Fake: adj. not genuine, counterfeit. Or, as a person: one who appears or claims to be something they are not, (i.e. a charlatan, fraud, quack, imposter, cheat).
We don’t want to eat fake food, read fake news or receive fake money; so, why would we ever support or encourage this quality in others?
Call it semantics, if you will, but anytime we allow fake it to permeate our language a very clear message is sent about the value we place on surface appearances over inward depth and truth.
The fake it till you make it mindset suggests that one should think and act as if they have already achieved a goal in hopes that they will actually achieve said goal. For example, I will act as if I am confident until I actually become confident.
It’s not that I don’t understand this thinking, it just that I don’t agree.
You see, sometimes we have to do new and hard things. And, often we have to do these things even when we feel unsure or scared.
Doing something in spite of our feelings is not called being fake, it’s called activating faith.
A coach who peps his team up for a win in spite of great odds is not considered fake, but hopeful. After all, let’s remember the Titans. We are Marshall. The Blind Side. We all love a story where great odds are overcome; but these stories do not happen by pretending or faking it, they happen through hard work, the encouragement of others, and faith.
Our minds are powerful and can often be our biggest hinderance, but believing that one has the skills and knowledge to complete a task is very different than pretending to be something one is not. Our minds will often tell us lies about who we are and what we are capable of doing, this is one of the greatest attacks from the enemy. To counterattack, we must know how to speak truth into these lies. We need to build communities that will rally around and lift up its members in truth and with love.
Sure, fake it till you make it has a nice cadence and, on the surface, seems like a harmless enough sentiment. But, how long can one really fake it before losing their very essence? How lonely does one get if faking it is esteemed over being real? Surely we cannot expect people to be open and honest with struggles and mistakes when what we’re doing is creating a culture that pretends to have it all together. How, then, will we ever be able to celebrate breakthroughs, miracles, victories? How will we be able to tap into the gifts and talents of others, collaborate and lift each others burdens when needed?
Eventually people see through fake. The world doesn’t need any more pretenders, it needs real and authentic people who will encourage, serve and love other real and authentic people.
Instead of buying in to the fake it till you make it mindset, let’s be brave with being our true selves. Do hard things even when you’re scared. Make mistakes. Take risks. Encourage others. Repeat.
Have you ever been tempted to fake it?