Fake It 'Til You Make It?

You change careers. You do a total 180 to leave a career that was once exciting, but started feeling like something was missing. You did some internal digging and decided to take a risk and pursue a career in a new industry and function that ignites your passion and plays to your strengths!

You walk into your first meeting - you're excited, but it's scary to walk into a room knowing you are the rookie. You want to look competent and intelligent. You're used to being an expert at what you do - you would give advice, not be the one asking for it. It's tempting in this situation to say, "I'm going to pretend like I understand exactly what the group is talking about, otherwise people view me as incompetent," in other words, "fake it 'til I make it."


It's imposter syndrome (AKA fear) talking, only a figment of your imagination and listening to it can limit your potential, by hiding your most important asset, YOU. You prevent yourself from being known and seen by others, which ultimately limits your ability to find or create opportunities that are made for YOU. People also question whether they can trust you because their intuition senses your lack of transparency. 

"Faking it" disconnects you from your own intuition, your compass that keeps you in alignment with your wants and needs. It can cause you to "people please," just for the sake of looking competent. You can become the person you think others want you to be instead of your unique, beautiful self. You can end up burnt out, lost and lacking authentic human connection (something we all need in order to not only thrive, but survive).

Clearly, I'm not a fan of "fake-ness." So here are some reminders I tell myself in order to quiet that fear, get vulnerable and ultimately lead with confidence and passion:

  1. You are in that meeting for a reason. Someone invited you because they see your strengths, intelligence, your passion, and your ability to think outside the box. Now you just need to sit tight, listen, participate where you can, and have faith that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
  2. You can enter a room with confidence and conviction, even on your first day of a completely new job. But you have to accept and have compassion for YOU, just as you are today. You are your own superpower. 
  3. You had the guts to make a huge change to pursue a new opportunity you're passionate about - most people don't even attempt, take that knowledge with you in the room and own it! It's damn hard to do!
  4. The more questions you ask, the faster you get up to speed and become the expert you want to be.
  5. There is no such thing as failure, only bumps in the road to learn from. In the moment, it will still feel awful, but time will heal the wound. Let it go.
  6. Professional skills, especially the interpersonal ones (sometimes the most critical) are transferable across industries and functions. Starting a totally new job does not make you equal to someone starting their first job.
  7. You're probably the type of person who learns quickly when you're super curious about something. You'll be amazed at how quickly you get up to speed, if you silence the negative self-talk. 
  8. When you accept that you're new and you come from a place of curiosity and passion (not a place of, I just want a paycheck), people automatically want to help you. Everyone was new at some point in time.
  9. You will always encounter the egotistical asshole, no matter if you start your own business or are working for a company. The faster you brush off anything he/she says and remind yourself of #s 1 and 2, the further you will go! Don't let that stuff get under your skin. 

Are you sick of "faking it" and just want to be the best version of you in your career? Schedule a complimentary clarity session with me to discuss how you can get there. xoxox

Liz Traines1 Comment