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Firstly, it is plain right exhausting. Let me tell you a bit more about that…
It is generally understood that we all have our strengths and our weaknesses. Beyond identifying behaviours as strengths and weaknesses in people, I think we have subconscious patterns of energy based on our personality types.
What I mean by that is, you as an individual will have certain tasks that give you energy, and certain tasks that you find drain you of all your energy. Imagine this scenario for example…
3 team members go into a meeting with some corporate clients. One is the boss, the company director, the second is the head of sales and third is the head of operations. They spend about an hour chatting away with their clients, presenting ideas and discussing the next steps of their partnership.
When they come out of the meeting, the head of sales is literally beaming ear to ear, on the way back to the office he is so chatty and excited, he’s got such a spring in his step he is almost dancing. This is because he has been in his element, talking and presenting in a group is one of his key strengths, doing this always makes him feel great and gives him energy.
The head of operations by contrast is fairly quiet on the way back, and is thinking in her head ‘that was full on, I am shattered.’ When they get back to the office she makes a coffee immediately and spends the rest of the day doing tasks a bit wearily and slowly; she is drained of energy after the client meeting. She can hear the head of sales in the background making phone call after phone call, like he is on turbo charge.
That’s a real life example by the way, I was the third team member in that story, witnessing the shift in energy of my team.
Due to his inherent personality type, the head of sales gains energy from presenting in front of a group. Due to her inherent personality type the head of ops feel drained after those types of meetings, if she did them every day she would struggle. I wouldn’t see it as a weakness of hers, I would consider that it’s a task that means she isn’t going to be at her best for the rest of the day, and we should be mindful of that so she can perform well in the key parts of her job role.
This is one simple example, but the premise rings true in many other real life examples. If you spend lots of time ‘faking it’, it is ultimately exhausting and not sustainable.
(I should caveat this by saying at the early stage of your career when lots of things are new, you might find it all quite exhausting, until you uncover where your natural “strengths” are, and you carve out a role that “plays more to your strengths”.)
The second reason I don’t agree with the phrase ‘fake it till you make it’, is because it assumes that one day you’re going to suddenly feel like you’ve made it. You might be waiting a long time for that feeling.
Along with notions such as ‘I’ll be happy when….. ‘, or ‘I’ll feel completed when….’ these phrases portray feelings as tangible destinations that you can reach. Feeling happy, feeling like you’ve made it, feeling complete etc, these are all such vague, intangible, perpetual concepts. They are not logical milestones that we all reach. Certain phrases and clichés that are common place in society are not helpful to people as they lead us to believe we can ‘reach’ these places. We can find those feelings only within ourselves, irrespective of the outside world.
So no need to fake it until you make it, because you’ve made it already. You’re here and you’re brilliant, so come out and shine. Don’t spend any longer feeling like you have to fake anything, or pretend to be anything you are not. Be yourself, trust in yourself, actively be kind to yourself, and you will build an inner confidence and authenticity that will have you feeling like you’ve made it regardless of your age or stage.
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