Updated: Feb 11, 2022
Over the years, I’ve stepped into many other roles where I felt out of my element, at least at first. And each time, when I voiced my uncertainty aloud, someone would inevitably say, “Don’t worry about it, Kerry – just fake it till you make it.”
All this was well before the authenticity movement and Brene Brown, of course.
And over the past few years, I’ve noticed that every time someone tells me to “fake it till I make it”, it doesn’t sit well with me. Because first of all, I hate being fake. I like to be myself. I actually think I’m pretty awesome – and I hope you think YOU’RE pretty awesome too! Because you are.
So rather than buying into the “fake it till you make it” message these days, I’ve adopted a new internal message. And that message is “Be it till you see it.”
So here’s a simple, 3-step process to put the “Be It Till You See It” approach into motion starting today:
First, define the main goal.
In other words, what do you want to “see” in the end? Is it business growth? A positive testimonial? A certain income level achieved? Or maybe it’s a question of personal growth and development. As you set your goal, determine a milestone that you can actually measure and track and make a note of what that would actually look like.
And be specific. If your goal is to earn a higher income, then define what that level is. That way you can actually measure or “see” it. If you’re looking to attract new clients, how many clients? If you want to move to a new location, what would that location ideally look like?
Some of you may have heard of SMART goals before. SMART goals are goals that are Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Time-Sensitive. When you approach your goal setting in this way, you can actually see what the end result should look like. And that makes the process of moving towards that goal so much clearer.
The second step is to determine who you need to be to reach your goal.
Will this next level require you to be someone who’s on task? Deadline-focused? Creative? Detail oriented? For instance, if you are aiming to attract 5 new clients this month, who do you need to be to do it? Chances are, you’ll need to be hardworking, diligent, persistent, innovative and confident.
And once you identify those key traits or qualities, ask yourself: which of those elements do I already have and which ones am I missing? When we do this step, we often realize we actually possess several if not all of the characteristics that are needed to take us to the next level in life or business – we just need to kick it up a notch.
Here’s the good news: we don’t need to fake it. We don’t need to be anyone we aren’t. We just need to pay more attention to certain aspects of our identify in order to work on the pieces that need polishing.
The third step is to practice.
If you need to be someone who’s more attentive, for instance, then practice your listening skills throughout your daily conversations.
If you need to be someone who is better at managing money, then we can put into practice the financial responsibility lessons of experts like Dave Ramsey or Denise Duffield-Thomas.
If you want to be a better leader, then listen in to Ted Talks by Sheryl Sandberg or Arianna Huffington. These are only a few tips to start, of course, but they do show that’s possible.
Because it’s not just about knowing who we need to be to meet our goal – it’s about practicing it regularly.
When we put all three of these steps together, we’re able to grow into our dreams without compromising our authenticity. And that goes a long way to feeling good about ourselves and more confident in who we are and what we’re able to do.
Because we’re not pretending to know more than we know or to be something other than who we actually are.