Why Faking It Can Be a Powerful Tool
Have you ever faced a task or job that felt challenging and maybe just a little bit daunting?
- You get the job that you have never done before
- You say yes to the project that you know nothing about
- You are promoted into a role with more responsibility
- You need to do a speech or hold a challenging conversation
- You need to present to senior management
These can feel scary and challenging as you may not yet be experienced or confident. You want to do your best and impress WITHOUT messing it up or looking like a fool. So what do you do?
You COULD just say no. Keep doing what you're doing. Stay in your safe place where you are comfortable and know everything. You'll do it when you're really REALLY ready. One day.
But when you step outside your comfort zone, this is where the REAL growth happens.
A tool that can help you is to 'fake it 'til you make it'.
This is a powerful technique where you pretend to be confident and knowledgable, until you actually are. I describe it as pretending to be an actor simply playing a role.
It might feel false and just not like you in the beginning, but over time you will feel more natural and your confidence will grow.
I've used this techniques many many times and it helps me to overcome my nerves and build my own confidence. There are many ways you can fake it 'til you make it - I've included the key tips that have worked for me.
6 ways you can fake it to feel more confident:
- Body Language. Use strong, upright positive body language that represents confidence. This will help how well you communicate and appear to others. If your body language is closed off, or your legs are jittery, or your voice is too quiet - these won't reflect confidence. Smile and try to stay relaxed.
- Research. Do as much proactive research on your task, role or challenge to build your knowledge. Asking or googling advice from others can be helpful.
- Practice Practice Practice. Practicing will help to build your confidence and skills. Seek help from a trusted mentor, leader or friend to review with you.
- Know Your Strengths. Review and have a strong understanding of your strengths and positive qualities. This will help to also build your confidence and you may also be able to apply these in your new task or role.
- Plan B Strategies. Brainstorm the different outcomes that could happen and plan some strategies in advance. Think of questions you may be asked and prepare responses for them. Can't answer that hard question? "Leave it with me - I'll get back to you." Worried about forgetting your speech or presentation? Have key notes written down that you can refer to.
- Be Kind to Yourself. If we make mistakes or forget something important, we can sometimes dwell on it and be too hard on ourselves. Look at what you could do differently next time and keep moving forwards. Most people won't have even noticed!
Most new roles and tasks will feel uncomfortable and scary at the beginning. However avoiding new tasks or roles because of this fear will only mean that you miss great growth opportunities.
Faking it is a great tool that you can use in any situation to boost your confidence. However over time your confidence will naturally grow and the task or role will become the new norm.