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  • Laura

Should you fake it?

Just my short and sweet commentary on the phrase, “Fake it til you make it.”

What does this short but decidedly not simple phrase mean to you? If you’re at all like me, you didn’t give it the time of day when you first heard it. You might be my twin if you simultaneously laughed and scoffed at it.

Why? Why do you and I feel like it’s a phrase for a simpleton – or that it is categorically impossible to do? 

Let’s unpack the sentence: “Fake it.” When someone says the word “fake,” what do you take away from that? A person or an act that is, at best, staged and, worse, categorically untrue. Well, it is untrue – but it’s not the kind of untruth that makes you a bad person. Rather, in this instance, you are trying to change your beliefs and behaviors.

Faking something can be intrinsically against your belief or value system. If this is your truth, try telling yourself that it’s not a falsehood but an invitation to see things differently. The catch is that you must permit yourself to truly entertain the idea that “pretending” something can lead to believing it.

‘Til you make it.” This part of the phrase felt incredibly foreign to me when I first heard it ages ago. Until I make it?? What kind of bullshit is this, I thought? It seemed too pollyannish to be true. It felt like it was mocking me – as if it would ever, could ever, really get better. Moreover, what does “making it” mean? Does it mean that everything is better, that everything is ok when you’re making it? (Spoiler alert: nope.) 

So, “Fake it til you make it” – how has this worked in my life, you ask? Well, it has helped enormously change how I think about things. For instance, when I am trying to distract myself, I practice doing something for fifteen minutes, and then another fifteen minutes, and so on. This is a form of faking it til you make it. 

Is “faking it til you make it” a useless turn of phrase? I don’t think so – further, if you don’t read into it too much and take it too literally, it can be really helpful. I have gotten through more than one crisis by keeping this “simple” phrase in mind (that’s not, as I’ve explained, all that simple) can open the door to improving one’s mental health. It’s important to note that progress can be a matter of baby steps – these, in turn, can lead to major changes in your life. So, try pretending and see where that gets you; you may be surprised by your progress.

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2 comentários

04 de abr.

Thanks for sharing this, as one who uses that "fake it till you make it" phrase often, in fact too much it is a very true, it is a short term phase. Not a reality check. I am one of those individuals that will put a smile on, and do what needs to be done, and fall apart afterwards. I'm great in a crisis situation, and personally we have been through a few! But...melt down afterwards. You have a kind way of saying it, I on the other hand am much more direct, which gets me in trouble now and then.


Jenny Nicas
Jenny Nicas
03 de abr.

I have enjoyed reading your blog (Stephanie referred me to it) and I have so many similar thoughts. I've considered doing something like this myself and this may have inspired me to do just that.

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