Day 1593: Fake it ’til you make it

Don’t worry. I’m not going to fake anything in this post. However, I did make it to Wikipedia for an explanation of “Fake it ’til you make it.”

“Fake it ’til you make it” (also called “act as if”) is a common catchphrase. The purpose of “fake it to you make it” is that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, with the hope that it leads to realization of that imitation in an individual’s life.

The phrase, “Fake it till you make it,” is very similar to the idea of Aristotle that to be virtuous one must act as a virtuous person would act. Although Aristotle did not have actual evidence of this, he was wise enough to come to the conclusion that acting as if you were something could lead you to become something.


In some cases “fake it until you make it” it may be recommended as a therapy technique for combating depression. In this case, the idea is to go through the routines of life imitating as if one were enjoying it. Although it feels forced in the beginning, by continuing to engaged in this behavior eventually it will become real. This is an example of a positive feedback loop (Based on the research of Francesca Gino, Maryam Kouchaki and Adam D. Galinsky.)

The phrase is often mostly associated with Alcoholics Anonymous although it does not appear in either of the books that form the foundation of the AA program, Alcoholics Anonymous or The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

I don’t know who makes those Wikipedia descriptions.

Do you ever fake it ’til you make it?

I won’t fake the fact that I have used that catchphrase in individual therapy and group therapy. “Fake it ’til you make it” is an invitation to practice more helpful thoughts and behaviors,  even though those thoughts and behaviors might feel new, unfamiliar, and therefore “fake.”

I also won’t fake the main reason I am quoting that catch phrase today.  The news makes me make this declaration:   We in the United States  have a president who — unprecedentedly  and un-president-ally — is faking it until he makes it. This kind of faking it ’til you make it makes me have many worries, concerns, fears, and other unfaked feelings.

I’m not faking it.  I read this before I started making this fake-it-’til-you-make-it post:

Look: We have known this since the campaign, but every once in a while it’s worth stopping and saying it. On issue after issue, Trump sounds like a student who vaguely recognizes a few phrases and is repeating them until the next student is called upon.

Here are some non-faked photographs I made yesterday:



I can’t fake it — there are MANY Fake It ‘Til You Make It’s on YouTube. Here’s the one that’s making it to this post:


Please don’t fake it — make some comments below.

Non-fake thanks to all who help me make this blog and — of course! — to you, for making it through today’s post.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 35 Comments

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35 thoughts on “Day 1593: Fake it ’til you make it

  1. I have found that when depressed fake until you make it is very helpful. I practice smiling until it becomes real.

  2. I am generally perplexed at how reasonable people can have such different views of the same event, but, as I was told many years ago, “If two people always agree, one of them is not necessary.” As far as faking it, my father once told me, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh*t.” Don’t worry Ann…you are moving to the water and all will be good.

  3. My parents would tell me when I was growing up, Ann, “Try it and you’ll like it.” Yeah, sometimes.

  4. I love those long windows!

  5. I suppose having a positive attitude is a variation of that approach. When one has the habit of seeing the positive side of things, one generally avoids being over-whelmed by the occasional bad things. It’s a life skill of great value, something you definitely have to “fake it till you make it”.

    I am on dialysis, for example, something that can be a depressing matter to some people.

    When the nephrologist came around with a young colleague to tell me I was going to be on dialysis the rest of my life, I pretty much guessed that from three other groups of doctors who’d already given me the results of tests related to their specialties.

    So, as I sat on the edge of the bed in my hospital gown, I watched the nephrologist struggle to find words to give me the bad news. “Doctor,” I said to him, ” Nothing you can say will scare the pants off of me because I’m not wearing any!”

    He tried not to react, but the other doctor snickered, then we all had a good, stress relieving laugh.

    Earlier in life, I would have been defeated by the prospect of endless dialysis. It took another major illness – and seeing people in worse shape than me – that helped me come to the realization a positive attitude eases the way, that a negative attitude drags you down, makes matters unbearable.

  6. What the example of our current president teaches us is that it’s not enough to just fake it. It’s also necessary to try to make it. The student who repeats the same phrases isn’t really trying to learn, and will always be a fake.
    The saying “fake it ’til you make it” reminds me of impostor syndrome, when objectively successful people feel they’re frauds. Maybe people get this feeling because in order to succeed we have to push ourselves beyond the limits of what we’ve accomplished. Sometimes we have to fake it in order to make it.

  7. Sometimes trying can feel like faking it, and before you really master something, it is faking it. We all find ourselves in that position from time to time, but I don’t like it when my doctors do it. Some positions call for expertise,

  8. There nothing fake bout that water view , or the inlay on the floor! I prefer “act as if” to bring about transformation. There is just too much faking and being out of integrity going
    these days. I wouldn’t want to talk encourage any more!!

  9. Fake it til you make it works with smiling, but not with thrashing about in a job that you are not competent in. Maybe it’s time to come clean Ann. Your cat writes your blog, right? Photographic proof can’t be faked.

  10. You described the imbecile running your country perfectly. I do not have to fake it that this post made me happy. Because it did!

  11. Fake it till you make it is just a new version of persistence. Work at it till you can do it well. It has a nice ring, though. I am not faking liking the painting of the flowers and the collection of garden saints. I hope your move works really well. I am clearing out my kitchen for a remodel and it makes me realize moving would be not a case of fake it till you make it, but grit your teeth and keep moving!

  12. I can’t be fake with you Ann. Though I’m sure I have done so in my life. And probably will do so again. I sometimes have to act like the person I want to be….

  13. Sometimes people make it to positions of power then have to fake it

  14. enjoying the reality
    of your reflections, Ann!
    far more so than that
    of the fake president 🙂

  15. Faking it till I make it has worked for me!

  16. While being a non fake person myself, I have a difficult time being anything but honest. I have, however, learned to adopt a certain amount of ‘fake it til you make it’ attitude when it comes to fear of failure. It has paralyzed me so many times when I should have been successful. And it is the best advice I can give my sons when they express fear of inadequacy. If you can’t find the real cinfidence you need, pretend you have it and if this is your true path, the real boost will come. I feel it’s kind of like learning to fly. If you flap a little and fall, you can’t think you will never do it right. You have to keep flapping until the wind becomes your partner. Real confidence is the wind beneath my wings. Sometimes hard to come by….

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