Can you fake it till you make it?
Does faking it really work?
I was recently asked by a client to give a 30 minutes talk to her team of wonderful heart centred souls about showing up as yourself and building relationships from this truly authentic place.
At the end I took questions and I was asked this awesome one which was, “What are your thoughts on the whole fake it till you make it thing?”
It’s such a great question and it’s got my creative juices going.
My answer was this, “I only know how to answer that question for myself and here’s what’s true for me. I would often get feedback in my career about how confident I was. They’d say stuff like … you show up and you’re just so natural and confident. The truth was I would have moments of confidence but a lot of the time I didn’t feel that way. They’d say … you’re amazing … which was lovely but I could never accept that as true. My ego would feel temporarily fluffed but underneath I’d still feel that hollow where the bit of me that didn’t believe I was enough as I was lived. So the answer for me is I think that approach will get you so far and then you really have to do your own inner work.”
So if faking it till you make it doesn’t work for everyone, what does?
1. Exploring your map of the world
We all have a map which guides us through our day to day lives.
My old map had some limiting features in it.
Beliefs like … “I need to be more than who I am to be successful”
Attitudes like … “You must work really hard to get ahead” or “You have to compete to stand out.”
Experiences like … You can progress so far but if you want a family and a career something has to give.
It didn’t take long in running my own business to realise that I wasn’t going to get far on this map of the world and I had to change it if I was to self empower myself.
You’ve got to look at your map coldly and honestly and throw out what no longer fits. It’s like a mental de-cluttering activity.
2. Find out how you hide and defend yourself
When I get scared I hide by trying to perfect everything. It’s way easier than exposing something that might be flawed in some way. Another way is that I can get pretty cynical about things and that enables me to stay in an aloof, dispassionate position where I don’t have to commit.
Once you know where you hide and how you protect yourself, you can stop it.
You can choose to take a risk and be vulnerable for the sake of being real.
3. Start appreciating yourself
Now I’m not going all soft and gooey on you. I’m talking fierce love here.
So many people are more comfortable criticising themselves than appreciating their uniqueness.
It’s so important that we see who we really are and accept who we’re not.
I am an extroverted intuitive, a story teller, a creative, a sensitive, an esteem builder, a light seer and I love doing work that enables me to play to these strengths.
I am not good at planning, being methodical or detailed orientated.
I’ve learnt to work hard and drive results … but it’s not where I get my best results and using this approach drains me.
Being able to say I am good at this and I am not good at this has been such a big release for me. I used to feel I had to be good at everything. That’s exhausting.
You don’t have to be a jack of all trades. You do have to be you because there really is no one quite like you.
4. Show up and be real
Don’t fake who you are. If you’re anything like me and you’ve got a value of authenticity and integrity you’re going to feel a fraud.
I’m learning to say that I’m perfectly imperfect. The more I accept it, the easier my relationship with myself becomes and the more genuinely nice I am with those close to me.
Why? Because I’ve let up on trying to be someone else. I’m not trying to be nice so that people like and accept me. I’m just being honest and real.
It’s a new kind of courage. A courage that no-one probably notices except me because I’m so conditioned to try and perfect myself and shape shift to be what others want me to be.
And here’s the thing I’m noticing about this point. The more I am me, the more people genuinely connect with me and share their stories. I build relationships based on real connection and authenticity.
The more connection and aliveness that is in my life, the more everything grows and is nourished.
If fake it till you make it fills you with dread then why not give being real a go?
Start with the points above and just notice how you start to shift as you become a little more compassionate and accepting of yourself.