“Faking It Till You Make It” is Horrible Advice

Fake it till you make it

I never liked this quote because it implies being something that you are not, which leads to disingenuous behaviour.

If you don’t understand something, I’ve always found it a better strategy to just ask someone, who has done it before, on how to do it and to internalize the process through their explanation with a back-and-forth conversation.

Rarely have I found it useful or sensical to pretend that you know what you are doing, in an attempt to fool others on your competence — and then hopefully, you will gain competence through that process.

Sure it may work — you may even fool others along the way — but its not an effective strategy for learning.

In fact, I view it as a hedge for people to protect their ego; they don’t want to be seen as vulnerable by admitting to anyone, or maybe even themselves, that they don’t know something — which may be hard for high-achievers to cope with.

Others may have to adopt a mindset and vocalize it through this quote to give them the audacity to try something new and different.

Its good to expose yourself to new things, and if that manifestation works for them, then great! But as an added side note: aren’t you framing the experience in your mind as a lie that you have to tell yourself until you believe it?

Wouldn’t it be better to frame the experience in your mind as an acceptance of entering an unknown field, figuring out how to gain knowledge, then doing something about the situation, and then extracting learnings along the way so that you can do it better next time?

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“Faking It Till You Make It” is Horrible Advice was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Publication date: 
02/12/2018 - 18:21
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