I often hear the term "Fake It Til You Make It" and for those of you who use this as a tool to move forward, I apologize because I just don't buy it.
I know this saying comes from a variety of places. According to Wikipedia it means "to imitate confidence so that as the confidence produces success, it will generate real confidence"
Here's my problem with this...
I DON'T WANT TO FAKE ANYTHING....
This is my life. This life is real and it's what is happening now. This is it. There are no do overs. There is no rewind button.
Believe me when I say that I’d love a rewind button! Honestly, I’d like to call Doc Brown, borrow the Delorean, put some plutonium (or trash) in the flux capacitor and go back to the me of 5 years ago and tell her how awesome it feels to run 3 miles without stopping. Tell her how much fun she’s going to have in spin class. How good it feels to shop in regular stores vs. the plus sized stores. I'd like to tell her to stop living in her head, to stop focusing on all the negative things.
Once, when feeling at my lowest, I made a list of pros and cons about MYSELF. And believe it, the con list was waaaaaay longer than the pros. Then I sent it to my friend who, because she is a good friend, went on to debate all of the horrible things I said about myself.
But it didn’t matter what she or anyone said or perceived about me because I didn’t believe in my GUTS that I was worth being the person I was meant to be….No one can fake that.
I’d like to say to me 5 years ago, “QUIT FAKING IT!” Because, for me, it didn’t work. All that bravado and that "I don't care what people think" attitude. All that smiling while wanting to curl up in a ball. It’s BS.
I always think about a line in the movie "French Kiss". Meg Ryan's character Kate is exasperated (as she maintains through most of the film) and says, "Happy, smile. Sad, frown. Use the corresponding face with the corresponding emotion..."
That's how I feel:
If you're happy, BE HAPPY. Dance in the streets, hug your friends, laugh out loud at inappropriate times. Share your joy. DON'T FAKE HAPPY...
And if you’re sad, be sad. Lounge in the glorious emotion that is sadness. Watch a sad movie, cry into your pillow....BUT don't drown yourself in it. YOU are the only one who can pull you out. YOU decide when you’re ready and what it’s going to take for YOU.
In the 2005 Cameron Crowe movie, “Elizabethtown”, the character Claire says “Sadness is easier because it’s surrender”
Think about this. Surrender. That word makes me angry. Like I gave up. I don't want to wave the white flag.
She then follows this up with the comment, “I say take time to dance alone with one hand waving free”
NONE of what we’re doing on here is easy. Surrendering is the easy way out. We are changing lives, our own lives, and when you chose to do that, you are choosing a life made of difficult choices (what can I eat here?, Where am I at with my calories?, I’ll have to wake up at WHAT time to get a workout in?), but a life where the rewards are plentiful (longer healthier lives, little black dresses, hotter sex, feelings of accomplishment).
Your reward is being able to dance alone with one hand waving free…because that, my friend, is REAL.
I can tell you this, faking it NEVER helped me. What worked for me was to *get real*. Like they say at the beginning of the MTV show “The Real World”; I had to “stop being polite and start getting real!” I had to have difficult, honest conversations…with myself.
For me, and I only speak for myself, life is about moving forward. Not walking in place, not taking steps backward. I’m not saying that I’ve never done those things. I’ve taken more steps back than I care to mention. I spent about 5 years walking in place because I didn’t know what to do or where to go.
It also means that every minute of every day I'm genuinely ME: the good, the bad and the fugly.
So if faking it works for you. Go for it. Fake it until you make it, I sincerely hope you make it.
And while you’re doing this, search for the tools to help you make it. Find supportive friends and goals and dreams that you can strive to accomplish. These are the hammer and the nail that help to build a better me. These are my supporting beams.
But we didn’t start building until I stopped faking it and got real.
Finally, I really believed that I could no longer live the way I was living. Finally I believed that I was worth being taken care of. Finally I believed that I could and should take care of myself. Finally I believed I could accomplish these goals.
Finally I believed…
And that belief can’t be faked.