Episode 64: You can’t fake it til you make it…do this instead
Hey everyone. How are you doing today? I'm so pleased to talk to you. It is a beautiful fall day (some of you may say autumn) and the reason it’s beautiful is the rain has stopped and the skies have cleared.
I love doing these episodes because I really feel like I'm talking to each of you individually and I can just talk to you. It’s not about being perfect. It’s just about having a conversation. Right.
You know. We spend so much time trying to be exactly the way everybody else thinks we should be so that we fit in and don’t ruffle too many feathers…but you know not one of us is actually meant to fit in because we forget how amazingly unique, we are.
The side of this I want to talk with you about today is this thought, fake it till you make it.
And it is something that when you say the words fake it, you could almost fill in that blank until you make it because it's such a knee-jerk reaction.
I looked it up and the google says: “Suggests that by imitating confidence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life and achieve the results they see.”
I was thinking about this a couple of days ago, because it was a question that I was asked years ago when I was interviewed for a podcast.
And I was surprised how opinionated I am about it.
For those of you that know me, you know I'm pretty opinionated. And I love to hear your thoughts too. This podcast is a space where I want to hear from you. Tell me what you think by DMing me on Instagram, @candymotzek
I do my best to give you support and encouragement and to help you find your way to feeling empowered and strong so that you can create the life that you want to.
So, I was asked, what do you think, what do you think of this thing about faking it till you make it, and before I even had a chance to think about it, I blurted out. I think it's crap. I think it's terrible.
Now I hadn’t really thought that much about it, so I was surprised that I felt so strongly so I’ve been thinking about it and turning over in my head for a while. Like, why do I feel so strongly about it?
And really, it's because I think that we spend so much of our lives trying to be something different, more than we are, trying to fit in, trying to put on that proper mask that will be accepted by everybody. And we're so scared of showing our real selves and our real faces.
And I think that that makes us unhappy because we know we’re not showing up as US. Somehow, we think there’s something wrong with owning our quirky weird selves.
This draws a line (even a fence) between us and the people that we would love to get to know. The people that we want to connect with. I believe we crave connection…and I mean by this our “real self” craves real true authentic connection with others. So, when we’re faking it …we know it …and then we can’t quite connect and it feels’ Off”
So, and that seems all very strange, such a big opinion about such a common little phrase.
But words have power, and when we speak or think out of habit, sometimes we don’t know where we’re out of alignment…until we intentionally look at our thoughts.
I think it’s pretty common that people think – Oh I’ll fake it til I make it…and this is how I’ll get ahead. Or this is how I’ll feel more confident.
For me, instead of saying fake it till you make it, I trust that most of us have a pretty good in built in BS detector and when somebody else isn't being true to themselves and they’re pretending to be something that they're not for, whatever reason, not necessarily that they're trying to make themselves puffed up and into something special - more often, because they're scared that they're not enough.
If you could see me right now, you’d see me see me closing my eyes and kind of thinking about that and how sad I find that, that we so often think that we're just not enough.
And that's for me at least, just so not true about you.
And so much a part of my message to you is that you are enough just as you are now. It doesn't mean that there's going to come times, where are you going to be doing something that’s different, that’s a stretch, that’s uncomfortable. And maybe you’re not going to do a very well, you might even mess up.
Maybe you're going to be attending a networking meeting or a training or who knows what and you think you don’t fit in; you assume everyone feels confident and you’re the only one who doesn’t.
You know, from my own experience, I was so used the being “the only” something that was really common. I worked for many years in a male dominated field, and it was wonderful super invigorating, great relationships with my coworkers. And at the same time, I was used to being that only woman at the table that only woman in that meeting, that only woman at the room. And to boot often the only person of color.
And so that was kind of, it, it was a real big learning curve for me to be that “only” person.
So, because I’ve been there, here’s what I want to tell you. You’re already enough, and maybe you’ve forgotten, and I want to remind you that I see it in you.
It’s true sometime, yeah, we're going to feel nervous sometimes that is a part of being human and that nervousness is important. It shows you the places where you can grow, where we want to get better and where it matters to us to improve. And so instead of putting that cover on and pretending that everything is okay you could practice your courage and be super honest at least with yourself about how you’re feeling,
You might say to yourself, I’m nervous. I don't know what to do here. I've never been in this situation before, I’m no good at this. And so, begin by admitting it to yourself that, you know, yeah, I am nervous and allowing that it's okay to be nervous. It's human to be nervous.
And funnily enough, there's power in that nervousness. Because you can use that feeling to remind yourself and encourage yourself to stick with it and to improve. And at the same time still accept that, that's the way it is right now.
Be willing to feel uncomfortable.
And the more that you take, just that first step to accept, truly accept that you're nervous. It’s going to bring you closer and closer and closer to being more authentic, more yourself, and more empowered in what you do know.
The next part is to find your courage and act anyway. And it's as simple as that. You might say to yourself, yeah, I'm nervous. And despite being nervous, I'm going to take that step. I'm going to introduce myself in that meeting. I'm going to say my opinion at the dinner table. Those are those small steps. When we look back at them in our lives that are really crucial and the places where we met ourselves, even though we're a little bit scared or completely terrified.
So anyway, you know my opinion now on fake it till you make it. I think it is not for everybody. I think we can learn that there’s nothing wrong with being nervous about stretching and growing. Instead of faking it till you make it…maybe try “practice until you become it”
Even when you fumble your words, or you a little awkward. Remind yourself you are showing up and that is making it.
This is part of the path to confidence.
Ok we’re about ready to wrap this up. Let me summarize:
Most people who “fake it ‘til they make it” are well intentioned. Often, they are just plain nervous, trying desperately to make a good impression, and they don’t want anyone to know how uncomfortable they really are.
1. First, acknowledge it, you are nervous. It’s a normal human emotion and you can learn to accept it. But it doesn’t stop with just admitting you’re on edge. WE get learn that nervous is a feeling, we’ve labelled it as bad and so we try to avoid it at all costs.
2. Once you admit how you feel to yourself. Learn to say, “I’m nervous and it’s normal to feel this way sometimes – it means I’m growing. I get to remember, I’m far more capable than I know.” Honestly, take those thoughts write it on a post-it note. Memorize it and use it repeatedly and create a new helpful belief.
3. Don’t let your nervousness stop you from taking action. Do it anyway. It’s only when we take steps, act, practice, that we learn what we are really capable of. This is one great way to grow your confidence. Remember being nervous is a sign that you’re growing and expanding. Use it as fuel, because it’s a sign that you are creating a life with more excitement!
4. Finally, try using this sentence instead…you may find it helps “I can practice until I become it”
This is the first in a miniseries of five episodes on confidence that I’ve created for you. In the next episode I’m talking about 3 lies we tell ourselves about confidence, then I’m moving on to 5 things you need to know about confidence, then I’ve got two more episodes where I share the 5C Confidence Formula and how to put it into action so you can create confidence on demand
I can’t wait to share all of this good stuff with you. Talk to you soon.