You’ve no doubt heard, used, and even applied this maxim to yourself or those around you. Fake it until you make it…or rather, actually become it. There are plenty of studies that back up the notion that there is a lot of power in visualizing the achievement of goals that require strengths or skills we may not yet possess.
Why is that? It’s simple. When you’re “faking” something, you are actually trying to do it. The more you try to do something, you’ll eventually begin doing it…and before long, you won’t be faking anything at all. Sometimes “pretending” seems less threatening than saying to yourself that you are actually going accomplish something.
Many individuals at some point in their careers, or when launching their own businesses, report experiencing what is called, the “imposter syndrome” or the doubting of personal ability and accomplishment with the fear of being exposed as a “fraud.” Unless you are conman Frank Abagnale Jr. from Catch Me if You Can, those feelings are false.
We are often plagued by inner doubts and a lack of confidence that can disable our ability to reach our fullest potential. Part of visualizing your success may require yourself to “fake” or deliberately force yourself to act with the confidence that is needed to progress toward your desired outcome.
Regardless of what your personal career goals are, allow yourself to practice (fake) doing the things needed to do to accomplish those goals. What it really means is stretching your abilities to accomplish more. Want to become a better speaker? Practice speaking out loud at home – pretend you’re giving speeches to your spouse, children, the dog! Want to become a better leader? Ponder what makes a good leader, list those characteristics out and start “faking” being ones that you need to improve.
Ask yourself the following the next time you decide to “fake it, ‘til you make it”:
- What is it that you need to do, or act like, in order to achieve a certain goal?
- What do you currently lack that makes achieving this goal difficult?
- What could you pretend/fake/practice that would make achieving that goal easier?
- Are you willing to make the changes needed to accomplish the goal?
- Are you really faking it?
You’ll find, most of the time you’re not faking it at all – that you aren’t, in fact, a fraud or imposter. Keep learning, keep trying, keep practicing. It’s when we stretch and take on things that make us a bit uncomfortable that real progress is made, and opportunities are realized. To continue learning and making progress right now, check out my book, A Climb to the Top.