Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Faking it

A dear friend recently told me of his difficulty getting motivated at work. He’s a smart and talented man but it seemed that the constraints of his role, office politics and the general nine-to- five grind were sapping his spirit. The timing wasn’t right for a job change and there wasn’t much he could do about the issues previously mentioned. So he came up with an interesting solution – he asked himself: “what would a person do who really cared about this?” And then he did it. He pretended to be a person who really cared about re-writing that document to someone else’s specifications, tackling the boring project taking up space on his desk and sitting in long, often unnecessary meetings.

The result? Well, he says he still doesn’t really care but by faking it he’s getting more done and he’s doing it with more energy. Meetings aside, he’s starting to enjoy his job just a little bit more.

This got me thinking: where in my life could I fake it in order to make it? What if I exercised like a fit person? Or gardened like someone who was really passionate about it? Or studied like an academic who knew they were capable of producing an impressive 80,000 word tome? The possibilities suddenly seem endless.

I’d like to do all those things but first I am going to cook like… well, a cook! I’m not brave enough in the kitchen and it can feel like a chore rather than a pleasure. I’m dusting off my many cookbooks and I’m going to make something a chef would eat. (Chefs eat sandwiches, right?)

I’d love to hear where you think you could fake it.

*Image from When Harry Met Sally


  1. Haha! What a clever fellow. I reckon faking it is a really good thing to do when you are scared too. I do it when I have to go into negotiations or presentations at work and I do it a lot on stage when I sing. If nothing else it makes me feel like I appear more confident, which makes me feel better afterwards.

    I'm going to try faking it as I jump into motherhood. I'm going to act like I know what the heck is going on and maybe it will work somehow?

    Good luck with your recipes!

  2. It certainly is a confidence booster - the way I look at it, you're the only one that knows you're scared so you might as well put on your game face and go for it.

    I love that you're going to fake it 'til you make it in motherhood, I suspect 99.9% of us are doing that. And it works!

    I think I may need that luck. I burnt my lunch about 30 minutes after posting my blog. In fact I burnt my lunch BECAUSE I was posting this blog. It doesn't bode well.

  3. Snap - I do this ALL the time, at work, and in social contexts (e.g. feeling too tired and flat to go to party, but go in all "eyes, teeth, taps" and end up enjoying self hugely). One of the hideously cliched and much-repeated motivational phrases from when I worked in retail was "Fake it until you make it", and there's a huge amount of truth in it.

  4. I concur Natalie. I often slap on a smile when I least feel like it and it seems to do the trick.

  5. I really wondered what this article was going to be about when I saw the pic Rach ;)

  6. LOL Vic, I'm a shock jock! ;-)