Why the “Fake It Til You Make It” Mentality Is A Bad Idea

Fake It Til You Make It

Early on we’re taught to “fake it til you make it.” This perception allows us to push past our reservations and take a leap into uncharted territories because, as they say, staying in our comfort zone hinders us from awakening and manifesting our latent potential. However, as we grow into a society where creating a mirage has become more so an Olympic sport, the fake it til you make strategy is no longer a reliable stepping stone for success. Don’t find an excuse to procrastinate or create a fallacy or an equivalent of stolen valor of accomplishments only to find emptiness behind closed doors. Hustle. Grind. Commit. EXECUTE.

The fake it til you make strategy is no longer a reliable stepping stone for success. Click To Tweet

Today we have to hone our skills and become the best at our craft. We have to be masters. Experts. With YouTube and websites like Udemy saturating any market with self-made experts and giving away free education from tutorials on any subject you can possibly think of; along with websites encouraging genuine reviews that customers and clients religiously take into account, faking is no longer an option.

Consumers and employers alike are becoming more savvy. More informed. And definitely more intelligent in the sense of “I see through all the smoke and mirrors bullshit you put on your social media and resume. Nice try, next!” The requirements to score freelance work or that job opportunity you’ve been eyeing is largely based on your ability to deliver.

If you have the balls to try something, you better have the skills to back it up.

Winging it after you’ve secured your place can spiral into irreversible embarrassment and tarnish your reputation if you are unable to prove your exaggerated embellishments.

Sometimes conjuring up confidence just to put your foot through the door just isn’t enough. Yes, it’s a good push to avoid talking yourself out of an opportunity you may actually excel at but are not confident in your resume. However, it needs to be tackled in an appropriate manner.

So how do you remedy an issue where you lack the experience and knowledge but still want to take advantage of an opportunity?

Well here are three perfect alternatives to do instead:

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1. Be Transparent and Propose a Challenge

Believe it or not, honesty and integrity is something that people always seek out. Businesses and consumers understand that not all things that glitter are gold. Be transparent. If you’re applying for a job, be honest but be unique in your approach and negotiate. Propose a challenge, an opportunity that allows you to present your skills and what you’re capable of. This shows your creativity and sets you apart from the rest.

If you don’t have the resume that perfectly fits the job title, but you are serious about learning and working for the company, offer to showcase your skills prior to being hired. Challenge them.

If you truly have the skills but your work history is not a perfect match according to their criteria, clarify and let them know you have what it takes. Tell them, “I know my resume doesn’t exactly reflect what you are looking for right now, but I am confident in my abilities. I would be more than happy to show you my independent portfolio or better yet, allow me to complete a project that is reflective of this job that proves I am the right choice for this position. From there, you can assess if I am fit for the job or not.” This bold move will pleasantly surprise them and show your eagerness. Not only that, but exemplifies how you do not shy from challenges and are a “go-getter.” A highly sought after trait by anyone.

Now if you have no experience at all or lacking the education in a specific field, let them know that you are willing to learn and put in the hours to be the best by learning from the best while being flexible. Anytime there is an open invitation to learn and the ability to have a flexible schedule and salary, it is hard for an employer to resist.

This kind of approach is daring, confident, and honest. You’re not lying your way in to charm them. You’re being honest, which is key. A rare commodity these days. Transparency and the willingness to learn is where the magic lies.

Lying is not the way to charm your way in. Transparency is where the magic lies. Click To Tweet

2. Practice—Perfect Practice and Repeat

Practice. Practice. Practice. Not only practice, but engage in perfect practice. Repeatedly. You know that famous adage that goes a little something like “it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill?” Well, there is a lot of truth in that. Be patient and take the time to learn and continually practice doing your craft correctly to become an expert.

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Rome wasn’t built in one night nor was Peyton Manning born a Hall-of-Famer kind of quarterback when he was born. The masters of any subject, any field, any business, any sport took their passion seriously and put in relentless amount of time and effort practicing doing what they do best and love.

Learn what you need to then apply that into physical action. If the outcome isn’t to your liking, adjust and reapply—over and over again until you are satisfied. Until it’s perfect. Before you know it, you are able to do your skill (whatever it may be) impeccably at a very efficient timeframe. You’ll be able to explain it, teach it, and do it better than anybody else. This result is what eliminates the need for faking anything. You don’t need to fake it til you make it because you have what it takes to actually make it.

3. Have a Growth Mentality, Not an Endgame Perception

The issue with the fake it til you make it advice is that it is derived from an endgame perception. What this means is that people tend to jump into something unprepared because they are so drawn to the conclusion. They want it right away. The outcome excites them more than the journey and the growth that can come along with it. The overall look of what they are trying to attain blurs the understanding of needing to appreciate the present and making sure all their ducks are in a row so they don’t have to fake anything. As Casey Erin Clark explains in her article, I hate the phrase “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” –Here’s why. And Here Are A Few Alternatives…,

“We often get nervous, clammy, tongue-tied, feel inadequate, and try too hard in situations where we have a high stakes outcome on the line (I need this job! I want this sale! I just want them to LIKE MEEEEE!). By consciously reframing these situations as part of a longer journey and not the endgame, we can stay present, keep our sense of humor and humanity intact, make smart decisions, and retain our ability to make necessary tactical changes in how we communicate.”

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Fake It Til You Make It

It’s imperative to understand that you need to have substance and the ability to immediately show results once you delve into something. Don’t over promise and under perform. This is one of the cardinal rules in being successful. It’s one thing to sell yourself and another to falsely exaggerate your credentials to make yourself seem more appealing.

Being confident is great and saying positive affirmations to convince yourself of your worth and abilities is highly encouraged. And yes, not everything comes out perfect and we all make mistakes. However, faking it til you make it and lying through your teeth just to close the gap between you and your goal can be extremely detrimental for both you and your client or employer if you don’t have the slightest clue of what you’re doing. It can be a domino effect to something catastrophic.

The “Fake It Til You Make It” mentality is only a precursor to a tarnished reputation and loss of credibility if you can’t back it up.

Albeit there is the opposite side where things can go your way and propel you to new heights, let’s be cautious and avoid any immutable consequences by being honest and open.

After all, it’s easier to convince others to give you a chance by being transparent from the very beginning about your goals, rather than digging yourself out of a hole that stemmed from being dishonest and trying to regain trust. Make things easier for yourself…Starting with good habits!

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