I think “fake it ’til you make it” is one of the worst pieces of advice anyone could be given.
I’ve mentioned this in several posts, so now it’s time I elaborate on what I mean.
This is another one of those pieces of advice that has good intention in its origin, but has been taken too far.
Why do people tell us to fake it ’til we make it?
Because it gives us encouragement.
It’s a nice way of saying “you haven’t made it yet, but keep going.”
It’s a nice way of saying “anyone can do it, including you!”
So what happens when we hear that?
We tell ourselves that it’s ok that we haven’t reached our goal(s) yet. We start to think everyone is faking it and successful people have just held up the act longer than I have.
Unfortunately, while there are some exceptions, this is usually not the case.
Faking it is the wrong approach.
First off, the only people that will believe your act are other fakers. So where is that going to get you? I’ll tell you. It’ll get you into a giant circle-jerk of fakes and phonies. I don’t care what profession, industry, art, craft, etc that you pursue – this is always going to be true.
I know because I’ve seen it firsthand.
I saw it in the oil industry and I see it in the online business world.
When you’re trying to close an oil deal, you are constantly having to wade through an ocean of brokers. Brokers are people who want to be paid to be around the deal, but never want to do any of the work or put any of their own money in. They are scum.
I should mention that, on the rare occasion, you meet brokers who are legit and get deals closed. These guys know their role and never get greedy, and have the client list to prove it. Brokers are paid a fee, usually a percentage of the transaction, for connecting a buyer and seller. Good brokers are worth the money.
Fakes and phonies never make it out of their little world. You know why?
Because all they ever do is try to do something, talk about how to do it, and intend to help each other. But they never actually do it.
The fakes and phonies congregate together because they have to rely on other people for their success. They will look you dead in the eye, without a slightest hesitation, and give you their word that they can do this or that they’ve done that. Secretly, they are desperately praying that you actually know what you’re doing so they can ride your coat tails.
When it comes to their end of the bargain, something ALWAYS comes up. I promise you, it never fails. They have no limit to what excuse they make, but there will be one.
The circle-jerk never ends because each person is leveraging the other person’s lie to sell their own lie.
Not all fakes are frauds though. Some of them really are trying to be legit, but they’ve fallen into the fake it ’til you make it trap and don’t realize it.
In this post I’m going to show you how to prevent yourself from ever falling into this trap.
Actions Hold the Value We Place on Intentions
To lay the foundation, let’s look at action vs intention. This is something I’ve given a lot of thought and could write an entire post about. (Comment below if you want to see that)
In my humble opinion, intention doesn’t mean shit.
Society places so much value on intention because it is the nice thing to do. It’s a participation trophy.
When people actually take action, we as a society are so quick to justify their success with things like:
She’s just good looking..
He has great genetics…
He just has connections, that’s why…
Be honest with yourself – they did it and you haven’t yet. That doesn’t mean you can’t.
Let them enjoy their success. And when you get yours, enjoy it guilt-free.
Forget about intentions. They are highly irrelevant.
Here’s my case for why I feel that way:
I’m going to compare the actions/intentions of 2 imaginary people.
Guy 1 does not like me. He has every intention to see me fail, to bring me down and would take pleasure in seeing me die. But he never does anything about it, besides the occasional offhand remark.
Guy 2 is my close friend and genuinely cares about me. He has every intention to add value to my life and make it better. Then one day, he doesn’t see me and carelessly backs his car over me and paralyzes me.
Who am I to favor?
I say Guy 1 every single day of the week.
I know, this is an extreme example. Do you see my point though?
Your intentions only mean as much as your actions prove them to mean.
When we fake it ’til we make it we are placing more emphasis on the intention rather than the action.
You might be taking action, but subconsciously you know that you are acting instead of being. You intend to keep up the act so long that it becomes real – at least that’s what some will tell you to do.
Why not just forget the acting phase and skip straight to being?
Do as I DO, Not as I SAY
I feel like I should charge for what I’m about to say. Because free advice goes in one ear and out the other.
If I charged you $500 for this piece of advice, you’d be so invested that you would actually do it.
Focus less on the advice of successful people, and start studying their actions!
Here’s 3 reasons I’ve observed that “advice” loses its meaning:
- The person is so far removed from being a novice that they have forgotten how to explain it correctly to a beginner.
- The advice is vague and general, which leaves too much room for interpretation.
- The person might say “well I was really lucky… you should do it this way” because they are afraid their advice won’t work for you.
An example that comes to mind is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He is constantly telling people to be the hardest worker in the room.
That’s solid advice. But what if you’re in a room full of lazy people?
Now look at what The Rock actually does and the habits you could apply.
- He wakes up at 4:30 am to workout (Wake up early)
- He eats a very clean, strict diet (Track your macros)
- He works 12-18 hour days (Avoid the easy path)
- He takes on more movie roles than any other male actor (Never settle for average)
- He still makes time to appear at WWE events (Don’t neglect your core audience/market)
- He tours internationally to promote his movies (Sell yourself)
- He is working on multiple TV shows (Seize new opportunities)
There’s no profession in the world that you couldn’t succeed at with those habits.
The problem is that we tend to see it backwards. We think people have habits like that because they are successful.
We think that somehow success comes first and then you adapt your habits. In reality, you create habits first and they determine your level of success.
You Can’t Cheat the System
Stop trying to trick yourself into changing.
There are no life hacks that can change you. Only you can change you.
When you fake it ’til you make it, you give yourself permission to fail – not succeed.
Give yourself permission to succeed and start being the person you want to be.
There are no secrets to success!
For every excuse that holds you back (not enough money, not enough time, not smart enough, not athletic enough, etc) there are 100’s of examples of people who defied those odds and you know it.
Great people built great lives because they created great habits and great mindsets.
You’re not missing any hacks, tricks or secrets. You are only missing the behavior. The action.
There are no shortcuts – only habits and mindsets that you haven’t adapted yet, and work you haven’t completed. That’s it.
Either commit to being the real deal or remain a spectator forever. The choice is yours.
I’ve always studied successful people and felt it was important.
Over time, I learned a lot and became very knowledgeable about what to do. But I didn’t do it.
It wasn’t until I started focusing on changing my behaviors, such as habits and mindsets, that I saw dramatic change. Knowing how to do something and actually doing it are completely different.
We all want to feel the results, but don’t want to feel the pain that earns those results. When you fake it, you skip out on the pain and ultimately, miss out on the results.
You need the pain to become strong enough to achieve the results. It’s a time-tested process.
I know there are plenty of fakes who have achieved some level of success.
But that’s not what we’re about here.
We are after greatness, not cheap success.
You don’t achieve greatness without paying your dues.
You pay your dues by transforming yourself through new habits and mindsets – and you put the work in.
Don’t settle for faking it, when you can BE it.
Until Next Time,
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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