“Just fake it until you make it!”

Recently on my LinkedIn I touched upon confidence and how deceptive confidence is, and the last couple of weeks have only further developed my confusion.

Sometimes, it feels like our brains undermine our capabilities.

Why do we second guess ourselves? Underestimating helps no one, and it certainly doesn’t help ourselves.

Perhaps it stems from my anxiety (and with mental health day having been last weekend, this had me thinking about this more), but equally it seems to be such a common trait in the everyday person to experience self doubt on some level most days.

After asking google, it appears that self doubt stems from insecurity and lacking self confidence in our own choices.

But a lot of the time, in real life situations, our confidence shouldn’t even be considered. If we are skilled at something, why would we second guess that we aren’t?

I recently have had a few driving lessons to install some confidence in my driving abilities, with guidance I have become a better driver admittedly, but all the same my main problem was that I didn’t believe that I could do drives that I deemed difficult.

Practice has of course helped, but essentially the practice is just me proving to myself that I can do it before I can believe it — if I had just faked confidence from the get go and been blasé, I probably would’ve progressed much sooner.

Ultimatley, I always could do these difficult drives, I just had to build it up to prove it to myself.

I do understand that with practice less mistakes will be made and particularly with driving; I will continually be smoothing things out and becoming a more experienced driver* …. But, what I mean is that with practical skills, we can always do it, it’s just something in our brain telling us we can’t or inflicting doubt.

So what about the aphorism; “fake it till you make it”?

The premise of this actually follows a form of cognitive behavioural therapy, it stimulates the idea that if you mimic confidence, then you will actually become more confident.

Cognitive experts at Cognitive today have concluded “It really works. You can fake it till you make it.”

They have said; “The faking became automatic and natural, there was a desired outcome from faking, faking actions led to success, confirmed learning

This ‘confirmed learning’ reinforces this idea that I discussed with my driving; that it’s like proving and showing ourselves that we can do it, which then leads us to continue to do it.

Funny thing confidence: It’s not fact, it’s utterly subjective and deceptive. However, we can deceive it back and indeed “fake it till we make it”

Next time you have some doubt, put it to the test and see how much better you feel afterwards.

If I’ve learnt anything, it’s to have some faith, and just give it a go — forget how unconfident you feel as confidence makes no sense!

*just to note as a disclaimer; I have passed my driving test and can legally drive and I DO NOT encourage you to drive anything you aren’t legally allowed to, or do anything you aren’t comfortable with doing.