Fake It ’til You Make It?
The old saying says: “Fake it till you make it.”. But does it really work?
I’ve stumbled upon this quote 3 years ago in an infographic, as one of the last steps that one has to pursue in order to achieve massive success. Frankly and foolishly, I took it back then for granted. What did I have to lose? A lot.
I had an idea where I was heading out in my life. I was reviewing my goals every day. But I didn’t work on them! Instead I thought that if I inflate my small “efforts” and “grind” publicly, people will go for it, give me credit and ultimately attain success in a faster way than normal achievers. Just like the planets would have magically aligned to fulfill my wish – cause I was “special”. Except they didn’t.
I wasn’t special at all for the simple fact that I didn’t put in the effort required. Sure, there was an image in my brain of who I wanted to become but there wasn’t action to back it up. And so it began to gradually falter, along with everything I’ve built up until then. I became a hopeless optimist, which was sure there’s something good to come in the future, but wouldn’t take the time and effort to prepare for it. My self fulfilling prophecy was quite negative in its symptoms, as I was always finding excuses for every small failure I had encountered, up to the point of lying to myself on a daily basis and loosing my genuine trademark – the one that made me tick. As a result I was out of the game for like 3 months.
I had to do something. So I went back to the strategy board and I started to think (and read a lot of books).
The signs were everywhere. “Sweat equity is the best equity”, as Mark Cuban puts it. You can’t allow yourself to be the victim of your own circumstances. You subdue so to the so called evolution and Mother Nature is quite harsh with its kids, killing the weak ties for the sake of the stronger ones.
So what do you do?
The only thing you can do is to take full ownership of your life. Yes, full responsibility, that is, working relentlessly on the small tasks that bring you value and enhance your life day by day. No shortcuts, no excuses, no nothing. It’s just you and your goals. Pure hustle! No BS. That’s it. Your goal might take you 6-7 years. So what? Time will pass anyway. Better some progress than no progress. At some point the efforts will stack up and you will benefit upon the compounded effect, and you’ll be able to make the quantum leap easily.
But until then, I urge you to be true to yourself! So what if you’re broke now, you’re constantly working on your dream and no results seem to appear? This is just a temporary situation that is necessary for you to become a better version of yourself. Whenever in doubt, look at the example of the Americans with their blind (even though not perfect) optimism. Communism couldn’t be instilled in the U.S. as people thought of themselves as ashamed, temporarily broke-future billionaires. Remember also that there is a season for sowing and reaping. Therefore sow every day the seeds of your goals and dreams, and get ready to reap every result you have worked for when the right time comes. Cause it will sure do. And normally it doesn’t come so often.
Don’t cut the corners. Go for the long game. Take opportunities. Read all the necessary books. Attend all the important courses and seminars. Connect and really bond with people at all kinds of intellectual levels – you may never know where the opportunity might come from. Try all the means available out there to get one step closer to your goals. According to the infographic I mentioned in the beginning, “fake it” counts only as one of the last steps before attaining success. But you might as well forget about it, since you would have already attained your goals if you would have really tried out ALL the possibilities accessible. And ultimately be TRUE TO YOURSELF! I don’t know how to emphasize this enough. Candor will open more doors than falsity and mendacity.
One year and a half after my “enlightenment” I’m back on my track. I just need to remind myself from time to time that I’m going for the long game so I don’t need to be discouraged too easily.
I hope this manifesto will truly help you in the darkest days of your “battle”. Just don’t forget that you don’t have to portray yourself as actually fighting the dark forces all alone, more like the me-vs-world scenario, as you will focus more on obstacles than solutions.
Focus on what you can control and ditch the rest out. It will sort out by its own means.