Have you ever been told to just ‘fake it ’til you make it’? How does it make you feel?
I know that for many introverts and highly sensitive people this is not something that always sits well. In fact it may make you recoil and cringe.
It’s a commonly used phrase suggesting that if you want to become, accomplish or achieve something then you need to pretend to be that thing from the beginning. For example if you want to be confident then you just need to fake confidence and eventually the confidence will become real.
We often use the phrase in reference to things that will never truly be made. Things that will leave us perpetually faking it with the belief that one day we will miraculously make it to a non-existent destination. Confidence and happiness are both perfect examples of this.
Neither is a destination or an objective to acheive. You are never going to find an end point to your search for confidence. As long as you are experiencing the world and doing new things there will always be insecurity, anxieties, and discomfort.
But there are two ways we can approach this catchphrase: internal faith and external fakery.
We have an intrinsic desire to learn, develop, and grow. This might involve putting ourselves in uncomfortably and scary situations.
We fight the resistance and the inner desire to stop, and overcome it with faith that we are doing the right thing. Faith by definition demands action amidst un-surety. We must do what we want to do and go where we want to go because otherwise we never will.
“Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.”
― Maggie Kuhn
This is how we project a version of ourselves to the world. Maybe we pretend to know things we don’t, or to have had experiences that we have not had. The objective is deception and manipulation, not self-improvement.
By projecting ourselves as things we’re not then we will become disingenuous, fake, and required to pretend and even lie to the world about who we are. It’s an attempt to make others believe something about us that is not real so we can get what we want, rather than putting in the time, effort, and hard work to actually make it true.
A Roadmap for Failure
I have played and promoted gigs over the years with local bands and singers who suffer from this problem. They subscribe to the belief that if they act in a certain way, pretend to behave like the bands they want to be, then they will get to where they want to be.
This will often manifest itself as arrogance and entitlement, which as you can imagine doesn’t endear them to the people on the ground that they have to work with.
There was one show in particular that sticks in my mind. I was waiting to soundcheck, and stood next to the sound engineer at the back of the room. I could sense he was losing patience and getting increasingly exasperated by pretentious, nit-picking, longwinded demands of this unknown band who were embarking on their first full UK tour.
What I learned that night however was that sound engineers have the power to make or break a band in a new area. They have control, and if you annoy them they have tricks to make you look bad without making themselves look bad. And that’s exactly what he did.
…That band is no longer together.
This Happens Everywhere
It isn’t just true in music. Wherever you find people trying to make a difference, create things, or build an audience for their work, you get the worst kind of fakers.
Unfortunately they are everywhere.
They subscribe to quick win schemes, are quick to copy others, take credit for other peoples’ work, and they are those people who will tell you what they are good at before you’ve even asked.
If you want to know what I’m talking about just watch an episode of The Apprentice.
Fortunately, to make your impact on the world you don’t have to do that. Just find the place where you feel compelled to show up, and do so even if your voice trembles.
That is the difference between internal faith and external fakery – over time this deep drive will take you to new and exciting places.
Over to You
Question: How does the phrase ‘fake it ’til you make it’ make you feel? Do you have any positive experiences of it? Please leave your answer in the comments below.