On: faking it until you make it
I'm going to start by saying this: I get it. I like what this saying is trying to do at its heart. When people say this, generally, their intention is to push us past our current edge, our comfort zone, and get us to generate some confidence despite an obvious lack of what we normally rely on for confidence generation: namely, experience.
When people say this, they are saying: "go ahead, put yourself out there before you're ready!" and I support that wholeheartedly because, for most of us, "ready" is a carrot hanging from the stick of perfectionism.
I am all in favor of getting into uncomfortably big shoes in order to grow. Being confident, even as a beginner, makes us more resilient, curious, and willing to persevere. These are important skills for effective learning, and learning is exactly what we must do in order to "make it". Being confident allows us to show up openly and fully no matter our level of expertise and acquire useful skills.
Okay. Great. So here is my question: If you are "faking it until you make it"... what are you making?
The answer (in my case, at least): something fake.
Faking is the opposite of authentic and open. It's protected, closed off and completely exhausting. It's contrivance, and that's a fancy word for lying, and lying is poisonous in the long run. Pretending to have all the answers makes it really hard to learn. So many of us are walking around with this feeling of being an imposter or getting away with something. "What If they find out I'm not really that great?" I know that feeling so well and I've come to recognize it as a call to get back on track, to check in with myself and my goals and intentions. Anything that feels less than true to who you are is going to be (emotionally, and physically) expensive to maintain. Think: anxiety, stress, feelings of inadequacy, depression, isolation. That is, to put it mildly, a bummer.
Okay, so what to do then? How do we make it and bridge that experience gap if we aren't going to fake it? I suggest offering from a place of clarity.
When we offer and share from a place of clarity about our true strengths, gifts, and talents and the way we can make use of them that is most beneficial to ourselves and others there is no confusion about our value. We know and feel our value and we can describe it. In other words, we move from an outwards focus of seeking approval (and conforming to perceived expectations in order to get it) towards an authentic, natural contributing that comes from within and radiates out. This is powerful and magnetic. It puts us squarely in the drivers seat.
I'm willing to bet the farm (yes, the whole farm) that every single person, just exactly as they are right now, has loads of value to contribute to the world and a hundred secret skills to offer. Faking not required. Just make something.