Fake it till you make it. That is what people tell you to do when you want to be more successful in your life, or when you want to do something your not comfortable with.
It is good advice, but it also seems fraught with challenges and inner conflict and seems too simple to be real.
Fake it till you make it: Modelling others
I got inspired by a conversation I had with somebody. One of their coaching colleagues was proudly telling them that they modelled Anthony Robbins to such a degree that they even walked like him.
I never attended any of his events even though he is a world leader when it comes to coaching.
But his approach appears very ”in your face”, which is not my style. For me to model that, would be a complete nightmare and wouldn’t get me the results that I want. The other thing is too that Tony Robbins is well established, he is a world leader, to model him at this point may not be teaching you how he got there.
The dangers of fake it till you make it
One of the main reasons people tell you to fake it till you make it is when you want to learn a new skill, increase your success, or in other words, you want to make a change.
As a person, I value authenticity. Authenticity means being true to yourself, you’re in alignment with your values and beliefs. Of course, faking it is everything but being true to yourself.
For years I struggled in my life. I had many ups and downs, both emotional and financial. I pretended to be achieving far more successful than was the case. I did my best to lie about how successful I was. The outcome was that I only felt worse about myself. Does that mean I disagree with the concept of fake it till you make it?
Every-body is unique
Here is what I want you to consider: every-body is unique. That means we have different norms and values, which could lead to low self-esteem and self-worth if you don’t stay true to yourself especially after your efforts are not giving you the expected result.
What can you do?
There are a few well-known techniques that are promoted to help you fake it until you make it.
- Attitude: pretend you’ve made it. Talk as if you’ve already achieved what you set out to achieve
- Modelling: look at a person who has achieved what you want to achieve and copy their mindset, actions and behaviours
When you start modelling, others consider these pitfalls:
- Choose the right role models otherwise, you are going to put immense pressure on yourself.
- Modelling role models, is never going to get you better than them, so always consider your own uniqueness.
- Pick and choose what it is about the person that you value instead of trying to model the entire persona.
- People connect better with others who are authentic and sincere.
- Consider the right reasons for modelling others.
I am not saying modelling doesn’t work. As a matter of fact, I know it works.
The last time you faked it, is the last time you made real progress.– Markus van Driel
The power of modelling
In NLP, modelling is integral to growth, building confidence and change. And I have used modelling too to teach myself new skills and to become a more confident person.
I am an introvert who values connecting with people. So I looked at extroverts to find out what they do, and how they relate to others. Modelling has allowed me to become more outgoing, and it has made it easier for me to approach people. I looked at how confident people walk, and I checked myself out in shopping windows, correcting my posture until I noticed that I started to walk more confidently. Now people don’t believe me when I reveal that I am an introvert, and when I see my reflection, I don’t even recognise myself at times.
To answer the big question. Should you fake it?
The answer is a resounding yes. But there are a few conditions you should put on yourself:
- Stay true to who you are as a person
- Don’t just copy somebody else. Find ways to bring in your uniqueness
- Keep developing your mindset. Because ultimately, it is your thoughts that determine your outcomes
- Don’t just copy what somebody else does and in the process ignore your values and beliefs
- Model somebody’s behaviour because you want to improve yourself, not because you need to prove yourself
- Discover different ways to fake it such as with power poses
Enjoy the journey, and choose to become more successful than the person you are modelling where it counts.