I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “fake it until you make it”, but I hate it. I hate the expression of hating until you make it.
Although I’m on board with the concept, I just hate the idea of the word fake. And this is why: as humans, we tend to identify ourselves with our past. We tend to identify ourselves with the things we’ve done, and the story that we tell ourselves about who we are depends on our past. And that’s not how we form our reality. We form our reality based on what we do from this moment on.
For example, there was a time in my life when I realized that I was being very selfish, that I was only taking care of my own needs, and I wasn’t paying attention to people in my life and what they needed. So I decided to become generous. And I did that by doing acts of generosity, you know, calling my friends, trying to understand what exactly they needed, and being there for them.
The question that I posed to you is, when did I become generous? To me, it was the moment I decided that I was generous. Being generous is basically an accumulation of multiple acts of generosity. And the reason why I’m saying that I became generous the moment I decided to be generous was that that’s the first step in being generous, making that decision.
My generosity was going to be determined by my actions moving forward, not from what happened in my past. As I started acting generously, I started getting the evidence that I needed that I was generous. The decision to be generous had to come first, then the action came second, and that action then gave me the feedback that I am generous, and stopped feeling at that point that I was faking it. It started feeling more genuine.
Anytime that somebody tells you that you need to fake it until you make it, I would encourage you to think about it in a different way. To think about it as reinventing yourself, deciding who you want to be. And based on who you want to be, it’ll become evident what actions will make you that person.
If you want to be a better friend, you start checking in with your friends more. If you want to start getting ahead in business and be successful, then you start applying yourself. But it all starts with that decision.
So I encourage you to start forming your sense of identity based on the things that you do from now on, and not be bound by your past, by the habits that were ingrained in you by your parents, your teachers, the society. That’s not who you are. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, it’s within you to change that.
The moment you believe you are that person, that’s when you become that person.