Fake It 'Til You Make It

If an ant tries hard enough to be a ladybug...can it ever be one? The answer to that question is blatantly obvious and it is simply this: No. Nothing can ever embody what it is—fundamentally and at its core—not. You cannot alter your DNA sequence or rearrange your cells. However, fear not! All hope is not lost. There are many things that you can fake, and one day, if it is right, it just might come true. I recognize that this paragraph is rife with ambiguity and vagueness. What’s my point, you might be wondering. My point is mainly centered around the idea that if you have a character flaw or weakness, more often than not, if you fake that it doesn’t exist, it may become true.

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Take, for example, insecurity and lack of confidence. You walk around with your shoulders slightly hunched and your head angled downwards. You stutter on your words and your face flushes hot and red. Fidgeting is a constant, and when people look at you normally, you feel that it’s a scrutinizing glare. Every action you take outside of the safety of your room is riddled with the telltale signs and discomfort of insecurity and lack of confidence. You wish you could be different. You wish you were born more confident. Now, you’ll be happy to hear that there is, in fact, a solution to your low self-esteem. All you have to do is this: fake it ‘til you make it.

The thing about this saying is that it sounds...wrong. Why would you try to be something that you aren’t? It’s a blatant contradiction from the whole “be true to yourself” idea. To address this qualm, I’d like to say that, of course, no one should try to be someone completely different than who they really are. That’s not what faking it ‘til you make it is about. The saying, as I interpret it, means to take a characteristic that you might be lacking, and pretend you have it until you actually begin to feel it.

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Going back to my example of confidence, often times, if you pretend that you are confident for a long enough duration of time, you can actually begin to feel it. Just as your actions reflect your thoughts, your thoughts can begin to reflect actions too. To fake that you’re confident, you have to walk like you are, talk like you are, and think like you are. You have to hold your head up high, straighten out your shoulders, speak with conviction, and tell yourself that you are confident. Embody confidence for long enough and tell yourself that you are confident (even if it may not be how you truly feel) for long enough, and it begins to become a habit. Habit occurs daily and becomes ingrained into your character and before you know it, you’re no longer faking it because you’ve made it.

So, at the end of the day, you cannot pretend that you are a tree and actually become a tree. An ant cannot pretend to be a ladybug and expect to transform into a semi-sphere with a red back and black spots. However, you can force yourself to learn through playing pretend. You can pretend that you’re sure of yourself, that you’re confident, that you believe you are a great leader, or that you believe you can do anything. You can pretend all these things and follow through with the actions that will make your facade believable, and one day, you won’t be faking it anymore.

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