The Downside of “Fake it Until You Make It”

There’s this popular idea that, when you want to go after something, the best way to do that is to pretend you already have it. It’s the phrase “Fake it Til You Make It”.

Often we can hear fun and folksy advice like this and embrace it without thinking too much about it.  It sounds good. It’s also fun to say. “Fake it til you make it.”

But what’s the downside of this advice?

  • It’s short lived.

  • It takes a lot of energy

  • It undermines real resilience

  • It creates a habit of ignoring how you actually feel

  • And it reinforces this idea of “imposter syndrome” (a subject of our last blog)

It encourages you to ignore your feelings and who you are in favour of pretending to be someone you’re not.

And what’s the upside?

No, honestly, what’s the upside? That you magic into a different person? That your life somehow transforms for the better because you put a lot of energy into pretending to be someone else?

If you’ve been ‘faking it’ as you were advised to do, you have two options:

  • Continue Faking It

Hey, there’s something comforting about doing what you know, it just feels easier to do.

If that’s how you want to proceed, the best advice you can have is to accept that however you feel now (for example, if you feel insincere or uncomfortable pretending to be this different person) is how you’re going to feel in 5, 10, 15 years time. It’s not going to change.


  • Change How You Change

Change is more like a yoga practice than a birthday gift.

It’s not something that’s just handed to you one day because you’re special. It’s a process that needs to be practiced.

When you practice the change that you want to make in your life daily, it leads to new habits and better results and the ability to feel confident and comfortable being who you REALLY are.

Sure, it will feel clumsy at first – you’ve never done life this way. It should feel odd.

But taking action is what will eventually have it feel normal. It’s what will help the change feel real.

Change is the result of implementing a practice over a sustained period of time.

Do you want to be someone that pretends to be someone else?

Or do you want to be someone that changes who they are to be the person they want to be?

If that’s you, get details about our program and find out why some extraordinary people are doing every more extraordinary things because of this program. Email Maria and ask her to make time for us to chat.

Broadened my thinking about everything. From raising teenage boys to leading my team.

Rachel Cottier, CFO, Azure Capital


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