Credit: Jason Weiss for Fredi
Have you ever noticed how some motivational phrases are just combinations of adequately catchy words?
For example: “Team work makes the dream work.” Or “ If you can believe it you can achieve it.”
One that I think about often is, “Fake it till you make it.” The thought behind this is in order to reach a goal, you must put on a front as if you have it all together until, “poof”—you make it.
I used to believe in its meaning. I used to believe if you wanted to achieve something that seemed out of reach, faking it until you get there was a reasonable path to success. That if you simply showed up and put on a smile, karma will have to come back around. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
"Replace ‘fake it’ with ‘face it’ till you make it."
Because faking it isn’t enough. You’ll realize that it does not just take an ear-to-ear smile to create lasting results. It doesn’t just take telling your friends, your family, your significant other, or anyone else close to you that something’s “going great” when in fact, it’s the pure opposite. In the end, you’ll realize you are only doing yourself a disservice.
So here’s the trick: I want you to replace ‘fake it’ with ‘face it’ till you make it. I hope that instead of acting like it will all work itself out, you put in the effort into making it work. This is how the saying should have coined all along.
Here’s how to actually face it:
Look your obstacles in the eye. Head on.
Evaluate what needs to happen in order to achieve something, and do it. Because something incredible happens when you start believing in yourself and not being afraid to face it. It opens up the opportunity to learn and grow instead of hide and avoid.
It won’t be a walk in the park, in fact you may feel like quitting but that’s the beauty in accomplishing something you want so badly. It requires work. The key is to start small. Start with showing up and asking questions. Start by making mistakes and understanding what it is you can improve on.
It won’t, and never will come easy.
I think the worst part about the ‘fake it till you make it’ advice, is that in a way it’s encouraging you to be something you’re not. One could argue faking it is a form of lying. To yourself and others, that is. There’s a difference between summoning the confidence of a successful figure, and pretending to be someone you are not. It takes away from what makes you, you.
Don’t focus on anyone else’s progress but your own. Focus on becoming your best self because that’s how real success takes off.
Be authentic, and don’t be afraid of messing up along the way.
Most importantly, remember if you want to get something done, you must do it yourself. Face it with all you got and I can guarantee, you’ll achieve more than faking it could have ever done.