Extraordinary Living — From the Inside Out

When NOT to ‘Fake it til you make it’


You’ve at least heard the phrase, but you’ve also probably implemented it.  I know I have!  But, beware, ’Faking it til you make it’ has a downside!  Let’s dive into a true example:

Meet ‘fakin it’ Dana

I was coaching a client recently (Dana is not her real name), and ‘Dana’ said, “I’m not super confident but I’ve gotten really good at faking it”.  She had recently had a casual run-in with someone who could be a boss for a job she was seriously interested in (we’ll call him Mr. Possible Boss).  Dana’s point was that “faking” her confidence was a skill for her that had served her well.

YIKES!  I’m not really a fan of ‘fake it til you make it’ when it comes to lack of confidence (which BTW is dangerously close to lack of self love).  In fact, it’ll come back to bite you, just as it did with Dana.

When I asked Dana if she had any bad feelings about her ‘pretend’ confidence – did she hear any negative talk inside her head….?  The answer was Yes –  faking it did sometimes make her feel like a fraud,  it was tiring, and it even caused anxiety worrying that Mr. Possible Boss may have “seen through her”.

In order to unravel what was going on at the core with Dana, I introduced ‘thought-spotting’.  Thought spotting is simply becoming aware of the thoughts going through your mind at a specific time.  Thought spotting is super freaking important (yes, I said super freaking important!). It’s the simple key in understanding why we do what we do—and it’s definitely one of the big keys to Freedom!


The essence of thought spotting is to go back in your memory and recall exactly what was going on in your head at a specific point in time.   And I mean exactly.  With Dana we used thought-spotting to go back to that moment when she ran into Mr. Possible Boss and she realized she didn’t feel confident or comfortable.  What thoughts were zipping through her pretty head at that moment?

-          “oh no I’m nervous, he’ll never hire me if he thinks I get nervous”

-          “he may not like what I have to say”,

-          “I should have my masters degree by now”,

-          “He probably wants to hire a man”,

-          “I’m in over my head”

-          “I don’t think I look the part”  … and more…

Dana’s entire experience was driven by her thoughts!

Wow!  Right?!   No wonder she didn’t have any confidence!  Her thoughts were running the show, then she ‘faked her confidence’ –  and then she beat herself up for ‘being a fraud’.  That, my lovelies, is a no-win situation!

My point here today is not about how to be confident or even to completely trample the old saying ‘Fake it til you make it’.  The real lesson here is in the ‘thought spotting’.   Why?  Because, becoming fully aware of your thoughts allows you to understand where and how they are driving your life.  Being aware of them means you can examine them.  Are these thoughts true? What the heck are they even doing showing up?  Why did you believe them.  Simply put:  thoughts determine your happiness, your confidence, your compassion and more.  Before you go questioning them, you need to be aware of them.

Thought Spotting Action Step: 

1) Here’s a simple exercise to get you started:  Get quiet and comfortable.  Go back in time to the last time you felt a bit self-conscious or nervous.  Next, WITHOUT judging your thoughts, just become SUPER aware of them:   What exactly was going through your head?  Were you comparing yourself to others?  did you criticize yourself, your body or your clothes?  What other thoughts are you aware of?  Again, don’t judge yourself for having the thoughts, we’re just noticing them.

2) Practice.  It’s pretty simple:  becoming adept at thought spotting takes repetition.  The next time you find your mind going wild, notice that it’s going wild.  Become aware of exactly how and when you judge yourself and others.  Next, write all the thoughts down.

Remember, it’s all of these little thoughts that drive our reality.  Thought spotting — simply becoming AWARE, is the first step to a free mind.

Happy thought spotting!

XO, Laura

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