r/AskMen Dec 01 '22

How much do you agree with the concept of “fake it until you make it”?

42 Upvotes

110 comments sorted by

84

u/bowlodicks Dec 01 '22

It work on minor things but not for like medical practices or nuclear reactors

14

u/NYVines Dec 01 '22

Imposter syndrome is classic in medical practice. One day you’re a student, the next you’re a doctor. One day you’re a resident, the next you’re an attending. Fake it til you make it is common to overcome the imposter syndrome.

2

u/Outnabout3535325 Dec 01 '22

the guy meant you can't just sleep at a holiday inn express and go into surgery the next day

2

u/JunosGold2 Dec 01 '22

If the urban legends are any indication, there are a hell of a lot of kidney surgeons working out of Holliday Inn Express.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/black-market-kidneys-160000-a-pop/

18

u/Dr_Sisyphus_22 Dec 01 '22

Theranos is a good example of what can go wrong

1

u/tampa_vice Dec 01 '22

Don't be afraid to fail.

45

u/Alien36 Dec 01 '22

It's great advice in some contexts, absolutely disastrous advice in others.

Sure, fake it till you make it when it comes to being confident in social situations, but I probably wouldn't want my heart surgeon or pilot to "fake it until they make it"

15

u/Rooroor324 Dec 01 '22

You basically just said the plot of Catch Me If you Can.

4

u/Observationistic Dec 01 '22

Or Theranos. Or FTX.

2

u/notsureoftheanswer Dec 01 '22

IKR...I really only have heard it be given as advice for confidence not as actual skills.

2

u/boisheep Dec 01 '22

After ordering personnel to transport these variously injured patients into the ship's operating room and prep them for surgery, Demara disappeared to his room with a textbook on general surgery and proceeded to speed-read the various surgeries he was now forced to perform, including major chest surgery. None of the soldiers died as a result of Demara's surgeries. Apparently, the removal of a bullet from a wounded man ended up in Canadian newspapers. One person reading the reports was the mother of the real Joseph Cyr; her son at the time of "his" service in Korea was actually practicing medicine in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. When news of the impostor reached the Cayuga, still on duty off Korea, Captain James Plomer at first refused to believe Demara was not a surgeon (and not Joseph Cyr). However, faced with the embarrassment of having allowed an impostor into the navy's ranks, Canadian officials chose not to press charges. Instead, Demara was quietly dismissed from the Royal Canadian Navy and forced to return to the United States.

Well... apparently you can fake that too, and make it.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Waldo_Demara

39

u/AspireAgain Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

If you wait until you think you’re fully qualified, you’ll be overtaken by people who aren’t qualified but have no doubts.

3

u/tampa_vice Dec 01 '22

The classic dunning kruger effect.

-4

u/rcktsktz Dec 01 '22

But in the grand scheme of things, feel content and satisfied in yourself that you went with integrity and chose mastery over bullshit. You win in the long run.

5

u/AspireAgain Dec 01 '22

…eventually leading you to report to people less qualified than you who get better paid.

0

u/rcktsktz Dec 01 '22

... Still content that you acted with integrity and true to your values, while they're suffering above you, unequipped to handle the position they got themselves into by taking shortcuts. If it bothers you at that point, assess your options with confidence you took the time to master your craft and have genuine value.

2

u/Immediate-Green-3559 Dec 01 '22

you sound like the type of person that's never even J walked before.

1

u/Icy-Hand3121 Dec 01 '22

People who fail upwards tend to stick around, it's shit but true. They don't "suffer" because they are too out of touch to realise they are stupid or just confident enough that they can pull shit off by sheer luck and blind optimism that it seemingly all works out and they just carry in thinking they are geniuses.

Whilst the qualified guys don't take as much risks as they know the consequences of doing it wrong or just don't want to bodge a job.

1

u/actuallywhydoe Dec 05 '22

Holy shit this guy is a lunatic. You sound deranged.

2

u/Immediate-Green-3559 Dec 01 '22

in the grand scheme of things you make less money and don't go as far because your values are tying you down.

16

u/Land543 Dec 01 '22

I like "bring the body and the mind will follow" better. I think it works enough to give things a chance and really try until you're in a good rhythm. I agree with it though it works for a lot of things.

40

u/MeatNew11 Dec 01 '22

I don’t think you ever fully “make it” when you’re faking it. I used to be very unconfident and shy and I applied the “fake it till you make it” principle and about 8 years later everyone thinks I’m the most confident and outgoing guy in the world but to me it’s still just an act. I don’t actually feel anymore confident or outgoing than I did when I was younger.

10

u/gtd441a Dec 01 '22

Confidence is just knowing you can bounce back from failure. I’m super confident. I am also fully aware that I won’t always be successful. But you can bet I’m going to try again.

8

u/Mechwarrior94 Male Dec 01 '22

If you fake it until you make it, you will never really 'make it' as you have no base line. So very much wrong in my opinion.

11

u/Bryanole27 Dec 01 '22

I think it can be very applicable. I personally experienced this and it paid off big time.

4

u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

It works on minor things only. When it comes to real hard activities, someone faking it becomes annoying.

I am a software engineer with about a decade of experience. Just by looking at few lines of code or a 5 min interaction with someone, it’s easy to tell if they are a newbie.

We have a college graduate who always acts like he knows the stuff. When a work is assigned to him and he has no clue, he will come up to us, use some buzzwords (that he learned from googling or someone else) and tries to get information out of us - “Hey I can think of several design patterns I can use to write this code. I am pretty comfortable with the task. But I wanted to get your opinion as well on what’s the best way to do this”. Everybody finds him annoying.

On the other hand, we have another young guy (with about 6 months of experience), who keeps quiet most of the time and is a straight shooter - “hey this story is assigned to me. I am not sure how to proceed with it. Can you help me?” We all love that guy.

I think before you adopt “fake it till you make it”, it’s best to evaluate whether it works in your environment or not. In my office place, it’s best NOT to fake it. When a new person comes in, we know what he doesn’t know. It’s best to just ask straight away, instead of beating around the bush so that you come across as experienced.

1

u/HiStrangerImMuslim_F Dec 01 '22

This is nice ti hear. Currently trying to learn and my imposter syndrome kicks in and halts my progress. Rn it's been a month since I've done anything (I work but did it after work). Idk what it is, I know I'm hardworking. Sometimes the fake it mentality at least will help with the imposter syndrome episodes I guess.

3

u/Happyhopalong Dec 01 '22

Everyone gets imposter syndrome. Admit mistakes, don't repeat them, and keep moving forward.

1

u/Raise-The-Gates Dec 01 '22

Exactly. I love Neil Gaiman's spiel about imposter syndrome (talking with Neil Armstrong and he felt like an imposter).

Any reasonable person is going to question themselves, especially when placed into a position of power or authority. If you're a good person and care about the people around you, of course you're going to want to do the best you can, which means overthinking, double checking, remembering the times you got things wrong, etc.

You can only be truly confident if you know what pitfalls are out there and how to avoid them, because you've run into them (or seen others do it) before. If you're "confident" without hesitation, then you're Zapp Brannigan.

3

u/FreshKittyPowPow Dec 01 '22

My ex use to fake it because I could never make it.

3

u/Remarkable_Ad3890 Dec 01 '22

Works short term, but you will be fragile and will break, because its fake

3

u/Z3ppelinDude93 Dec 01 '22

It’s a really effective strategy so long as a couple considerations are in place:

  1. Never try this with something where lives are at stake. You can’t “fake it til you make it” with driving, building bridges, or performing brain surgery - get your head out of your ass.

  2. You can’t fake something you know nothing about. A basic working knowledge goes a long way.

  3. You need to be good at faking, which all boils down to confidence. You can fake it till you make it there too, but that’s really fucking hard, especially if you have anxiety, depression, adhd, or any other difficulty controlling your thoughts.

That said, if you walk into most situations confidently, you can get away with quite a bit before you have a problem

5

u/like5or6 Dec 01 '22

I’ve do this a lot in life honestly. With jobs, social situations, and so on. The key to making this work is while you’re faking it, keep your eyes and ears open and learn. Listen to what people say even if they aren’t talking to you, watch how other people act and react, learn what expectations are in place before you don’t meet them, and learn.

Acting like you belong and faking it can get you into a lot of cool jobs, places, and situations but it’s up to you to take advantage of that and learn as much as you can so you can either keep doing that thing or so you can be ready for whatever is next

2

u/WeirdJawn Dec 01 '22

Can't agree more. You can't really make it if you're never putting any thought or effort in while you're faking it. You'll eventually get stuck and then discovered unless you eventually become competent.

2

u/The_PussyWhisperer Male Dec 01 '22

I don’t. I believe in authenticity.

2

u/TheWatch3rZ Dec 01 '22

0%, I thinks is more try it until you make it.

2

u/ZingBaBow Idk What I'm Doing Dec 01 '22

Not at all

2

u/Knute5 Dec 01 '22

There's a huge chasm between "fake" and "make." And considering how few make it, if you're spending your time being inauthentic, you're going to lose your authentic self.

1

u/victoriabowen8 Dec 01 '22

I think it's good advice. We all have doubts about things and if we waited until we were 100% certain we could handle it we would stay stuck in one place forever. I think of it more as believe in yourself and trust that you can make it happen with enough effort and dedication. It applies to relationships, careers, starting a family, going back to school, etc. We're never going to be "ready" for major life changes.

1

u/Mr_Toopins Dec 01 '22

CBT teaches that it is a great way to overcome anxiety problems

1

u/BCdelivery Dec 01 '22

Know how to read the room. I mean that if you can do your homework, you may be able to pull it off, just remember that the Devil is in the details. Flat out lies usually get people into trouble. “Hey I can pack hella parachutes, I’ve done hundreds”

1

u/Luka_Dunks_on_Bums Dec 01 '22

It helps with some things

1

u/gladiator_br Dec 01 '22

Not a big fan

1

u/Sensual_Dominance80 Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Faking anything has risk. Why risk being called out and looking like a complete inept dumbass? Competence is confidence and respectable.

1

u/ninavie Dec 01 '22

It definitely worked for me

1

u/ekimlive Dec 01 '22

I've been at the same job for almost 20 years. I've seen countless waves of folks who have no skill set whatsoever but can make everything they say sound like they know what they are doing. They usually get pretty high up too, really makes me wish I was a better liar.

1

u/nocturnaltumenscence Dec 01 '22

The path of the psychopath is not for the faint, it is however the road to success !

1

u/Dissmass1980 Dec 01 '22

It’s a good start but can’t last if no substance finally follows. I’m going to the gym and I hate it but I’m doing it in the hopes of an internal motivation will start to appear. I’m currently in the ‘fake it’ part. If it begins to be a habit I enjoy I’ll be in the ‘make it’ zone.

1

u/startherecoach Dec 01 '22

A short term crutch if you need to project confidence. Longer term a recipe for unhappiness. Living with authenticity is fundamental for happiness. Ask any closeted person.

1

u/combustablegoeduck Dec 01 '22

It's like 10% for me. Like, fake the small insignificant shit like dressing appropriate for the situation and knowing not to make inappropriate jokes at work, but its noticeable if you're completely full of shit or just way out of your depth.

I heard someone say "act like youve been here before" once and I think thats a pretty synonymous phrase

1

u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

111%

1

u/average_joe_shmo Dec 01 '22

Sometimes this strategy does work, don't get me wrong, but after being in the FinTech profession I can tell you this will not work. You don't want to fake it while working with billions of dollars worth of clients assets. Fake it till you make it with a potential significant other... Yes. Do this. Not a profession that requires knowledge and skills please.

1

u/jfcmfer Dec 01 '22

Depends on how you're using it, entirely. I lost my first wife young, around 28, together since 16, and the grief was debilitating. After a certain point, fake it to make it worked for me. At least, to get me back into being a functional human on Earth. It isn't a catch all to solve all problems though, and everyone is different. Good luck to you!

1

u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

Learn it till you know it

1

u/LogJamminWithTheBros Dec 01 '22

Believe in yourself that you can achieve a goal or outcome you desire. But don't delude yourself into buying into toxic positivity which blinds you to actual issues that need to be handled in a firm and calculated way. Otherwise you become a phony yes man, which jobs love, especially when it helps them keep you trapped.

1

u/huuaaang Male Dec 01 '22

I prefer to constantly push boundaries than just completely fake it.

I don't think you can really make it if you're totally faking it. There has to be some core competence to build off of.

1

u/SlowSwords Dec 01 '22

Attitude is important. I do think a lot of people succeed, or at least get by, based on a genuine feeling that they belong where they are.

1

u/Travis_Varga Male Dec 01 '22

Disagree. Usually there’s a problem with setting bad standards for yourself.

1

u/themontanabrown Dec 01 '22

the best advice in the world when it comes to confidence and how you view yourself and the world. your brain likes what it gets and the more you do something the easier it is to do. if you “fake” or envision yourself happy you’ll become happier over time. if you “fake” confidence you’ll become more confident over time.

1

u/anxiousauditor Dec 01 '22

I’ve never found it to be helpful. It feels phony and fraudulent and doesn’t actually feel any better.

1

u/LifeSenseiBrayan Dec 01 '22

I think about it more like it’s practice than it would be faking it. Faking it sounds more like something you do once vs something you’re actually trying to get to.

1

u/izotropni_radijator Dec 01 '22

I don't care what others think so I don't need to fake anything. Thats my opinion and I stay firm by it. (Did I fake this right hehe)

1

u/Illustrious_Wish_383 Dec 01 '22

I could never fake confidence well because of cognitive dissonance and because I'm not a good actor or liar.

1

u/piranhas32 Dec 01 '22

Works for most things. But don’t do it for anything where the results are life changing on those who depend on you.

1

u/FlameoHotman-_- Dec 01 '22

Depends on the context. But in the corporate world, I've seen idiots rise through the ranks thanks to sheer confidence. So in this case, I'd say being too critical of your own shortcomings is a massive handicap.

1

u/FarComplaint2974 Male Dec 01 '22

Totally. It worked for me

1

u/obligatoryclevername Dec 01 '22

Agree with? It's a thing you have to do sometimes, yes.

1

u/Yurarus1 Dec 01 '22

Agree? I live on this concept.

Zero self confidence? Just act like you do, two months later i feel confident.

1

u/zukatex Dec 01 '22

I prefer fake it until you become it. If you fake confidence you’ll eventually become confident.

1

u/Outnabout3535325 Dec 01 '22

worked well for me in my career. I never felt imposter syndrome because i always had an ample amount of backup to help me learn and grow and mentors etc. so it's easy to grow into the roll and answer questions if you don't have answers. No one will give you crap for saying "You know what, i hate to give you wrong information so let me get back to you on that"

1

u/SmashBusters Dec 01 '22

I think another way to phrase this is "challenge yourself".

High achievers are more likely to suffer from "Imposter Syndrome". For those not familiar, it's a consistent worry that everyone else knows more than you and is better than you at whatever job. You're just a fraud barely scraping by.

This is because high achievers constantly challenge themselves by shooting for majors, jobs, careers, and tasks that they are not certain they are capable of. That's how they achieve. By pushing the envelope.

1

u/SwiftBetrayal Dec 01 '22

Easily done. But you lose yourself being fake.

1

u/Deep-Ad-8869 Dec 01 '22

Personally, I don’t like being a phony, I always detested people who embellished their stations in life!

1

u/jayboy14000 Dec 01 '22

I always said fake it until you become it. You can’t apply this to everything in life. Please don’t get behind the wheel of a car if you weren’t taught to drive or attempt surgery when you didn’t attend med school…but when it comes to little things such as being “happy” or “confident” or “comfortable” you gotta play into it to make yourself feel that way and it helps in a lot of situations

1

u/commercialband6 Dec 01 '22

People like to apply this logic to social situations and I could not disagree more. No amount of fake confidence is going to magically stop your brain from completely blanking when you are trying to respond/approach someone and can’t think of anything to say. Confidence comes from repeated success at a task, and social skills are no different

1

u/Imaginary_Orchid_535 Dec 01 '22

I applied it in case of confidence and it did work for 2 years but now am again that shy girl which I still hate but now the confidence I could fake it is no longer working. Everything is overwhelming that I just shut down everyone until I feel okay. I just want to get my old confident self back.

1

u/Creepy_Landscape6697 Dec 01 '22

I've tried for long and it doesn't work. It works in certain things

1

u/I_am_Relic Dec 01 '22

It worked for me so i guess that im an advocate for it.

1

u/lhine490 Dec 01 '22

I think it works for some things, like confidence. If you don't know how to act confident, just pretend you're an actor, playing the role of a guy who is exactly like you in every way except that he's confident. In time, it will become second nature. Quite literally, fake it til you make it.

Obviously doesn't work at all for a lot of other things that can't be faked.

1

u/Cuauhtemoctzin Dec 01 '22

100 per cent useful, the key is not to bluff just being confident.

1

u/Hulkslam3 Dec 01 '22

You can get away with a lot but it will cost you eventually.

1

u/Timeladyls Dec 01 '22

2

u/hashishshaker Dec 02 '22

not at all. you get caught out pretty quickly.

1

u/SkydivingSquid Dec 01 '22

As an IT, I have made an entire career doing this. Great at management, but not so 'great' at the technical side of my job. Mind you, I have a basic understanding, but I am a FAR better leader/manager than technician. That being said, I will learn anything I need to in order to accomplish something, and network with people to get things done. But yeah.. I am in senior management with very little technical expertise. Though, I will premise that with the fact I was in fact a bonafide SME on a newly launched system and oversaw the implementation of that system globally.. but if I am honest, I could be a lot better on the tech side. It's just been so long since I had to get in the weeds, my knowledge kind of just got rusty.

So, I agree with it. Attitude, a willingness to do what is asked of you, and being reliable for getting things done well and on time is everything. Someone with a good attitude and mediocre knowledge will often promote faster than an expert with a bad attitude.

1

u/Immediate-Green-3559 Dec 01 '22

fake it until you make it is the golden rule to live by honestly. nobody knows shit. even people that you think know shit. it's amazing how much you can bullshit and people will believe.

-salesman

1

u/Call_of_Tculhu Dec 01 '22

Seems to work 100% of the time

1

u/TheInnerMindEye Dec 01 '22

Don't fake it. Make it.

1

u/BloodstainedAxe Dec 01 '22

So you’re telling me I shouldn’t fake a personality that a hiring manager would like to have in their company during my interview until I get hired?

1

u/TheInnerMindEye Dec 01 '22

Nope. Sell your skills not your fake personality

1

u/BloodstainedAxe Dec 01 '22

You do know there’s a lot of people with great skills who didn’t pass their interviews because of their personality?

1

u/TheInnerMindEye Dec 01 '22

As someone with former management experience, that is also the fault of the hiring manager.

1

u/ianj85 Dec 01 '22

You’d be amazed how far you can get on confidence alone.

1

u/Engineer-Daddy Dec 01 '22

Total bullshit concept that only works when your boss or clients are as clueless as you.

1

u/dmbdrummer21 Mid-30s Guy Dec 01 '22

It works for confidence.

Act confident about yourself and eventually you’ll notice people respond to you differently, which boosts your confidence.

1

u/Icy-Hand3121 Dec 01 '22

It depends on how it's used.

I was once working on the air conditioning in a pub, there was an electrician there working on identifying circuits who was trying to fake his charisma and being overly friendly and winking at other trades on site, it was strange and you could tell it was fake as when people weren't responding positively to it he was mumbling insults under his breath and making snide comments when he thought they were out of earshot.

He was "faking it" in a really weird way and then didn't have the self confidence to brush it off when it didn't land.

1

u/HarbaughCantThroat Dec 01 '22

It depends on the situation.

Sometimes you need to fake it for a bit to realize that you're actually capable and qualified.

1

u/JunosGold2 Dec 01 '22

It's worked for me for 41 years and counting!

It's all about the attitude, the smile and the ability to bullshit convincingly.

1

u/mazaccnc Dec 01 '22

I think most people have done this to one extreme or the other. Those people are usually loud and very pushy on what they are doing or trying to sell

1

u/Plantayne Dec 01 '22

Probably worked before social media.

1

u/Sleepy_Little_Fjord Dec 01 '22

Don't fake it. Work at it until it's realized.

1

u/sphincterella Dec 02 '22

It’s a good phrase for the right things. Dressing more like the job you want, speaking more like those you want to fit with, there are lots of ways to push yourself into better places without being a fake fucking idiot

1

u/InteractionUpper3409 Dec 02 '22

only way to make it. challenge yourself and try.

1

u/Outrageous_Net8365 Dec 02 '22

I could never be confident at all without this mentality. It kinda just starts somewhere after experience, and often times the first couple times is hella nerve wracking. So just fake it until you make it. Otherwise I’d never have the confidence to even start