It’s so easy to get caught in a flow of fakes. Society wants us to politely lie and you need to lie sometimes too. Just stop it. Being authentic is the best thing you can do. No need to hide your sorrow, nor your joy. They’re both part of life.
It’s also quite easy to blame it on the society for our own fakes: smiling when we don’t feel like, doing what we don’t want to, or saying what we don’t really believe. Well, it takes more than that to fake our life: it takes our own decision.
Authenticity takes courage, that’s true. Standing out for what you believe in, without hurting others in the process, that’s not an easy task. But it’s much more rewarding in the long run than a numb submission to the easiest path.
Faking your attitude is contagious. At some point, it will infect your entire life. Just stop it. Now.
Faking Your Life Until You Make It – The Lie
It’s been almost folklore for decades now: “fake it till you make it”. Act like you’re already a millionaire. Do what rich people do. Behave like you are already in a fulfilling relationship.
Even if you’re not. Or especially if you’re not.
That’s what we hear for years. That’s one of the most popular self-help approaches ever. That’s also one of the biggest lies in the world.
And the reason for that is the underlying lie. The fact that you’re distancing yourself from the real you. Yes, you don’t like the real you. Yes, you don’t have enough money. Yes, you’re not in a fulfilling relationship now. Yes, your life sucks big time.
But denying all those facts won’t make them disappear. Denial is not the path, denial is the obstruction of the path.
And the path is to accept who you are, exactly as you are. With all the good, bad or ugly that is in you right now. Because it’s only by knowing exactly where you are right now, you will know where you want to get. So, instead of putting on a mask, try to ask some questions first. Start with some simple questions.
Like: why don’t you like yourself? Why don’t you have enough money? Why don’t you have a fulfilling relationship? Yes, I know, you asked those questions thousands of times already. But maybe you didn’t stay with them long enough.
One of the most brilliant minds of the human race, Albert Einstein, once said: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer”. So, underneath the first answer that pops into your mind when you ask all of the above questions, there must be something else. There is an apparent reality and then, beyond that layer, there must be another reality, you just don’t see it yet.
And that layer holds the answer. Most of the time, in the form of another question. Instead of asking: “why do I don’t have money?”, you may soon start to ask different questions, like: “what should I do in order to have more money?”. And the answer to that question will be a lot easier. And then, another string of questions will arise: “now that I know what should I do in order to have more money, let’s see if I can really do them. If not, what do I need? More skills? More training? More discipline? Ok, how do I acquire more skills, or more training or more discipline?”.
The more you stay with those questions, the more you focus on what it really is, the more answers you will get. Maybe you won’t start tomorrow to actually implement everything. Maybe your lack of money will continue for a while. But that’s ok. As long as you keep coming with right questions and as long as you’re patient enough to get all the answers, you’ll start to move in the right direction.
Now, consider the other approach. The one in which you fake who you are (for the sake of the roles society imposes on you, or just because you read somewhere that you have to “fake it till you make it”). What questions are you asking? Perhaps something like: “Am I really faking it right? What should I do in order to fake it more? Perhaps I don’t choose the right model to fake. Or maybe I don’t try hard enough.” As you advance with these questions, you will start to find some answers. Let’s say you find somebody else to fake. Or that you try harder. What will happen? You will get further and further away from you. At some point, you won’t even know who’s life you’re living: it’s your life, or the life of the people you fake? And the crack will grow bigger and bigger and, eventually, some form of physical imbalance will set in. Maybe some form of depression based on your identity problems, or maybe some form of physical illness with no apparent cause, like nausea or vertigo.
And all this because by faking you’re actually invalidating yourself. And why? Because of some promise of a life lived by somebody else, who has no idea what you like, what you want, what makes you feel loved, accepted, supported?
It takes courage to stop faking, I know. It also takes a lot of diplomacy and care. Affirming who you are should be open and straightforward, but should not diminish other people choices or approaches. It’s a subtle, yet powerful balance.
But even striving for that balance, even imagining that some day you will be there, well, even that thought it’s better than sticking to some empty stubs in which you try to fit your life.
And it all starts by telling the truth.
The truth will set you free, they say, and they’re right. They’re also right when they say that first, it will piss you off.