We’ve all heard the phrase “fake it till you make it.” Truthfully, it always sounded like a bunch of BS. But when I started thinking about it and read more into it, I came to realize that it might actually be a key to success. Not buying it? Hear me out.
“Fake it till you make it” can be confused with lying, being manipulative, and overall being full of BS. On the one hand, it’s true that you don’t want to be someone you’re not, and you certainly don’t want to be deceitful. On the other hand, sometimes we all need a little boost of confidence that might come in the form of “faking it.”
It turns out that there is some research out there that backs up the psychology of the “fake it till you make it” mindset. Here are my thoughts:
Why you should “fake it till you make it”
You’ll believe in yourself and be more confident. The way I see it, it’s all about conveying confidence. I wasn’t comfortable calling myself a blogger for a long time. In fact, there are some days when I still don’t feel like I’ve truly earned the title. I work a full-time job and don’t even dedicate the majority of my day to my blog, so it can be tough to identify myself as a blogger. But then I realized that other people won’t take you seriously unless you do, and if you can’t even believe in yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to. After all, what we think, we become.
It can help in social situations. Socially, it also helps to “fake it till you make it” – especially for us introverts!! As a blogger, it can be hard attending events alone when you don’t know anyone. Over the years, I’ve learned that it’s ok to “fake” being an extrovert in these situations. At work, it can help to fake “it” (confidence) when you’re in meetings or giving a presentation.
You’ll be taken more seriously. Ever heard the phrase, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? There may actually be some truth to that saying. You shouldn’t completely change the way you dress, but it doesn’t hurt to look put together at work or when you’re meeting someone new for the first time. First impressions matter, and oftentimes they last, so why wouldn’t you want to put your best foot forward?
When you should NOT fake it
If you can’t ever be yourself. If you’re constantly faking it, when are you presenting your true self to the world? Can you truly be honest with yourself?
If you can’t back it up. As with all things in life, if you want to succeed, you have to be prepared. It doesn’t matter how much you “believe in yourself” or “fake it” – if you don’t do your homework and don’t have the skills to ultimately support your claims, it won’t do you any good.
At the end of the day, the goal is to become the person we are trying to be. There’s a great TED talk on this topic – specifically, the power of our body language in conveying our confidence. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says: “Fake it till you become it. Do it enough until you actually become it and internalize.”
What are your thoughts on the fake it till you make it attitude?