This topic has been on my list for a while now, and one which I have done a great deal of looking in to. I challenge you to find anyone who hasn’t heard the phrase, “Fake it until you make it,” and for good reason, it’s true. The premise of this popular catch phrase is to pretend as if you are holding all the cards, even if you don’t. To some, it may sound silly, definitely it may make one feel uncomfortable and out of their environment, which is expected since if they had “IT” they wouldn’t need to fake “IT.”
It all starts with positive thinking. Faking it, essentially forces us to believe in ourselves, believe that we can”Win,” believe that we can accomplish whatever task is before us. At the same time, we need to believe that the challenge wants to be won, i.e. will not actively try to prevent us from successfully achieving our goals. When dealing in a sales environment, this means we set in our minds that the other party wants to award success, and we are able to achieve this award. In social situations, such as approaching a member of the opposite sex, we need to understand that the other person wants to be approached, and that they will be interested in us. In an interview, the interviewer wants to hire someone, and we are the person who deserves to be hired. Get my point?
By thinking positive, we set in motion a self fulfilling prophecy in our favor. When we think negative, our world becomes negative, we have bad luck, nothing works out, life seems to uncontrollably act out against our will. On the other hand, thinking positive has the opposite affect, the world becomes brighter, things happen in our favor, we get the win, and we find ourselves on lucky streaks. We are what we think.
This self fulfilling prophecy puts us in to a cycle called a positive feedback loop. Essentially, this is a recurring cycle of reinforcement to our behaviors, when we think good things, good things happen, causing us to think more good things, at which point, more good things happen!
But if this is so seemingly obvious, why aren’t we masters of faking it until we make it? Fear has a big part to play in preventing successful faking and making. Fear of failure, rejection, loss, these are big, real world interpersonal challenges which must be faced. Think about public speaking, the advice typically dished out is to imagine everybody in their underwear, bring them to your level. In this case, we need to remind ourselves that even the smartest person in the room had to start out with nothing.
My thoughts on why faking it works boils down to the fact that by faking something, we are forcing ourselves to expand on certain areas which we are trying to pitch. As we forceably expand these areas, we are inevitably put into situations where we put said areas in to use. Like a muscle, the more we use our skills, the better we become at them. So as we fake “it,” we flex our “it” muscles, making them stronger, and allowing us more faking power ™.
It comes down to believing in yourself, taking a chance, and knowing that the best will come out of it, because even if you end up with egg on your face, there is always tomorrow.