Simply, you ‘fake it, until you make it‘. It is isn’t something difficult, magical or costly. You pretend to be the person you want to be.
The reason for this particular post today is because I too read very similar advice. In life, be it school, college, university, my first job onwards, I believed I was in the wrong room. I can recall classrooms, lecture halls and conference centres full of brighter, funnier, more charismatic people. I even thought that there was something everyone else knew that I did not. Every other day I would remiss back, feel inadequate for no apparent reason. It would feel like someone had knocked the air out of my lungs as I spoke. I knew this had to change and needed a tool to help.
Now I’m not asking you to fake it with the important people in your life, not at all. They need to see the real you 100% of the time. However, they could still help you on your improve. Allow them to uncover emotions, help or challenge you. Also, avoid any misconceptions about being something you are not. You are already that person but you are going to play this little game. You are going to possess the confidence you have dreamed about.
I used this same technique just today. Imagine you were at the same careers fayre I walked into. Everyone dressed to impress, CVs in hand and greeting each other enthusiastically. Furthermore, try to picture a room where hundreds of endless one-to-one conversations had already begun. I proceeded to walk around the room reluctant to join everyone else. Luckily, I remembered the advice. Fake it, until you make it.
I decided that I was going to be a successful business person, with oodles of passion, endless wit and an attentive focus. You may all imagine something different and I would encourage you to make it personal. Whatever makes it easiest, particularly the first time.
At first, I was awkward. I spluttered out some terrible, cheesy and corny questions to emotionless recruiters. However, I tried again. This time, they came back more enthusiastic am my confidence grew. The next time became an open, fun and two-way affair. It began to pay off. I became more passionate, witty and appeared focused. I spent no time worrying about asking the right question but used all the enthusiasm, empathy and confident body language to imagine the influential business person I was faking to be. By the final conversation, with only a few business cards left, I was exhausted but elated.
If you are just a first-timer, I recommend you try it in similar scenarios where you are less concerned about the impact. For me, this one worked. Moreover, practice. Practice it in work, the hairdressers or when you next go shopping in town. Wherever you feel would suit you. You may find, after a while, you start to enjoy your little act. Encourage it. When you become better at it, the fun can really start. This perhaps, actors have a lot to teach us. If at first you don’t succeed, then use every knock-back as another chance to step forward.
It may bring that confidence you once felt you lacked. It may also enrich, challenge and develop you. It will give you hope, ever so slightly, to be that better person you want to be.
Try it for yourself. Try it in the bus queue, coffee shop or museum. Try it tomorrow. ‘Fake it until you make it‘. Use it as your very own confident quote.
You will eventually make it. Let me know how you get on.