(Don’t) Fake It ‘Til You Make It

lone mountain person
Photo: @motornomad

It’s probably the worst advice anyone’s ever given me. I’m exaggerating – but it was a steaming pile, and I strongly suggest we put this old adage to rest.

BE GONE, “fake it ’til you make it”!

We all understand the goal, right? Pretend to be that which you aspire to be until you actually become. Except maybe all the imitating ruins us. Maybe it destroys any chance of genuine joy when we finally “make it”, because now we’ve lost our authentic selves, and it’s hard to be happy when you’re trying not to fall apart. No thanks. I don’t like that story.

The thought of pretending to have it all together, whatever “it” may be, for some distant, obscure place in time is stressing. What if we chose transparency instead? What if we could say with honesty, “I’m working at it, but I’m not there yet.” There’s power in that statement. It affirms those who are looking to you for encouragement, and signals you’re open to learning opportunities. And if actual success is the end goal, wouldn’t our stories be more impactful if we could share what happened, the good and bad, along the way?

Fraudulent, deceitful, counterfeit – fake. What “fake it ’til you make it” really teaches us, is to hide. Instead, stop obsessing over what you think the road to success looks like. (Hint: It’s whatever road you pave) When you’re goal-setting for the future, give yourself permission to get it wrong, to feel insecure, and to need advice. Avoid the “fake it ’til you make it” folks; and don’t be afraid to reach out to people you trust and admire for a little encouragement.

Surround yourself with people you feel safe with – people who listen without judgment and push you when you’re trailing behind. Those are the people who give the best advice – they cheer you on from the sidelines, and celebrate the wins with you too.

You don’t need to fake it. What you need is a solid plan and a can’t-stop-won’t-stop attitude. Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder, or building your business from scratch – that’s the recipe. No additives.

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