Fake it ’til you make it is a phrase that can help with self confidence, self belief and achieving a target/goal.
Have you ever been given a challenge and immediately thought
“I could never do that! It’s impossible! I’m not nearly good enough!”.
The next thing you know, you have:
- Sweaty palms
- Butterflies in your belly
- Trouble getting your words out properly
- Forgotten your lines
- Forgotten how to do your next move.
Basically, you are cocking everything up because of this self-fulfilling prophecy of telling yourself you can’t do it. Why is this? Personally, it is because I have spent so long convincing myself I can’t do it and mentally rehearsed all the things that could go wrong. All this rehearsal and practice makes me very good at actually doing things wrong!. I have practiced so hard at fudging things up, it is difficult not to fudge them up! It has become second nature to me! And when I eventually do fudge it up, this just reinforces my lack of self confidence, so I have even greater self doubt, I start mentally rehearse failing again next time…and the vicious downward spiral continues. It is here where faking it til you make it comes in. The trick is, if you have little/no self-confidence, then just pretend. Do some play acting behave like you can succeed. Try to convince as many people as possible (yourself included) that your success is almost a foregone conclusion. Mentally rehearse and practise all the things that are going to go right, your “victory speech” etc, for when you succeed. Even if you don’t actually believe it yourself, behave, think and pretend that you do. After a while, more and more people will believe you and have confidence in you. This confidence will then start to rub off on you and after a while, you will start to really believe in yourself too. Basically, you are creating an environment in which you can succeed, instead of one in which you will fail.
One example is of a quarterback in American Football who had just won the Super Bowl (I forget which one). A reporter asked him “how do you feel”. His response was:
“It feels just as great as the 1,000 other times I have won it since I was a kid in my back garden”.
In other words, since a kid, he had practiced, pretended and mentally rehearsed how it is to be a winner. Or, he had faked it ’til he had made it. So next time I ask you to do a pressup/pullup/squat/jump/run etc, don’t stand there looking at me going:
“Nope, I can’t do that”.
“How good is it going to feel when I achieve that!”
This approach works for millions of people all around the world, and it works for me…why don’t you at least give it a try. And if you are sitting there telling yourself “Nah, I’m different. It won’t work for me”, do me a favour and re-read this post, because it obviously has not sunk in yet.