How many times have you believed a lie about yourself?
We’ve all been there. A malicious voice creeps inside your head and assassinates your character, your confidence, your capability. Sure, you shrug it off initially. But that uninvited guest comes back for more—with a fervent mission of breaking you down and convincing you to believe that, in whatever facet of your life, you’re not good enough.
But self doubt isn’t the fabric of the modern woman. Ambition is. Because we all possess an independent relationship with ambition, and that relationship informs our perception of our potential, our worth, and the things we will do, or not do, in our lives.
As women, we’ve become so accustomed to putting restrictions on ourselves—restrictions that minimize our potential, our worth, and the way we perceive our ability to chase our dreams and defy the limits that previously confined us.
It’s easy to believe the lies that we’re not good enough—not smart enough, not relevant enough, not experienced enough, not important enough, not pretty enough—regardless of what it is, every woman can relate to the looming shadow that convinces her she’s lacking. Let’s all agree: It fucking sucks getting tangled in that web, and the only thing more difficult than getting in to it, is getting out of it.
Don’t get me wrong, there is undoubtedly an unprecedented value in manifesting your dreams, working your ass off in pursuit of the things you value, relentlessly pursuing your vision, and committing to a persistence that will see you through, no matter the end goal. However, my own journey has taught me that the lies we believe in our heads are the very barriers that prevent us from pursuing the things that weigh they most on our hearts. And truth be told, I think there’s a missing piece to this conversation that’s arguably overlooked. It’s a piece of advice that, at first glance, is frowned upon. One that seems absurd, and unjustified on every level.
I’m here to tell you why you’d benefit from being a little bit fake. I know the word is cringeworthy at best, but hold the criticism. I’m not done.
When I say fake, I’m extracting the idea from a line of notorious advice: “Fake it ‘til you make it.”
It’s challenging enough to dilute the flood of self-doubt and defy the limitations we put on ourselves, but to then have to muster up the resilience to transcend external expectations and social implications…. it’s daunting in every sense of the word.
In my own life, I’ve found that a lot of times, to get to where I want to be or accomplish something that’s important to my personal or professional growth, the “Fake it ‘til you make it” mindset is what has propelled me in the right direction. To clarify, it is not the action of being fake that is beneficial, but rather, buying in to the mindset that we can overcome our insecurities by refusing to believe them. Reminisce back to your days as a wide-eyed little girl who wants to be a princess or own an ice cream truck. By rewriting the narrative in our head and positioning it as something we permit ourselves to believe, we create an opportunity to make enormous strides. As previously noted, this mentality has emboldened me to reimagine the scope of my own potential. And ultimately, it’s been the sole mindset that empowers me to resist the lies I believe in my head—the same lies that translate as barriers from where I am to where I want to be.
I’ll be honest. There are a lot of days where I don’t know if I’m talented or creative enough to be a photographer. I don’t know if I’m keen or savvy or innovative enough to be a business woman. I don’t know if the things I want are things I can excel at. And in a season where I’m whole-heartedly making the jump to becoming a version of myself that feels too good to be true, I’ve learned that believing I can is the greatest weapon I possess. Believing I am good enough, smart enough, capable enough, that’s the very thing that has inched me towards the desired end goal that once felt so out of touch. So, I tell myself I’m a photographer. I tell myself I’m a businesswoman. I tell myself I am an entrepreneur. And even though that feels fake sometimes, channeling my mindset to believe those things are true is the practice that will manifest these dreams in to existence. If I believe I can wear these titles, if I put in the hard work, if I commit to the hours of research and brainstorming and finessing and execution to create something I’m proud of, if I give it everything I can, then the version of me who once felt fake will be authentic in all her ways.
I think we have to learn to be audacious, and courageous, enough to seek things that feel out of touch, and to remind ourselves in season of doubt that progress is better than perfection. Because all happy endings have a beginning, and the journey getting there is never straight and narrow. Even our most influential role models and aspirational icons had a starting point, and regardless of how their stories differ, we can all relate to feeling incapable. None of the greats got to where they are without muddling through a season where they were forced to answer the question of, “Can I really do this?” It’s all about manifesting your most innate desires to create a life you love, and learning how to dismiss all the things that don't contribute to the big picture—even if it means embracing imposter syndrome and pushing yourself in to a space that feels uncomfortable.
There’s a quote by Socrates I often reference when I find myself navigating this territory: “Be as you wish to be seen.” It’s unrealistic to think we’ll evolve as humans without embracing things that make us feel uncomfortable. So when it comes to your dreams, be as fake as it gets.
If the confidence isn’t there, pretend it is. If you don’t know where to start, pick a place and blindly run with it. If you don’t know what you’re doing, take pride in doing something—anything that translates a step in the right direction. If you feel out of place, make a place for yourself with a neon fucking name tag doused in glitter that sings your theme song.
Case in point: We have to be willing to believe in what we will become, even if we’re still doing the work to get there.