The inspiration for this post about how to fake it till you make it comes from the actor Andy Nyman – thanks Andy!
I was watching Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 and during his interview Andy made an off the cuff comment about people always asking him if he’s tired. He’s been in a long running theatre production of Fiddler on the Roof. Working on a production like that six days a week takes it out of you and he was asked all the time ‘are you not exhausted’?
The answer was always yes because he was….until he started telling everyone he felt great. When he started telling everyone he felt great. Guess what happened? He started to feel great!
Nothing changed with his schedule. He was still doing shows six days a week. But by telling himself and others that he felt great he changed his thoughts and then how he felt.
He faked it until it became his truth.
What does it mean to fake it until you make it?
According to Wikipedia the term fake it until you make it is an
English aphorism which suggests that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life. It echoes the underlying principles of cognitive behavioral therapy as a means to enable a change in one’s behavior.
Side note an aphorism is a ‘pithy observation which contains a truth.’ I had to look that one up 🙂
So fake it until you make it is about imitating the behavior and mindset you want until it becomes your reality. It’s a tool to help you be the person you want to be.
Faking it until you make it isn’t about being dishonest
Fakery and fake news is a hot topic at the moment. That is about duping people. This is not.
The aim is not to trick people into thinking you are someone else. It’s to trick yourself!
Don’t go hiring private jets for the day and posting it on Instagram if you run around in the clapped out Clio.
Fake it until you make it is about showing up as you but being the best version of you. It’s about identifying the traits you want to have and then trick yourself that you have them so you can get out of your own way to be that person.
We are talking about changing how you act and how you think to be inline with how you want to be.
Posing with that private jet for a day might get you some likes on Insta but isn’t going to make you a millionaire. But by changing your behavior and mindset to that of a millionaire you will get you closer to that goal. How do you do that?
So how do you to fake it until you make it?
Here are some ideas to help you change you how you act and how you think to be inline with how you want to be.
To show up and be the person you want to be you need to check in and find out what it holds you back. It’s your inner dialogue that will give you the clues. So listen carefully to what you are telling yourself.
For me it’s telling myself I am tired all the time. That’s why what Andy Nyman said struck a chord. He changed his dialogue and his actions and his feelings caught up. He went from feeling tired to feeling great. You and I can do that too with positive affirmations.
These are positive statements you tell yourself repeatedly. That can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.
I am confident, I am energised, I am happy. You get my drift? Saying these to yourself consistently and repeatedly until it becomes your truth.
How to make affirmations a habit
It’s easy to let your inner dialogue take over and slip back into negative thought patterns. To get these in check you can use a technique called habit stacking.
Habit stacking does what it says on the tin. Stacking habits together and linking them so it’s easier to remember. Take an established habit. Something you already do each day such as cleaning your teeth and stack the new habit with it.
So to get in the habit of affirmations. Decide the dialogue you want change. Every time you brush your teeth repeat that affirmation. Put a sticky note on your mirror as visual clue to keep you in the practice while you get started.
It doesn’t have to be brushing your teeth. Just pick something you do daily and stack it with that.
If in doubt ask yourself ‘what would Beyoncé do?’
You might of heard this one before….or seen it on a mug. Stuck on how to be the person you want to be? Emulate someone you admire. So in other words, another way to fake it till you make is to ‘act as if.’
If you admire the strong and confident Bey. Ask yourself what would she do and then act that way.
Maybe Queen Bey isn’t you thing? Think of someone who has the behavior and mindset you want. It doesn’t have to be someone famous. Maybe is your boss, a mentor or a friend. When you find yourself in a situation that you find challenging ask yourself ‘what would they do’? ‘How what they handle it’? Act as if you are them. The more you copy this behavior, it will become a habit and ultimately a trait.
I do this with fitness. When I doubt myself or it gets tough I ask myself how would my fitness inspo act and behave. The answer is they would push themselves when it gets hard as they act like they love to work out and they are consistent. So I ‘act as if’ and push myself, I tell myself I can’t wait for my workout at 6am even if that’s not the case! It’s what gets me out of bed and into the gym. I fake it and act as if and the more I do this the more it becomes my trait and my identity too.
How to make acting as if a habit
You can make this a habit by setting yourself up for success using anchors. Anchors are subtle clues that remind you and anchor you to how you want to think.
For example, if Queen Bey is your thing. Use visual clues like sticking a picture of her on your mirror. Use a pic of her as your screensaver. Or audio clues such using one of her tracks as a ringtone or your her track ‘Run the World’ as your power song 🙂
Faking it until make it or acting as if isn’t about duping everyone to thinking you are Beyoncé or that you are someone you are not. It’s a tool that will help you get out of you own way and be the best version of you.
Work out what you are telling yourself that is holding you back and get in the habit of telling yourself and others the opposite. Break down your own barriers and you’ll amaze yourself about what you can achieve.
For some more inspiration, here’s a short video I found on YouTube about the best way to fake it until you make it from author Amy Cuddy.