Here’s the time right now – I’m actually on the Central line at Bank headed towards Northolt. I’ll be getting off at North Acton to switch so I can get on the train headed towards Ealing Broadway.
And then onwards till I hit my end destination near Heathrow Airport to where my folks live.
I’m not faking anything about that journey right now – and I’m curious to see how much of this blog I can push out before I need to change at North Acton.
And it leads me to the subject I’d like to share with you that’s very close to my heart.
The power of overselling your success and how much the attitude of ‘you should fake it until you make it’ is actually viable.
Don’t Lie and Don’t Be Unethical
I want to open with an important cornerstone to this whole discussion.
You should in no way lie about your ability, especially if it can hurt others in some way.
This can then become unethical.
So whilst I’m an advocate of the tenet ‘fake it till you make it’ – I definitely don’t believe you should ever lie.
Let’s explore this seeming contradiction in more detail –
How can you ‘fake it till you make it’ but not lie?
Faking it till you make it – is more of a mindset and attitude than it is a direct behaviour. The behaviour is the activity that comes last.
Let’s unpack the mindset first to clarify how this all works.
Faking it till you make it is about taking actions even where you feel unsure about the activity you’re about to engage in. You might not feel ready, others might not think you are ready…
But in any of those above scenario’s – you’re still going to need to give your best effort. If an opportunity has been placed in front of you – for example, if you’re team leader is suddenly away due to illness – then it may come down to you.
You may need to step into their shoes temporarily to hold the fortress until your team leader recovers.
Perhaps it’s your first job, perhaps it’s a bad time for you personally, perhaps you have little experience as a team leader. Perhaps you have all the skills but this opportunity has come a lot sooner than anyone planned for.
What are your options here then? Do you give up and pile yourself and the company into ruin because you don’t feel ready?
‘Fake It Till You Make It’ SHOULDN’T be a sales strategy you employ
Now when it comes to stepping into someone’s shoes or stepping up – it’s perfectly understandable to need to ‘fake it till you make it’ as an important factor for success.
However – loading it into the front end of your sales process is a different beast altogether.
This is something that you should absolutely not do.
Demonstrating confidence in your own ability is definitely important. Even if you don’t have much experience – this confidence and ability to get the job done is a critical factor of not only the sales process but in doing the actual work.
You Are What You Think
There’s a lot of value in the mindset and approach that ‘yes I can do this!’, ‘yes this path is for me!’.
When you act in this way it tends to help drive bigger results for yourself – and even if you don’t ‘think’ like this there are some specific strategies you can employ to help you up your game.
Force Your Facial Expressions
This is something you learn when you do intensive training – during ultramarathons, ironman or military training – when you feel like you’re at your end….
No matter what – keep smiling.
Forced smiles are such an ingrained part of your muscle memory that you get some of the positive benefits that come with it –
That’s a slight uplift in your mood and a small chemical cocktail release of feel-good hormones.
Getting access to these when you’re stressed is an excellent way to help you drive forward.
And it all begins with a forced smile 🙂
Engage In Powerful Poses
Striking a powerful pose helps further still.
Practically this can mean that even if you’re scared or otherwise – the pose you strike runs in opposition to that.
There’s a lot of science (and common sense) that supports the ‘keep your head held high and back straight’ concept you might hear teachers, soldiers and your parents tell you.
It’s not without reason as it really does decrease levels of cortisol in your body and increase testosterone levels.
So pose all the way!
The Power Of Dressing For The Role You Want
We’ve talked smiles, poses and now let’s talk dress wear.
I’m sure you’ve heard the concept of power dressing.
When you combine the above with the idea of dressing for the person you want to be seen as – I’m sure it makes a lot of sense right?
If you work as a janitor but one day want to be a CEO – wear a suit!
The power of power dressing has over several studies actually been shown to improve performance.
You rise to the level of your dress – which means you work harder and are more engaged than you ordinarily would be.
Imagine applying for a job with a 6-figure salary and doing so in a t-shirt and flip flops – or instead of doing it in a suit.
Which one is more likely to have you at the top your game – even if you don’t yet feel like a 6-figure earner?
I think you know the answer!
The Power Of Mimicry
This is a trick that not enough (in my view) ambitious people think about looking closely at those who have trodden the same path – but are further down the road.
There’s much to learn from people such as that – and it can begin with analysing their body language, their demeanour and the like.
You can look at exactly how they move, speak and operate – and use this as a basis to start modelling your own behaviour.
The Power Of Modelling
So mimicry is probably a short term stop gap – but getting yourself involved in actually analysing someone’s behaviour and trying to adopt it over the long term is definitely going to help you succeed.
So you can use this as an approach to ‘fake it till you make it’ – but this is absolutely going to help you actually make it.
I’d look to autobiographies, interviews and the like as a means to start analysing how potential role models operate.
Take Micro-steps Towards Your Success
Maybe you have ambitions to get into shape and you never leave your couch. Well then look towards taking micro-steps towards your success.
You could begin with just getting into your gym clothes.
And consider that a victory for day 1.
Maybe day 2 is getting to the front door.
Day 3 is walking to the bottom of your road.
Day 4 – you run to the bottom of your road…
And so you can see how this slowly builds and before you know it – you actually are running several times a week!
There’s a ton of value in faking it till you make it.
If you understand the distinction between this and just outright lying – than you can definitely wield this approach to your advantage!
So – look at things you are trying to achieve and get ahead with and apply the above strategies to help you ‘make it’ as fast as possible’