Fake It Till You Make It: What It Means & Different Ways To Fake It
Fake It Till You Make It: What It Means & Different Ways To Fake It. You’ve all likely heard the phrase muttered a time or two when it comes to getting through a tough personal or professional moment. You’ve maybe even used it with yourself as a form of reassurance when you aren’t feeling confident in your abilities. Kamerpower.com
Proponents of this idea say you can fake confidence and hope that, eventually, it will inspire real confidence. There are a few different takes on fake it till you make it. Viewed through a critical lens, you could say that they’re based on a sort of overlap between emotion, perception, and competence.
What Is Fake It Till You Make It?
Fake it till you make it is an expression in which a person imitates the confidence or skills they need to succeed in what they are doing in the hopes that they will eventually feel real.
In other words what does fake it till you make it means?, ‘fake it till you make it’ means to consciously cultivate an attitude, feeling, or perception of competence that you don’t currently have by pretending you do until it becomes true.
What about imposter syndrome?
Many people in the professional world struggle with imposter syndrome. It occurs at all levels, from entry level to middle management to senior level executives. It’s a type of anxiety that usually starts in childhood. It manifests in different ways. However, many people who feel like imposters at work try to hide it by acting like a “know-it-all.” Alternatively, they might have a fear of asking questions or for help. It’s a subject for an entire article.
When Does Fake It Till You Make It Not Work?
Faking it till you make it can work in particular situations, but there are some instances where it can be less successful. Faking it till you make it does not work when dealing with hard skills, assisting somebody, and manufacturing who you are. It can also lead to feelings of inauthenticity.
Like for example, it is incredibly hard to fake technical skills and competence. In the workplace, these are elements that are extremely difficult to fake. Imagine a bank’s hiring manager interviewing a prospective employee for a position that requires at least five years of experience with particular software. During the first few days or weeks, it will become apparent if they are or are not as experienced as they claimed.
Different ways to fake it — and their disadvantages
Nodding and smiling
Nodding and smiling is sometimes helpful. It can keep conversations moving along and help conserve emotional energy. When others are nodding along, mirroring their behaviors can help improve the sense of positive connection and belonging in the group.
Pretending you know when you don’t can make it harder to come clean about your shortcomings in the future. If you fake it convincingly enough, you may put yourself in a position where you’re afraid to ask for help or risk blowing your cover. This can lead to impostor syndrome, which is the feeling of being ‘found out’ or like you don’t deserve to be where you are.
Pretending everything’s fine
There are days when we just don’t feel our best. We might be under the weather, distracted by other things, or dealing with grief. Sometimes, when we need to push forward anyway, we act as if everything’s fine.
Pretending that everything is fine creates a lot of emotional pressure. You might be putting so much energy into keeping up an emotional facade that you don’t have much left over for anything else. Pretending all is well delays the process of dealing with your feelings. This has the unfortunate consequence of often making them seem bigger than they really are.
Acting as if
This can be a very helpful and healthy version of faking it. While there’s no scientific backing for the Law of Attraction movement, there is evidence that the practice of visualizing how you aspire to be is helpful.
There’s a line between putting yourself in an aspirational mindset and lying. Visualization should focus on the future and the way you need to behave to achieve your goals.
Alternatives to Fake It Till You Make It
1. Practice Makes Perfect
Remind yourself that practice makes perfect. In many situations, failure is OK and even expected. Shortcomings are where many people learn the most. The fear of failure is prevalent in society, but doing everything perfectly on the first try can be quite a challenge.
2. Face Your Challenges Head-on
Face it until you ace it. Exchanging a couple of letters puts a positive spin on the idea and gives you a more practical approach. You have challenges in front of you every day. Anxiety can make them seem daunting, but you’ll figure everything out one step at a time. Sometimes, the thought of your challenges can be scarier than the actual situation.
3. Be the Change You Want to See
If you want change to happen, you have to make it happen—faking anything isn’t required here. You have to start doing the necessary things to make concrete changes because the world isn’t going to do it for you.
The Right Way To Fake It Till You Make It
You’re not faking it, you’re asking for help
You don’t have to do it all yourself, and you definitely don’t have to do it all perfectly. Be clear about your boundaries and what you’re struggling with. Ask for help, decide what you can take off your plate, and delegate things to others.
You’re not faking it, you’re practicing it
There’s a difference between faking it and practicing. Anything we’re working to master will feel awkward at first. Reframe these changes as “working to embody the behaviors for the person that you want to become.” They may not be habitual, but that doesn’t mean that they’re fake.