Tough Love Tuesday: Should You Fake It Til You Make It?


I was asked this question by one of the students at the WE@Brown conference. I said yes… and no. It honestly depends on the situation.

When you act "as if" you start to train your brain into believing that you're actually what you're portraying to be. In the law of attraction, to bring into your life the outcome that you want, you have to say it in the present tense as if it currently happening. "I have $1 million in the bank" sounds way more confident than, "in the future, I will have $1 million in the bank" or "someday I will have $1 million in the bank". By putting out into the universe that this is something you already have, even if you're not close to it, brings you closer towards your desired outcome.

In terms of business, telling yourself every day that you're a successful businesswoman isn't really going to help drive you toward your wanted result. You may want to be a successful businesswoman, but how exactly are you going to get there? What is success to you? Is it having $1 million in the bank? Or maybe it's having a roster of really devoted clients. If that is your desired outcome, try saying to yourself "I have ten amazing clients that I love to help and serve." You may not have any clients at all, but you're putting out into the universe that this is what you desire, and it will help attract those clients to you.

The way we speak dictates what happens to us. Last year I was in an Abraham-Hicks kick. I watched her videos on the law of attraction and how to change your mindset. For a long time, I was in the mentality that no one would pay my rates. By telling myself that, I was putting out into the universe that no one would pay my rates (guess how many people were hiring me when I was in that mindset). Then I came across a video when a photographer asked Abraham-Hicks what he can do to sell more prints because no one ever wants to buy them. She said this is the dialogue happening in the photographer's mind "No one wants to buy my prints. No one wants to buy my prints. No one wants to buy my prints." And then someone walks up and says "Hey, I want to buy your prints" and you say "No one wants to buy my prints." That person isn't going to want to buy that print anymore. Energetically you are driving away what you want by saying the opposite. You have to believe wholeheartedly that people want to buy your work or that they want to hire you. Switching it around and saying "I sell five prints every day" or "I'm constantly attracting new and exciting clients" or "I have $100k in the bank and it's growing every day". Energetically you are aligning yourself to the outcome that you want.

I'm sure you've heard that you should dress for the job that you want. You should also act for the career you want to have. My friend went from fundraising to being a fashion stylist. Going from the corporate world to working for yourself in a profession that was utterly unknown to her was very nerve-racking. Let me use this real-life example of that happen between me and my friend Olivia. We met at the Lady Project Summit in April 2014, and a month later we met up for coffee. She was telling me about her fashion blog and how she did fashion styling. As I was talking to her, I was getting text messages from our friend Sierra Barter who was the founder of The Lady Project, and she was asking me to find a fashion stylist for a photo shoot I was doing for our summer guide. I said to Sierra that I was having coffee right now with a stylist and I would ask her. I asked Olivia if she was interested in doing this shoot and I probably launched into the "we don't have a budget" talk because I understand that people deserve to get paid for their work. I never questioned what state she was in her career. Maybe that was me not really paying attention to what she was saying to me because a few years later I found out that Olivia never styled a photo shoot before and that was her first styling job ever. The way that she spoke to me made me feel like this is what she did for her job, so I never thought otherwise. Speak it into existence.

I hate when people say that they are an aspiring "fill the blank." When you say that you're an aspiring photographer, it tells us that you're just starting out and you'll probably work for cheap. I don't care if you been a photographer for a week or a decade, just say that you are a photographer. I don't believe you are lying by not disclosing that you just started out. The flip side of fake it til you make it is when you are saying that you are more qualified than you are. Beginners can absolutely be capable of doing a great job. How many times have you applied to a job when they want someone with 5 to 10 years experience on a skill set that's been around for two years? I would feel uncomfortable though taking a job that's offered to me when it is a studio photography job when I shoot on location in natural light and rarely use studio equipment. I wouldn't say that I have a degree in something that I don't. I wouldn't say that I'm doing jobs that I'm not really doing.

I've heard that some influencers are saying that they are doing campaigns with brands that they aren't actually a part of. Say if Dior mailed out five handbags to five high profile fashion influencers, some other bloggers are going out and buying the bag and using #ad #sponsored acting like they are a part of that campaign. Once they are found out by the brand that they're doing it, they're asked to take the content down, and it's left a lousy look upon that influencer. Same thing with buying likes and follows. If you are inflating your numbers to look a certain way, you will always get caught in the end, so it's best not even to bother.

I think faking til you make it is something to consider on a case to case basis. When it comes to building your confidence in attracting what you want, please, by all means, go for it. We all know that men are more likely to apply to jobs that they are not qualified for than women are, so take the leap and go for it even though you're not entirely there are yet but don't lie to get there. If you believe in yourself, take this method to how to pull you in the direction you want to go, but you don't need to fabricate something to get there.