Fake It Till You Make It?

How many times have you heard this saying? It sounds kind of backwards and even a little shady. In some ways this can get you into big trouble. In other ways this can move you to the next level of success.

Like many things in life it all depends on just how you use this idea. No one wants to go to a doctor that is just “faking” it. In other areas “faking” it is not really being dishonest. It is simply doing something you “can” do before you have the confidence in your abilities.

I will tell a personal story that I feel demonstrates this point pretty well. My first job after college was working in a small law office. My job was as a Paralegal working in the bankruptcy dept. The process was actually pretty simple. I filled in forms, then filed those forms at the Federal Court.

I still remember my very first case. I will not give names for privacy reasons but I can still after over 26 years remember the clients name. The Attorney I was working for gave me three things to study.

He gave me a do it yourself bankruptcy book that anyone could get at a book store, A full set of blank bankruptcy forms and a completed set of bankruptcy forms. He gave me these on the first Monday I worked for Him. He gave me all that and at the same time He told me, “study these because you have an appointment on Wednesday at 2:00”.

As he was leaving the office He said if I had any questions I could talk to him tomorrow as He would be in court all day today. Needless to say I had about zero confidence in my ability to do all of this after only two days of reading.

Well after two days of frantic reading and going through the forms. A half day of practicing vocabulary so I didn’t sound like an idiot. 1:00 pm Wednesday came and I was one hour away from my appointment and scared to death.

Finally at 1:45 I just decided, as I had no other options, to “fake” it. I thought to myself “if I can fake it well enough that no one can tell the difference I can make it”. Well the appointment came and went. 30 minutes after 2:00 the client left my office. Before the end of the day I had all the paperwork filled out and ready to go.

So after that first appointment I always told myself “just fake it through this one and things will work out”. After a little while I was no longer “faking it” but actually doing it. Well I congratulated myself on “faking it” so well and moved on with my job.

I would have stopped there without learning the most important thing. Except, about a year later I had a reason to go back and review my very first case. It just so happened that as I had that first file on my desk I also had a current file open on my desk as well.

For some reason I don’t know I decided to compare my first “faked” case to my current one in which I “knew” what I was doing. What I found surprised me because it wasn’t what I expected. I don’t know why but I expected the first one to be a mess. Full of errors I just did not know I had committed.

After reading through the entire file I could not find one mistake. I could not even find one place where I would have done anything different. That first file was exactly the same as the one I was working on currently.

That’s when I came up with a little motto.

” If you can fake it as well as everyone else that is doing it what’s the difference? “

I learned at that time a simple yet powerful fact.:

It does not matter if you “think” you can do it. It matters whether you do it or not.
If you don’t “think” you can do it, then “fake it” and get it done anyway.

Now this is not about pretending to be something you are not. For example you don’t want to go around faking being a Doctor giving medical advice. You could kill someone and get into a lot of trouble.

This IS about getting past that negative mental state and doing whatever it is that you need to do. Even if you don’t believe it at the time, You can “fake it till you make it”.

Eventually, you will find as I did. You are no longer faking anything but have actually become that person.

It is natural to have some questions when you first try something. It is deadly to your success and happiness if you let those doubts and questions stop you from doing what you want or must do.

A great talk about this idea.It’s not only about body language.


Organization and Motivation for Success

Just a few ideas on Organization and how it can effect your Motivation.

Organization must start with a goal then a plan. Without a plan you will have nothing to organize to reach your goal. A plan gives you a specific route to your goal. Organization is how you execute your plan.

For organization methods I use something similar to the Pomodoro Technique which breaks your work day into 25 minute sections with breaks between each section. I will usually measure my work in tasks rather than time. I find that works better for me and how I deal with things.

I will break any task I have down into as small a chunk as possible then measure my work time by what tasks I have completed. I find that works much better for me as I can choose the size of my task based on how long I think it will take.

This keeps me working about the same amount of time, usually around 30 minutes per task. But I feel I get a much better sense of progress by completing a list of tasks rather than focusing on a series of blocks of time. Any time I follow a specific period of time it never fails to run out just before or after I finish a task.

If time runs out before I finish a task I lose all sense of accomplishment because I have stopped before the job is done. If time runs out after I finish a task then I have other work to start before break time and then I am back to time running out before I finish the next task.

Here is how I break things down to manageable tasks. Everything has three steps, A beginning, a Middle and an End. Once you determine those steps if you still need to break things down further. Each Beginning can then be broken into its three steps. As can each Middle and each End. You can carry that process as far down as you need until you reach manageable sized tasks.

I always imagine it like this, draw a classic Tic-Tac-Toe graph then label the columns in this order. Beginning, Middle , End then label each row in the same order this is how I envision breaking my tasks down.

Once I have done that, all I need do is just finish each small task in order. Not only does this give me very manageable tasks that take very little time to complete. But this also gives me a very good sense of progress as I go along. A sense of progress is probably the most important thing to motivation.

Without progress we can have all the motivation in the world and still not accomplish anything. Motivation without progress is like a car without a transmission. You can race the engine as much as you want it’s still not going anywhere.

If we have a Goal. Then we add a Plan. Structure the Plan into smaller easy to complete tasks. Apply our motivation to the Plan. We will be able to measure our progress as we complete the steps of out Plan. In the end we will reach our Goal and achieve our success.

We are all creatures of habit. Our habits determine our lives. We determine our habits. If we change our habits we will change our lives. If we never change our habits our lives will stay the same. Success is just another habit of our lives. We build a habit by doing the same thing over and over again.

If we do enough little successful things before you know it you will not only have a habit of success but a very large accumulation of success. If you look at any successful person that is the route they took. Taking small success and assembling them into medium success then into large success.

When viewing others success. If you look closely enough you will see each and every little step they took to reach that success. Truthfully if you have not taken each of those steps for yourself you will never know how to deal with success if you happen to get there by luck.

Have you ever wondered why many lottery winners wind up back in the same financial situation they were in before winning? The truth is a very simple principal I learned when I was 5 years old. This is how I learned something profound from a comment in passing from my father.

When I was 5 years old we had an apple tree in our front yard. I wanted to climb to the top of that tree. Unfortunately I was too small to reach the bottom branches to get into the tree. I knew once I was up in the tree I could easily reach the rest of the branches all the way to the top.

I asked my Father to boost me up to the bottom branch from which I could take over in my climb to the top. My Father looked at the tree than looked at me and said, “if you can’t get into the tree on your own. You really have no business being in the tree in the first place.”

It was a short time later that I could get myself into that tree. Once there I could climb all over up and down without any problems. I know now if I had been put into that tree before I was ready. I would have likely hurt myself.

It was the process of getting myself into that tree that made me able to safely climb around. It is the lessons we learn on our way to success that make us able to deal with success. If we do not learn those lessons and somehow achieve that type of success. We are much more likely to find ourselves incapable of dealing with it.

It is obvious you have the initial motivation as you are reading this. What you need is just a little focus to harness the motivation you have. I suggest you choose small tasks to complete each day. No matter what happens get at least one task done. If you have more time in some days get more than one task done.

But always do at least one thing that you can see progress. All organization really is just breaking things down into small enough size to get each piece finished in a timely manner. You can do this. You already have all the parts you need to get this done. You just need to rearrange those parts into smaller more achievable sections.

One last thing, STOP telling yourself you are unorganized. Stop asking yourself “why am I so unorganized”. Start asking yourself” How can I break this down into a manageable series of tasks”.

There is a principal I learned a long time ago. The best way I have ever seen it expressed comes from the Martial Arts and goes like this. “The mind leads, the body follows”.

Our minds are powerful enough to create any blueprint we want. The body simply follows the plan. Give your mind some positive reinforcement and before you know, it will have a new plan to follow.

I will talk more about how to get your mind to lead your body int he direction you want a little later so be sure to come back for more.