Carol the Coach: Fake It 'Til You Make It

If there is one thing I have learned in my 25 years of therapy, it is that clients bring to the office everything they need to change a situation. I always tell my clients that they have “all the answers.” Most of the time, I am a conduit for opening the door to the inherent wisdom they possess. I believe that when you ask the question, you already know the answer, so oftentimes my job is to get a client to believe in themselves to achieve the changes they want in their life.

After getting a thorough assessment of the situation, I typically ask clients how they might:

  • Alter a situation to make it more palatable
  • Change a situation so that they are no longer oppressed
  • Work on the problem to alleviate the issue.

Frequently they say that they don’t know how to change their future. That is when I ask them,
If you did know . . . what would you do?” More often than not, they come up with a solution.
The same scenario occurs when I ask clients to identify what they believe they should do. After much trepidation, they tell me what they think, and I then encourage them to do it. They will typically respond with, “I don’t know how to create that change.” My belief is that they do know how, they just don’t know that they do. I then ask them to practice a technique called “fake it til you make it.” “Fake it til you make it” is a self esteem builder. It presupposes that you have the ability inside of you to do the project, convey your needs, take control of a situation, or know what decision to make. It bypasses the self doubt and the lack of self confidence. “Fake it til you make it” is an incredible technique that really works, if you work it.

You may be asking yourself, “Why do I have to fake it…where does all this self doubt come from?” Oftentimes, lack of confidence stems from your childhood. Although your parents may not have meant to be a negative influence on you, they may have had unrealistic expectations for you. This can leave you feeling that you are not measuring up to who they want you to be. In trying to please your parents, you may end up sacrificing your own desires. Seeking your parents’ approval can sabotage your sense of self if your goals conflict with your parents. If this conflict occurs, it can naturally cause you to feel incomplete, insecure, and self conscious. How do you offset these feelings? Try the following recommendations on a regular basis for the best results:

  • Find supportive people who affirm you and your ideas.
  • Use positive self-talk to derail the negative tapes that play in your head.
  • Find groups that support you and encourage you to trust yourself.
  • Practice the technique of “fake it til you make it,” which ultimately means that you pretend you know what you are doing until you convince yourself that indeed you do.

Just remember, you really do possess the knowledge to change any situation. You do have the answers. The exercise of “fake it til you make it” can prove to you that you have the capabilities, and all you need is to practice until you prove it to yourself.

Carol Juergensen Sheets LCSW PCC is a psychotherapist and personal life coach. She does motivational speaking and empowerment trainings locally and nationally. To find out more about her services–contact her at www.carolthecoach.com or call her at 317 218-3479. You can watch Carol the Coach segments on WTHR’s Channel 13 Wednesdays @ 12:50PM.