We’re all familiar with the old adage of, “Fake It ‘til You Make It” and, while I’m not against the idea, I think that there’s a glaring flaw with the concept. You see, while faking it is a good way to push outside of your comfort zone, to begin expanding your experiences and your horizons, too many of us are turning fake into a way of life. Let me explain…
What I see, time and time again, is women faking their happiness, faking their success, faking their entire lives – I know, because I did it too. It’s a recipe for disaster and it’s only a matter of time before it backfires so, if you’re guilty of it, then you should seek to recognise and resolve it, ASAP.
That's all well and good, but how do you identify that you might be faking it? Well, check out these 3 tell-tale signs.
1. You Buy Stuff to Impress Others
If you find yourself buying a flash new car, ever more clothes and shoes, refitting your kitchen, or putting in a fancy new patio when you really can’t afford to, ask yourself: “Who am I doing this for?” Check in and be honest with yourself to find out whether you truly believe that what you’re getting is going to improve your life; or just improve other people’s opinions of you. Constantly striving to achieve an aspirational lifestyle, while you don’t actually have an aspirational life – that’s one where you get to do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want – is a complete wasted effort because, not only does it cripple your finances, but it also improves nothing for you. Whatever positive reinforcement you achieve from the admiration and envy of others will be incredibly short-lived, as people tend to move on pretty quickly and, before you know it, someone else will have outdone you. Faking in this way will lead to you digging a deeper and deeper financial, and emotional, hole for yourself, as your constant comparison to others causes you to be anxiously trying to keep up.
2. You Say You’re Fine When You’re Not
If you’re bottling up your feelings, and giving the impression that all is good, when in fact it isn’t, then prepare for meltdown. While it’s sometimes the polite thing to do when speaking to a colleague or acquaintance, if you’re denying that there’s a problem to yourself, then you can only fake it for so long before it takes you down with a sharp kick to the back of the knees. You see, until you address the actual problems that exist, you are never going to “make it”. If anything, you’ll begin to feel like an imposter in your own life, which will rob you of your emotional reserves and leave you feeling more hopeless every day. Instead, look at what is causing you to feel less than fine, and start seeking ways to improve it that are within your power. What do I mean by “within your power”? Well, your beliefs; your attitude; your behaviour. In other words, you can’t change other people, so don’t waste time trying to fix someone else in an effort to improve your situation. If you believe the source of your dissatisfaction is someone else, then you need to make sure you’re bringing your very best first. And, if it turns out that your best still isn’t enough to resolve things, then you may need to remove yourself from the situation altogether.
3. You Criticise Other People
Criticising others is a sure sign that your self-esteem is fake. You see, confident people don’t feel the need to judge or drag other people down. And what is it saying about you if you do? Often, it’s your own insecurities about yourself that you will ridicule in others, in an attempt to deflect attention from yourself. It’s reminiscent of school bullying, where children gather supporters around themselves in an attempt to assert power and authority, while picking on the kid with glasses, or the girl who’s a bit more sensitive than the rest. And it doesn’t have to be direct, it can be indirect, where you’re simply talking about people behind their backs, to curry favour by getting a few laughs. I even know people who watch programmes like Jeremy Kyle so they can feel “better” about their lives. If your life is so bad, that you need to watch vulnerable individuals being exploited for daytime entertainment in order to feel good, then it’s definitely time to start getting real with yourself.
Faking your confidence in this way will never lead to making it, because you are not addressing your own issues. So, next time you catch yourself talking ill of someone else ask yourself, what it actually says about you. And, instead of judging, go and find out what’s actually going on with them. Befriend them, or offer some assistance, so that you can begin to understand what makes them tick. Perhaps you’ll learn something about yourself in the process.
These are just a few of the signs that you might be faking it in life. What other signs have you noticed in people, or which have you been guilty of yourself? Maybe you’ve overcome the experience of living a fake life and have some advice of your own. I’d certainly love to hear your thoughts.