intentions are honest and moral. Fake it til you make it is about improving yourself, not lying about who you really are. You're proving to yourself that you can be confident and successful, not trying to scam people. You're not trying to prove to anyone else that you are happy and accomplished, just yourself. That's all you need. Remember, with each positive forward step you take, you are one step closer to what you want in life. You actually did it, you did not lie your way into it. You may have acted more confident than you felt, but you did deliver what you promised. You can't fake that.
Watch yourself moving up as your actions and behavior become more natural, creating a strong foundation to build upon.
6) Be sure to fake it for the right reasons, not to boost your ego or be artificial. The purpose of "Fake it til you make it" is a concept that is meant to boost your confidence and help you get out of your own way, so you can be successful in life. If something does not feel honorable and authentic, don't do it. Don't lie about your experience and qualifications. Instead lean on your ability, passion, and work ethic.
If this blog helps even one person to fake it til you make it successfully to create a better life, a more confident life, to survive, so you can thrive, all my past pain will be worth it. These 6 tips to "Fake it til you make it" is designed to help others have a better life, please comment if you have any success. Thank you!