How to Fake it Until You Make it
Everyone’s Doing It
Hello world. I’m Emily and I’ve gone MIA here as I’ve continued to navigate this fun roller coaster we call life.
In the last few weeks I have officially said goodbye to one job and focused my time and energy entirely on a new one. And boy do I feel good. Really good. I feel lighter.
Oh and this little ditty was released.
I feel all the things I think it’s important to feel. Slightly uneasy in some ways, excited and nervous in other ways. And yet so completely at ease in every way. Because I’ve been here before. Not having all the answers, not knowing the turns the path will take, how exactly this will play out. But knowing without a doubt what I want to create, who I want to be, and the way I want to keep feeling.
I feel… like me.
And I’ve only gotten here through a massive amount of faking it and putting one foot in front of the other. Doing what I know how to do. Work.
The other day a woman who I see regularly at my gym mentioned how much happier I seem. Like I’m not carrying around a massive weight with me. And dang it, she’s right.
We all have our baggage. We all have drama in our lives, skeletons in our closets, family issues, work issues, relationship issues. For what has seemed like a long time, I’ve felt like I had a semi truck on top of me. And that I was constantly running (quite literally sometimes) towards something, waiting for the day I’d get there and could finally breathe. Having no idea what ‘there’ was.
Some days I couldn’t breathe. Some days I felt stuck. And other days that semi felt lighter so I pretended it wasn’t there and ignored it altogether. But I learned that you don’t know what you might feel on any given day. I was never sure what version of me I’d be when I woke up. Forever worried about what I might see or hear that would send me back a few steps. But you know what? That’s life and most of the time we don’t know what is going on or what kind of day we’ll have. But we don’t let that stop us. We can’t let that stop us. So I put on a good face and kept going.
Running away from the unknown and uncomfortable isn’t an option. It’s never been an option. It’s not going to get you anywhere or anything except a weak mind and a complacent and weak disposition.
So instead. Run into it. Fake it. Meet it head on. Put on a good face for your team, your coworkers, your family, your Jerry, and anyone else who needs you to be strong. And get through it. Fake it until you make it.
I wish there was a more eloquent way to put that, but really that’s what a lot of life boils down to.
I don’t know how to do most everything on the backend of this website but damn it I’ll pretend like I know what I’m doing here, ask Google, watch YouTube, and reach out to those smarter than me to help me find solutions.
Everything in life comes down to perspective. It’s how we position our situations in our own heads. And therefore our subsequent behaviors and actions that result from those perspectives.
When I started managing for the first time and actually realized, oh crap I’m responsible for all these things and those people (?!?!), I had ZERO idea how to handle that. So I pretended. I emulated what I would want to have in a “boss” and learned the mannerisms and communication styles of others I knew and respected. I read books, listened to podcasts, and most of all, I listened to my people. And took in the harsh feedback. I admitted when I didn’t know something and admired the team around me who knew way better than I did.
I faked being the manager until I felt like I had earned that title, and more so the respect of those around me.
When I started coaching big groups of people, I messed up all the time and would overthink everything I was doing. But while I was horribly insecure on the inside, I tried not to ever let that show on the outside. So instead I tried to make people laugh. Because if they were laughing at my goofiness they wouldn’t realize I just totally screwed up my demo.
If you want to feel something, make something, or be something, all you have to do is do it. Pretend. Fake it. Find someone around you who is doing it already and do that. Fake it until it’s not fake anymore. Force yourself to let go of your ego and be new at something again. Strip away your own stupid fear and ask questions. And one day you’ll realize you’ve stopped forcing it and started living it.
Now there are some rules with this. It’s not all pretend-to-be-the-master-of-the-world-and-good-things-will-come-your-way. You’ll be a cocky shithead if you act like that all the time. And we don’t like those people.
Rule #1: Ask questions. Be the new person in the room. Learn from those smarter than you and admit when you don’t know something.
Rule #2: Listen. To yourself, to others, to your boss, to your team, and to the silence. Learn how to simultaneously say things while also listening to yourself and how you are coming across.
Rule #3: Be confident. Even when you aren’t. There is a difference between saying “I have no idea” very sheepishly or worse, saying nothing at all. And saying “I have no idea but that’s a great question and I’ll figure it out” with complete confidence that you will figure it out.
Rule #4: Learn. Forever be a student. No one owes you anything and you’re damn right you have a lot to learn no matter how old or young you are, or what dumb title you have.
Rule #5: Be genuine. You know what sucks more than a shitty boss? A shitty boss who thinks they’re the best thing that ever existed. You aren’t fooling anybody. People can smell insecurity and BS from a mile away. They know when someone is full of crap. Real people like other real people admitting when they make real people mistakes and having the courage and authenticity to own it and learn from it.
Know that people will remember how you make them feel.
I might not have the answer for someone but I do know that I will put them at ease and maybe make them laugh a little while I hustle to figure it out.
There’s a fine line between faking it and avoiding it.
Fake being confident in having all the answers while at the same time being honest about not knowing and insisting on how you will figure it out. Don’t avoid the issue or question, hoping it goes away or someone else figures it out for you.
Don’t be cocky. Don’t insist that you’re above something simply because it’s not ‘your job.’ It is ALWAYS your job.
When I started coaching CrossFit less than two months ago, holy moly was it out of my wheelhouse. Correction: it IS out of my wheelhouse. At least a lot of it. These are moves that I personally have yet to master. But at the same time, so what? That’s why we practice. That’s why we work out. That’s why people teach. If I can talk simply, clearly, loudly, and with good energy, someone will remember that. If I can speak in a way that I’d understand or my sisters would understand, then hopefully others will too. And even if my cues aren’t perfect, my delivery and personality can help cover that. I want my classes to remember they had a good time. I want them to learn something. To be happy that they chose to come.
I don’t want them to remember the embarrassing blonde up there who tripped up on her words and hid in the corner.
Like I would ever hide in a corner…
No one puts baby in a corner.
Make people feel good and it will make you feel good.
We’re in the middle of a pandemic and things seem okay one day and terrible the next. We’re all in a mental shitstorm right now. Maybe anxiety, stress, and depression is creeping up more than ever. Maybe you’ve never dealt with those feelings at all before and are facing them for the first time.
But my advice would be the same. Do something. Fake it. Even when you don’t want to and it feels so taxing. Doing something, anything at all, is better than doing nothing and waiting for it to pass on its own. Especially when that something is positive and involves talking to other people about the crap you’re dealing with rather than avoiding it. Know that the only way out is through.
If I could count the amount of times I faked it behind a microphone I’d be rich. But you know what? A day will come when all that laborious faking it and all those actions finally sync up to your brain. A day will come it stops being an act and starts simply being.
The physical and the mental will meet and you won’t have to work so hard to put one foot in front of the other. I promise.
For a long time I had to make myself be Coach Lasko. Because people needed her to get them through their workouts. Until little by little Coach Lasko wasn’t this act, but was really me. Finally.
Have you ever not known the answer? Started a new job? Moved away? Felt insecure? Had trouble getting out of bed? Yeah, same.
But you kept going. You did something. You got up.
And you kept doing it until your mind caught up with your actions and your ‘act’ became life. It became real. You became who you’ve always been.
I promise it’ll happen.
Understand that it might hurt more at first and might seem like a long process, but it’s to get you where you want to be.
You fake it until you quite literally make it. And then you do it again. And again.
And then you sit back on your new couch with your one eyed cat and think, woah. I feel good. I feel grateful. Still don’t know about that, or this, or that thing over there, and sure as hell don’t know about that..
But dang I feel good.