Fake It Until You Make It?

Your thoughts please on this commonly used phrase…

Fake It Until You Make It

Words to live by? Or a bunch of bologna?

I want your opinion. Go.

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I keep hearing that phrase and every time I do I feel like a liar. I just can't be real with someone if I'm faking things all the time. I can see times where you're doing something and you might be a little over your head putting up a show of confidence when yours is shaky but if you're talking long term…I don't think it's a good idea.
    My recent post 31 Days in Proverbs Day 25: The company you keep

  • I keep hearing that phrase and every time I do I feel like a liar. I just can't be real with someone if I'm faking things all the time. I can see times where you're doing something and you might be a little over your head putting up a show of confidence when yours is shaky but if you're talking long term…I don't think it's a good idea.
    My recent post 31 Days in Proverbs Day 25: The company you keep

  • I use this phrase-but maybe in a different way. It's not about being fake with other people. It's more thinking about and acting like I am where I want to be–setting my own expectations for something I want to accomplish and training myself to act like I'm there. A kind of "seeing myself at the finish line."
    My recent post Haiti and Retailers-Ideas from a Consumer

  • I agree with Jason. I hate this phrase. Faking it just leaves a feeling of dirtiness, a sense of "what the heck did I just do? Why did I say that? That's not me." Being fake leads to fake relationships, fake clients, fake success. Once the "real" you is revealed, your credibility goes out the window. The good news is that I'm awful at being fake.
    Fake snow, though, I can deal with. Just sayin.

  • Chris Knight

    "Fake it until you make it"… such is the way of the world. To put on an appearance of success in lieu of sincere achievement. But it's all too often a trap. For many lose sight of whatever *real* goals they were motivated toward driving for and instead it becomes more and more important to *keep up* that thin, fleeting patina of affluence.

    Until in the end, that is all that is left. And that person who held so much promise and potential, is left utterly spent from *years* of wasted effort.

    As I said at the beginning, such is the way of the world. It is NOT what God desires for us! He *doesn't* want us to "fake it until we make it"! He wants and NEEDS us to be *real*. To be *sincere*, faults and quirks and warts and all. Because it's not about whether WE "make it". It's about giving HIM the glory and the honor. And in turn He *will* honor us… but we have to give Him the room to work in our lives, and that absolutely means succumbing to our need for His grace and not our own pride.

    Well, that's what "fake it until you make it" means to me, anyway…
    My recent post Chris says that THE BOOK OF ELI should be seen by EVERYBODY professing to be Christian… and everyone else too!

  • Jim Thomason

    I think your commentors are getting caught up in the semantics of the word "fake". The phrase in question sometimes refers to a positive thing you have to do in your career, which is stepping out on faith in a new role or opportunity. In such times, unless you have a massive ego, you're going to have doubts.

    In our Church it is sometimes recommended to people who have doubt, "Act as if you have faith and faith will be given to you." This is true in careers; sometimes you know "most" of what you're supposed to know, or maybe even just "kinda" what you're supposed to know. You go to work with the skills you have, not always the skills you want. To the extent that you sometimes jump into a new role just like you knew what you were doing, and do it until you actually do know what you're doing, this is valid.

  • You can only fake something for so long before the truth comes out and you lose.

    Let me remind you of probably one of the most famous examples of "fake it until you make it. Milli Vanilli, they faked it until they made it, and then the truth came out and they lost everything. They never recovered from it, either professionaly or personally.

    You're better off being honest all the time, even if it means you won't "make it".

  • This saying always makes me think of one of my friends who uses it. Also in her repertoire of sayings: "work it", "you rock", and "did I just get sassed?".

    I guess I take a lighter approach to what it means (thanks largely in part to my friend).
    – On those awful days, faking it means smiling instead of growling to anyone who comes in my door.
    – On the days when inspiration is on vacation, faking it means writing a blog post anyway.
    – On the days when I would love to hate my enemies, faking it means not giving them a look that could kill.

    I don't always "fake it", but maybe I should more often.
    My recent post Different Tastebuds

  • in the battle between our "false self" and our "true self" (the one God intends), we sometimes after to push against the false self and make a right choice before we really "like" it – fake it 'til we make it.

  • uh…"after to" should have been "have to"…not sure WHAT kinda cognitive lapse that was 🙂

  • "Blame it on the rain…"

    I was a huge Milli Vanilli fan back in the day. Sad story.

  • We used this phrase consistently in my 11 year sales career. It was a common thing to say because sometimes, you just have to force yourself to get on the phone. So, I can see the good and the bad of this phrase. I think there are days when you don't "feel" like it so you just have to "smile and dial" through your day. It is a short term solution only. In terms of our spiritual walk – same thing. We can exist in our own strength for a very small period of time before you can't even muster up the energy to fake it! I'm going to say 2 days – maybe a week tops but unless you are tapped into the well of Living Water consistently – you will crash and burn. And He designed us that way!!

    So, possible to live if in sales and making 100 calls a day, but not a good mantra to life by!

  • So Jennifer you see it as Gap-speak? 😉

  • I liked Milli Vanilli too, there I said it. But I was not a huge fan like you though, but I did like them. And still every now and then the chorus from "Blame it on the rain" pops into my head for unknown reasons.

    But if you're going to build something whether it be a relationship, a house, a team, or whatever; it's best to build it on a solid foundation rather than a weak one that will fall apart when the "rains" come.

  • If I am faking it…it's me

    It's only when I finally admit I can't that ….I guess in that freedom / admitting I can't….He does something and I am learning that is enough….see I don't like to admit I can't….I didn't know I 'faked it' alot…..didn't know THAT particular wetness in me…..didn't really know what a liar I am…..
    just some rambling that you happened to hit right where I was….
    My recent post Ex. 14-16; Acts 2; 1 Kings 11

  • I have actually never heard of that phrase interesting enough.
    But I think it brings up some interesting sentiments.
    I know for me I can easily fake it. I think specifically in the world of social networking and blogging. It is easy to get caught up in being someone or knowing the right people. I think that tends to lead me into faking it and acting like I am a somebody when in all reality I am a guy that lives in a basement.
    The idea that I will fake it and act like I am there and then when I make it I am golden is scary, because I am afraid that in two years I will still be in the same place.

    I don't want to fake it because I might not make it.
    My recent post Carlos Whittaker EP

  • hmmm. good question. i've been thinking about it as i've read through the comments & one word is coming to my mind. "transparency" — i feel the times where i haven't faked it & have just totally been open about where i am even when it's totally NOT where i want to admit i am, i've grown so much more than just trying to "fake it to make it" but…

    after reading the comments though i have to somewhat agree about "faking it until you make it" with a mentality of trying to place yourself of where you would like to be personally. how is that for contradictory ? 😉 i just think by mentally placing yourself where you would like to be going… even if you're not there yet… can be motivational & personally challenging. hope that makes sense. ha!

    can you not really "fake it", but also "fake it unitl you make it"? who knows?
    My recent post {your brain thinks in words, your soul thinks in music}

  • when i think of this expression I think of the "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" line of thinking.

    just because there's only 5 people reading your blog, doesn't mean you need to act like you have no influence. write as if you're truly getting the ear of a lot of people, put the time and energy in and treat it as if it is a big deal, and then someday it might become just that.

  • I'm not a huge fan of the phrase. The work fake has such a negative tone.

    However, there are times when we have to ACT even when we don't FEEL like it. It's the same kind of thing – fake it 'til you make it – except it seems more honest and straight forward to say "I'm doing the right thing even though I don't really want to and hopefully eventually I'll feel like doing the right thing for the right reason."
    My recent post Fighting With “Why Bother”…

  • I think before we have made it, there is a certain sense of insecurity that builds the ongoing feeling of needing to present oneself as more than truth would allow. Thus, the faking it.

    I think it's natural to present yourself as what you WANT to be, in hopes that you will a) become that person b) become accepted as that person.

    Don't set out to fake anything. Be you. Be who you WANT to be. If you want to be something other than what you naturally are then you need to present yourself (fake it) in that light as you become the desired product.

    Shoot. I don't know. Just be real. But be who YOU WANT to be.
    My recent post I’m Sorry if You Think Jesus is a Hippie

  • It could be a little of both, but it really depends on the context. I wouldn't want a doctor faking it on me until he made it. Would you?

    But, say you want to be rich but don't yet have the mentally and thinking of a rich person yet. Then you BETTER start thinking like a rich person no or you will never be rich. So in a sense, you are faking it until you make it.

    I think the saying means the same thing as, "you have to become that person to become that person".

    It's about confidence. You have to appear like the duck above water to others, even though under the water, you are kicking like crazy.

    My recent post Courage, where do you find yours?

    • Depends on the context of the need. If I have a nail stuck in my head and the only doctor available for hundreds of miles is a podiatrist, I'll take the risk and let him perform surgery on me to remove it and stop the bleeding.

      (But I won't be surprised if I find later that I stuck my foot in my mouth. HAHAHA! Ohmigosh I'm funny!) 🙂

  • Lauren Doyle

    Faking it is a powerful word. I think it's the same thing as "dressing for the job you want, not the job you have", as so perfectly quoted in a late 90's Jennifer Anniston movie.

    Most people are trying to break through to the next level. Many sit on the sidelines, not changing anything about themselves and hoping that the world is going to change for them. Yes, that is possible, and sometimes that change isn't for the better.

    "Faking it until you make it" calls on the idea that you've seized the moment, accepted the challenge, and are confidently pursuing the day when you reach the other landing.. where you are faking no more.

    However, if you fake it well.. you might be promoted to the next evel where you are faking it once more.

    I've been there.
    My name is Lauren and I am a faker.

  • I almost feel like I need to apologize for disagreeing with the majority of initial comments here.

    I think this mindset is a fantastic way to facilitate becoming what we want to be. In a sense, we're all actors. A good teacher is someone who does the things a teacher is supposed to do. A good athlete is someone who does the things an athlete is supposed to do. Unless we become something by accident (which isn't necessarily the best course of action), we become something by growing into our image of what we should be. Start acting like what you want to be good at, and you'll grow into the act.

    As an adolescent, I realized that I described my parents poorly with my peers. Once I realized that this was not a good thing to do, I intentionally began describing them with positive terms. Know what happened? I started to like my parents a lot more because I was thinking about them positively. I noticed the positive much more easily.

    So does faking it matter? Heck yeah.

    Acting like a good husband when I don't feel like actually being one will theoretically do my part of keeping my marriage together, too. (Fortunately, that's a nearly negligible amount of the time. Yeah, my wife is that good. She makes an awesome chicken soup from scratch, and I'm under the weather right now.)

  • @redheadkate These are exactly the opportunities when I wonder if I should "fake it." Still pretty grumpy and I tried writing a blog post last night which got 2 wise "why don't you sit on that for a bit" responses from friends who I let preview it because I knew it was little edgier than normal.

    I am conflicted sometimes I thinking "faking" it actually helps pull you out. But sometimes I think it just makes everything worse.

    I am jealous of God's perfection. He could love authentically all the time. Being fake was never an option for him.

    • I'm with you. Some of my most vulnerable, honest blog posts have come out of those times. Now, I think your friends are right too. Usually it helps if you wait a day or two and then edit them. In the end, it still might be edgier than your normal, but that might not be a bad thing.

      I'm stuck in some really hard things right now. People keep asking me if I am "all better" and don't understand why I'm not after only a week or two after each additional hit that I take. Too often, I have faked it and put on a happy face to make them go away.

      There has to be a balance between faking it to put a smile on your face which in turn truly does make you feel better and faking it so much that the world sees a smiling face when you are sobbing on the inside. If you figure it out, please let me know. Because I don't know the right balance.

  • That phrase makes the hair stand on the back of my neck. I had a friend who responded with this mantra whenever I confided in her about my troubles. And it always made me feel like it just means just what it says — FAKE.

    I always choose being real, rather than being a faker.

    Because if I don't get real with myself, I'll always be afraid of whether people really love me or whether I have to keep up with the charades. I grew up masking my negative feelings, thinking others just like me happy, happy, happy!

    My friend's insistance on keeping it up actually made me go in the other direction. So, this is one good thing that came out of this friendship that fell apart. I still feel sadness about this girlfriend and wish things could be different. But, I can't fake it! 😉
    My recent post Special Blend Interview: Holley Gerth Climbs Higher In Her Walk Of Faith

    • Yeah, not the best advice in response to someone's troubles. I think I would lose if a friend used it.

  • tracey solomon

    not a fan of the statement. The only thing fake about me is my nails and hair color.
    – that said, a level of professionalism is called for. I have no problem taking my emotion/frustration/etc to a different venue.

    (ie I work with a women's ministry and sometimes I smile and take the confrontation etc to an offline setting to deal with) it's not faking it- it's dealing with something in the appropriate setting.

    as for faking it to appear more successful or better or different from what you are….That I find annoying and I think it smacks at the face of the creator in who's process of creating I am in.

    When he wants me to make it- I will.
    There is a post on my blog about rotten tomatoes- we can't PUT on fruit, it grows from within.
    http://traceysolomon.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/fru

    just my thoughts.

    My recent post Manna for Haiti…

  • I'm not a fan of this phrase although heard something from a friend and colleague recently that seems to be a bit more on track in my way of thinking. When talking about strategic/business planning for a new endeavor, he stated, “Sometimes perfection is to be just good enough”. The essence of his comment was if you wait until everything is perfectly in place, you’re not going to get started and/or waste a lot of time. Sometimes you just have to get going, have the confidence to “fake” what is not perfect, and work the plan simultaneously as it is created.

  • Total 'carp'.

    It is the message of the world, of Satan, and it keeps us from being who we truly are, who God designed us to be, a glory to Him.

    It is Adam and Eve putting on the fig leaf trying to fake it.

    Be who you are, if you make it or not, you will be a glory to God.

    'Making it' is not the *point*, the Journey is the *point*, if you fake the Journey looking for the 'Making it', you'll never 'Make it'.
    My recent post Thought for the day

  • Tim

    Well, for starters, most of bologna is fake anyway…right? 🙂

    Seriously, I think there's something to be said for transparency. The heart behind "faking it" really says, I don't want people to think I'm not good enough, smart enough, etc…or, I'm not confident enough in who I am as a person to ask questions or learn from other people who might know more than me.

    It seems to me that if you "fake it" long enough, you'll probably never truly "make it."

    (Since we're asking "what do you think of this phrase" questions…what do you think of THIS phrase: "The opposite of what God MADE you to be is often required to become what God CALLS you to be." I've posted my thoughts in a new blog post at http://reallifeconversation.blogspot.com)

  • As others have pointed out, "fake" is simply a memorable shortcut word–it doesn't have to mean deceive. Besides, it rhymes with "make."

    The fact is, exhorting someone to "act in a manner that facilitates and is consistent with that which you hope to achieve" just ain't as catchy as "fake it until you make it." 🙂
    My recent post An Enchanted April in January

  • I just said this phrase yesterday!

    And I intended it in the way, Jennifer shares above. I had a bad attitude, didn't want to have a bad attitude, so I was doing my best to change my attitude even though circumstances hadn't changed. I always considered it a mantra of perseverance, not an excuse to deceive!

  • cari

    hate that phrase. Seems like just another way to avoid digging deeper and finding out why you’re blocking yourself from making it. Or just a superficial things to say to someone without trying to care about them too much. There are too many fakers in the world who are not really trying to make it, but they have alot of cute catch phrases..

  • Another thought… (sorry if I'm monopolizing).

    When I've seen this phrase used well, it was to inspire folks who had small beliefs in their own capabilities.

    We can do very little when we correspondingly think we can do very little. And successful people generally believe that they'll be successful, of course.

    But when we pretend we can do much, at least we're somewhere between the two, and we have a chance to prove our own hypotheses wrong, possibly.

    Maybe.
    My recent post Work for peace and you will find love and mercy

    • I'm all for stretching yourself but the word "pretend" still kind of freaks me out. But I get what you are saying…

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  • Instead of the term "faking it" which can have a negative connotation, I prefer Michael Hyatt's concept of "permanent beta." You certainly can't wait for perfection.
    My recent post I Clicked The Button And Suddenly Twitter Made Sense

  • sounds unauthentic to me. but where does faith come in?! and here we are, back at our wine-bar convo…
    My recent post she was my first