So it’s true, nobody likes a fake. Real people are what we crave. People who live with transparency and don’t put on masks in order to appear a certain way. Our love for real people explains why Jennifer Lawrences come to fame. In all my times of trying to trick others about being someone different than I am, I have never been able to stick with it. I either couldn’t keep it up or I eventually felt worse about myself. So yea, being real with others is the best way to be.
However, I do think there may be some value in tricking yourself. I believe that sometimes it is necessary for me to tell myself to do or think a certain way in order to achieve what I want. Like most of humanity, I tend to doubt my ability to do certain things. I have many insecurities when it comes to presenting myself in front of others or doing things I am not good at or fear I will look funny doing. So what do I do? Allow these insecurities to keep me inside and/or only go to places where I am comfortable? During these times, my natural inclinations will keep me from realizing my potential or even fully enjoying life. Insecurities can be quite crippling. I’ve seen a lot my friends allow insecurities to hold them back- many instances what they lose is heartbreaking. For me, when these instances come up, I use my motto “fake it til you make it.” This simply means that despite my fears and doubts, I go ahead and do what needs to be done.
When I say that I am an “introvert” many people are surprised. I’m very comfortable talking to strangers and holding conversations. Terry describes me as “very outgoing”. But truthfully, it took some work to get there. Resisting my desires to go back home and read or exercise, and instead engage with others. I had to embrace the motto “fake it ’til you make it”. This was especially true when I was coming out of a long era of clinical depression. Even if I didn’t have the courage or confidence to do things that would be good for me, I forced myself to fake it. Pretend. Dig deep down and get a little bit of the confidence I needed. Pretend I was someone else for just a minute. Eventually all the faking became less faking and more real me. Seeing that I could do it and not miserably fail was what I needed. A more shallow example is wearing a bathing suit. When I look at myself in a bikini do I feel uber confident? Heck no. Yet still, rather than refusing to go to the beach or swim, I put the suit on and fake confidence. Eventually, I realize no one cares what I look like and the confidence becomes real or even irrelevant, because I’m doing it!
For Christians, I think this motto can be a great tool when doing things that seem impossible, like witnessing to people or staying positive in trials. A lot times I don’t have what it takes to do those things or whatever is asked of me, but I do them anyways, insecurities and all, trusting God will step in and supply the confidence in me that I need. And believe me, He always does.
So while it may be disingenuous to begin with, it turns out to really benefit me. Perhaps “faking it” isn’t really the correct term. Maybe it’s more just “relying on God” to give you strength. Because sometimes, we have to do more than we imagine ourselves capable.