Taylor Swift once said “It’s fine to fake it ‘til you make it, ‘til you do, ‘til it’s true”. At first, I never thought that this mantra would actually work for me cause I was never good at pretending until it did. As a person with crippling anxiety and low self-confidence, who perpetually struggles to find motivation and confidence, it honestly really helped in so many situations I never thought I would survive.
Before I dive into this sparkling pool of self-improvement, let’s be clear: I’m not recommending you to become a deceptive mastermind or begin wearing a mask of fake confidence. Faking it ’til you make it is more about adopting a resilient, perseverant, and firm belief in your ability to overcome your anxiety-ridden and motivation problems.
When I came upon this mantra, it sounded like the ideal solution to my problems. The concept of portraying confidence appeared straightforward. I’d put on a happy face, exude confidence, and conquer the world, right? Let me tell you, it’s not as simple as it seems. I learned that pretending to be confident while struggling with anxiety and poor motivation is similar to attempting to dance the tango blindfolded. You fall, fumble, and occasionally bump into furniture. But it’s all part of the journey.
What does it mean to “fake it ’till you make it”?
According to the National Institute of Health, “fake it till you make it” refers to the idea of projecting self-confidence in order to convince yourself that you can attain a goal that you feel as though you do not yet have the skills to achieve.”.
It believes that confidence, capability, and success can often be connected. By exhibiting confidence and competence publicly, you can establish a positive feedback loop (which I will explain in more detail later), acquiring experience and opportunities that contribute to actual progress and achievement.
It is critical to understand that the phrase should not be taken as encouraging dishonesty or unethical activity. It is not about purposefully misleading people or misrepresenting oneself. Instead, it supports adopting a self-belief mindset, grabbing chances, and approaching obstacles with a proactive and confident approach, even in the face of uncertainty or a lack of prior experience.
Your mind actively monitors your behavior to determine your mood. And so, if you are feeling sad, but you force a smile, your mind will conclude that you can’t be that sad after all and will order the release of more happy hormones. – Psychology Today
Your mind is a master observer, constantly monitoring your behavior and reactions to determine your mood and overall emotional state. It’s like having a diligent detective in your brain, always on the lookout for clues. So, when you find yourself feeling down or sad, there’s a fascinating phenomenon that occurs when you force yourself to smile.
How does it help?
It helps you build confidence
As a musician and a student, it’s hard for me to make connections and build relationships because I’m an introvert who loves being and doing things alone. I don’t have the guts to start conversations and talk to new people. But with the help of the mantra, I was able to create the illusion of confidence by acting as if I already have the talents, qualities, or attributes you want. This could help you in overcoming self-doubt and increasing your motivation to take on new goals.
When you choose to embody confidence intentionally, even if you are afraid at first or lack experience, you begin to redefine your self-perception. Immersing yourself in the role of a self-assured and capable individual allows you to internalize those attributes and create a stronger belief in your own talents.
This “acting as if” strategy works by utilizing the mind-body connection. Your ideas, emotions, and behaviors are all linked, and by adopting confident behaviors and thought patterns on purpose, you create a positive feedback loop.
It creates a positive feedback loop
Acting as if you are already motivated or not worried can result in a positive feedback loop. When you embrace successful habits and attitudes, you may feel modest achievements or good responses from others. These feedback loops can boost your motivation and push you to keep going.
It influences other people’s perception
Perception is an odd thing. I discovered that by expressing an image of confidence and motivation to the world, individuals began to view me as such. Faking it till you make it affects not only your own thinking and confidence, but also how others view you. When you project confidence and competence, you can inspire trust and respect from others around you, producing a ripple effect that leads to great opportunities and collaborations. This, in turn, increases your motivation and drives you further down the road to success.
People are naturally drawn to your energy and presence when you exhibit confidence. They are more inclined to regard you as a dependable and capable individual, capable of managing obstacles and delivering outcomes. At the end of the day, they won’t know what you feel inside and at the same time, you have the full control of your life which is one of the things I learned from the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.
It expands your comfort zone
Because it encourages you to leave your comfort zone, it may also be an effective motivator for personal growth. A confident outlook encourages you to embark on new experiences and challenges that might have previously appeared scary or beyond your ability. You stretch your limits and start a path of self-discovery when you decide to adopt an air of confidence. Like what I said in one of my articles, instead of trying to live a life without uncertainty, you should start accepting it and seeing it as an opportunity for growth.
You start to understand that you are capable of more than you initially thought as you venture outside of your comfort zone and take on new tasks with a confident perspective. You can unlock your hidden potential and discover skills and strengths that may have lain dormant or unnoticed by pushing your boundaries and exploring unfamiliar territory. You frequently learn skills and abilities from these encounters that you never even knew you possessed.
It makes you develop new skills
Not only does faking confidence require adopting a particular mindset or behavior, but it also frequently calls for learning and skill development. As you decide to fake confidence in areas where you previously lacked it, you start a path in which you learn new things, put those things into practice, and accumulate worthwhile experience.
Learning new things is a crucial component of developing true confidence. It’s common to feel uncertain or ignorant when you lack confidence in a given subject. You put time and effort into learning about the issue in order to address it. This might involve reading books, enrolling in classes, finding a mentor, or using other educational tools to broaden your perspective.
For instance, I dread the presentations we have to give at school since I suffer from anxiety. Therefore, I deliberately practiced giving presentations in front of others in order to improve my delivery and increase my comfort level when speaking. I improved my mastery of the necessary abilities, including as articulation, body language, and audience engagement, via continued practice. Through practice, I become more competent and gradually replace my phony confidence with real confidence.
By engaging in learning and skill development, you bridge the gap between faked confidence and genuine confidence. This development not only enhances your confidence in the areas you’ve concentrated on, but it also gives a transferable skill set that can be used to other aspects of your life. The competence you develop forms the foundation on which your genuine confidence is built, allowing you to face future problems with confidence.
In my continual struggle with anxiety and poor motivation, the phrase “fake it ’til you make it” has become a constant companion, giving me with useful tools to help me overcome these difficulties. This phrase has taught me to face my concerns fully, to overcome the constraints that worry imposes on me, and to uncover the source of inspiration within myself. I’ve learned through this process that my worry neither defines me nor sets me back in terms of potential. I overcome the limitations anxiety tries to impose by purposefully acting confident and motivated. I have been able to access my inner strength thanks to this insight and restore a sense of control over my life.
To summarize, the idea of “fake it ’til you make it” has proven to be an invaluable ally in my struggle against anxiety and poor motivation. It has taught me to face my fears, push over my limitations, and rediscover my own source of inspiration. I found the fortitude to overcome worry and tap into my true potential by harnessing the power of thinking and taking intentional action.
Read more from Keanna Nicole Magracia here!