Replacing the “Fake it, until you make it” mantra:
You know the phrase, “Fake it, until you make it?” I never liked that phrase. It has an aura of deception. As if when you “make it,” you’re not actually supposed to be there, where ever “there” is. As if you’re always going to be this fake, and other people are just believing something that isn’t real.
I think the concept behind the term is a good one, that sometimes you just have to go out there, face your biggest fear, that of being inadequate for the job, for the position, for that guy you so desperately want to date, or that woman who you feel like is completely out of your league. You don’t feel confident, but you want to BE confident, so what I’m suggesting, is that you
fake it, not until you make it, but you fake it, until you BECOME IT.
How it works
The more you do something, even if it feels like you’re a fake the whole time, or that you’re completely out of you element, it will lead to you practicing that very thing over and over, until maybe, just maybe you might start believing you’re actually pretty good at it.
And this phrase is very powerful because a lot of the time we are stuck doing NOTHING because we are afraid to be a fake. We are afraid if we pretend to be confident, one day we will be caught, and the other person will realize that we are in reality, very insecure. But that is the paradox of being human. We are all very proud and very insecure. And sometimes we are somewhere in the middle. So now that we’ve established we’re all the same, really our biggest enemy in achieving things is usually our own inability to see that we are capable. Why are humans so quick to notice their own inadequacy?
Dealing with feelings of inadequacy
The famous real estate mogul and the only female investor in Shark Tank, talks about this very predicament. Barbara says that the thing that kept on popping up in her head every time she was met with challenges or opportunities was this nagging phrase,
“You don’t deserve to be here.”
And it was her learning to shut that voice up that helped her become successful. And I know this is a dating/relationship column, but the way that applies is this, and you ladies and gentlemen may be able to relate. Maybe the voice doesn’t say, “You don’t deserve to be here,” but maybe the voice says,
“You don’t deserve this guy.”
“You can’t get this girl,”
“Why would this guy ever notice you?”
“Why would this woman give you the time of day?”
Whatever that negative self talk tells you, the first thing is to recognize that it’s there and it’s a very insidious, nagging voice, but it’s very very soft spoken. It whispers; it doesn’t yell. But nonetheless, you have to shut it up.
The power of thoughts
Why am I adamant about shutting up that insidious voice? Because your thoughts are everything ladies and gents. Hear me out. (All these following concepts are from Wayne Dyer’s book Transformation: The Next Step To The No Limit Person a HIGHLY recommended book. If you read ONE book in your whole life (besides the Bible), it should be this.)
You’ve probably heard “I think, therefore I am.” Let’s take it a step further. I think, and that is all that I am. Basically, you are who you think you are. Your thoughts make up who you are. You are not your physical form. The majority of what makes you, you, is what goes on in your head. It’s where you gather your morals, your ideas of love, your interests, your affiliations to groups or political parties. It’s where you store your feelings, your emotions, your fears, your dreams. Even your past and your future are nothing without the mind. All you have of the past is in your memories, stored in your thoughts, and all you have in your future is stored in the hopes, fears, and dreams you have- again all stored in your thoughts. So the BULK of who you are resides in your mind.
That’s why you must PROTECT it from those insidious negative thoughts because if you think it, you will become it. If you can visualize it, it can happen. Before an idea is put into action, it must first play out in the mind. That’s how powerful the mind is.
For all the Christians reading this, the Bible talks about how the “war” takes place in the mind:
2 Cor 10:4-6
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
Battles and challenges are won first in the mind
My argument in this essay is that the challenges we face in the world, whether that be our inability to speak with women, or our inability to smile at cute strangers, or our inability to get out of our dead end job or get our health back or be a good spouse, the victory in all these areas, in ANY AREA begins in the mind. When we first start using our “weapons of warfare,” which are our THOUGHTS and make sure our thoughts align positively and rightly and we shut up those negative voices telling us otherwise, that’s when we start changing ourselves. Negative self talk is a VERY REAL THING with very real, detrimental consequences. And it’s not that you’ll change automatically, in an instant by changing your thoughts and guarding your mind from negative thoughts, BUT, you will start to act in a way that aligns with these thoughts.
If my negative self talk tells me
I’m a nobody, I can never keep a man satisfied, and I’m not attractive,
indeed my actions will follow suite. I will shrink away when a cute stranger looks at me, telling myself, he’s probably smiling at someone else behind me. Don’t get my hopes up. I will be a self fulfilling prophecy if ever I do get in a relationship. When problems arise, I’ll yell, “Fine! Leave me! You don’t love me anyway!” and if I don’t think I’m attractive, then I won’t even try.
Do you see what I mean about how thoughts make you start to act a certain way?
Or I could CHANGE the SCRIPT. I could think,
It’s not that I can’t keep a man satisfied, it’s that all the men in the past weren’t my forever after. He’s out there. I may be simple but I have the capacity to love and make someone else feel loved and less lonely in this world. I am attractive, maybe not to every man, maybe not to the majority of men, but I like my eyes, and my smile is warm. My skin is soft, my hair is lovely.
And if you think this way, you will be much more open to act on the possibility of love when the opportunity arises. You will be open to experiencing a connection. And thoughts make all the difference. If you believe something about yourself, your actions will reveal that. So you have to stop the negative barrage of thoughts that enter uninvited.
Those thoughts, unstopped, become your reality.
Being able to TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE is also a very real way to fight this battle. Before the negative self talk starts rattling on (quietly and subtly of course) we stop that thought at the gate before it takes root in our mind. We “capture” that thought. We recognize it is there. And then we dismiss it and replace it with the reality, which for many people is just thinking something true and good and right. Instead of
Why would that girl ever pay attention to you?
you would think back,
That’s not true! That girl would feel special if I paid her attention. It would make her day to be noticed and appreciated. She did her makeup and hair this morning. She would appreciate if someone took notice.
Or if you see a guy at the store and you think,
He would never like someone like you.
instead you would think back,
That’s not true! I have a kind heart and a heart open to love and that guy would feel so happy to see a warm smile from the opposite sex.
That’s the truth
The truth will set you free, but FIRST you have to recognize the lies that you tell yourself every day or the negative self talk that plays itself over and over without anyone to stop it. And so we are back to the beginning. Even if you feel like a fraud for trying at anything- a girl, a promotion, a new lifestyle, the key is to acting in the midst of the feelings of inadequacy, and then stopping the barrage of negative self talk that invades your mind uninvited.