Are You Faking It Thinking You Are Going to Make It?

faking it to make it Faking it. We all have done it in different degrees. It could be in the bedroom, talking to someone pretending to be listening or even liking them, or even when someone approaches us remembering us and we are at a loss as to who they are. We give the sure, sure or some sort of reassurance that we do actually remember them (as we walk away thinking who on earth is this person?) It happens, and sometimes pretending to know is a whole lot easier than disappointing by telling the truth that we do not know. I am not saying it is right or wrong, it is just something we do.

Our actions in these types of situations are generally based upon the actions of others as if someone approaches us with such an excitement or knowledge of a previous meeting, we do not want to let them down by telling them that we do not remember them as it is telling them that they were not important enough or did not make enough an impact to be remembered. Harsh, yes, reality, yes. If we are approached a bit more passively and questioned if we remember them, the door is opened for us to be honest and say, “refresh my memory.” This is generally my approach as I guess I am not that verbose to think that people would remember me in a short interaction.

Faking It Thinking We Will Make It

Faking it thinking we are going to make it is a dead end. No other way to describe it. There are a myriad of ways we can fake it until it catches up. In social media we are almost being enabled to fake it. We can create a profile that is telling what we think people want to know and almost create a character of who we believe we want people to think we are. Sounds foolish but yet we see it. The haters who come out time and time again and wonder how are they filled with so much hate for everything that everyone writes? I suppose some live like that but for others they are faking it to make it as the person who hates. They build that reputation on hating. We can think of them in our mind as reading this. While some do make it for a while as the hater, in time they become ignored. Why? Well for one people do not like being around those that are constantly negative and also who wants to join the bandwagon of hating?

The over the top nice folks who seem to never complain, are always around as that bright bit of sunshine, we like them to a point. In the beginning they are great but after a while, we have to wonder. What are they really all about? No one is this happy all the time or even around that much. We start to question ourselves and in a way better ourselves by being around more and being more positive through commenting more on blogs, being more active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The competitive part of us comes out. They share our small triumphs and are always there to lend a hand in how we can improve. When we are perceived to be better they are no where to be found.

The Backlash of Faking It

The backlash of faking it enormous. They feel it. They try and recover from it or when we find a faker, we feel a bit betrayed. We question if we are that person. Sometimes we are and that hard reality is very difficult to swallow. Their supporters fade away like the the leaves falling off their branches in New Hampshire after the first few signs of frost. At first the leaves change as do supporters and then community members when they fall as fast as the trees are bare and the faking it is apparent. When we fall off the tree like the leaves we are wondering almost what we did wrong when all along they were faking it to be someone that used us to make it. Sad but powerful. We all want to make it, we all want that success but on different levels. For some the fame and the numbers matter regardless if the audience is buyers or lookers, for others the buyers matter. The fakers are building and getting the attention and we know when hear enough about someone or a product, we are compelled to look. Positive or negative, we are compelled. If positive, we have to be a part of it, if negative, we have to be sure that we are better than them. We have to be a part of it.

How We Make it

We make it by being great. Simple, yes, realistic … not always. We can be a great writer but a horrible conversationalist. We can be a long winded conversationalist but one that provokes thoughts. We make it by being great though. We all have flaws but in our chosen field when we are consistent, knowledgeable and talk the way we always talk, we make it. The talk the way we always talk is so important. This is where we see a lot of the fakers come to life. Are people professing that they give more to the community but yet we see them absent when a member of their community excels? Those that are great share the happiness and work harder to have the happiness.

We all talk in a certain way and this is not accents. We use certain words, phrases and when we go outside of them we struggle to continue to do so. The biggest and the best, are not only showing us their best in writing, product, brand but also how they talk. Ok this can be a bit disputed as we know that the celebrities endorsing a product have a script written for them and every ad we see is written but if the person cannot pull it off, we do not believe it. The writers have to know the person and the brand. So similar to blogging isn’t it? Bloggers use their words but those words have to be consistent with the brand and the person writing it.

Why We Get Big

We get big from what is discussed above. But what happens when we struggle with being big and great? Do they coincide? In the beginning yes but then the harsh reality sets in that we need to be great before we get big. This is in every aspect of business. If a product is launched and it does amazing but customer service is lacking, then the sales will be compromised. Does this constitute a faker? No  but really no? Did they forget this part? So are they faking it by overlooking a big part of the business?  What about in blogging? Do we get big before we are great?

Margie Clayman wrote a fabulous post with sensational comments on Problogger.net about being great or big and how this relates to blogging. But this discussion is not limited to blogging. If we are a company selling anything we have to be great before we are big. We cannot build brand loyalty or even engender the trust without being great. I may be wrong but then I look at very successful brands, large and small that were great and through the greatness became big. They have one thing in common, they did not fake it. Now albeit this is coming on the heels of the Taco Bell scandal but also the revolt against government in Egypt. Two totally different spectrums but we can see how when something is lacking, the greatness is lost and the supporters are gone as the brand was faking it with being something it was not.

Are you trying to make it by faking it or are you climbing the ladder by trying to be great?

photo credit: Zawezome

  • I always believed in the old saying that lies have short legs. I believe that, especially in this modern age, faking something can be devastating results.
    Even though sometimes it may seem the shorter way to achieve success, the dangers are just too great to make it a viable approach.

    • Gabriele

      oh yes they do. Fakers/liars always trip themselves up. It is the shortcut but in the long run taking the shortcut sometimes is more damaging than meets the eye. It goes back to doing the work to get noticed. That is the route that I like to take, as do you!

  • Lmhundley

    S&G “Bookends” 1968, track 8.

  • Boy there is so much meat here it’s hard to know what to grab on to first!

    First of all, let me just say I’m honored you took the nugget of the idea from my post and ran with it. Nothing is more flattering to a blogger, and it’s still a new experience for me 🙂

    A lot of people say that when you are depressed, you should make yourself smile. Even if you are about to cry, stretch out that mouth, show some teeth, and smile. They are convinced that doing this will actually make you happier.

    Color me skeptical, but sometimes, anything seems worth a shot.

    There are so many layers of potential “faking it” in Social Media that it’s hard to tackle one facet and say, “Don’t be like xyz person.” The most common thing is to fake being an expert in your field. The problem with this scenario is that you’re not just faking out yourself. You’re faking out a lot of people who are turning to you for really important advice. It’s a huge responsibility to actually be an expert in this space, and I think that’s the chunk a lot of people miss. They see the thousands of followers and the huge blog and think, “Oh, I want that.”

    You can tell a faker pretty well by digging a little deeper. A true being is like a duck – they look like they’re moving steadily onwards, but under the water their little feet are paddling like mad. A faker won’t have the feet going under the surface, and as a result, they will find themselves floating adrift once the tides get going.

    Well, enough water and waterfowl analogies for one day – But that’s what you do to me. You make me write of ducks.

    Thanks for this post 🙂

    • the yes, I want that is such a driver for the faking it. We see the big numbers, the popularity and something goes off inside us to stop at nothing to get there – not realizing what getting there really entails and means. Expert in social media is hard for me to swallow. How can you be an expert in something that continues to grow and evolve? I can see a heart surgeon being an expert in his field as the heart is not changing.

      A faker is not always that apparent in the beginning. But yes by digging deeper and finding out more does give a lot of insight. They run out of steam as sure they are nice and show so much support and then they go in with themselves over and over and what you can do for them, We cannot expect that everyone that we support will return the favor, it is not what it is all about. We all have an agenda when we are engaging. Some want to build their brand and for lead gen, others are just wanting to build a community. The others who just want to send out their message and try to use you to do so, fakers.

      The ducks will be in the ponds again .. when the go back to a liquid (solids do work for ducks).

    • The great Dale Carnegie once said, “Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.” It really does work. Sure, we all have bad days, but the right attitude can help you approach things with a better perspective which will lead to better outcomes. 🙂

  • I like Gabriele’s statement “Lies have short legs” In this age of technology your faking it could be on the “youtubr tomorrw.

    • Gloria

      So true. People want to be the influencers, the ones that people are always talking about and hold in high regard. It takes work to get there. There are not many shortcuts.

  • I might have to disagree with you a bit on this one. I can attest to my own experience. I grew up one of those kids that really struggled with confidence. This went on for a long time and ended up holding me back from some great opportunities.

    Then I hit grad school where I was blessed to meet a wonderful mentor, Martha Felt (you remind me a bit of her). Martha said it like it was and was the first person that helped me tackle this issue. After several blunt discussions, I realized that I had to do something. Wanna know what worked?

    Faking it – I literally had to trick myself into using my lack of confidence as a crutch. I had to keep putting myself into awkward situations and then faked like I was confident. This worked for leadership opportunities, team projects, public speaking, and so much more.

    I always had the ability to do great thing, but I had to learn to trust myself. Faking it did the trick.

    • Jason

      I see you more as role playing than faking it. While on the surface it may seem like you faked it but behaviorally, you created a character that was not too far from who you were – better said it was the person you wanted to be. You could not grow within and have the confidence unless you created this character. That is not faking it. That was more role playing. Now characters are fictitious but not fakers (not even soap operas!). Your character was you confident.

      See the difference?

      • I do see the difference. I guess we are talking about two different things after all. It is subtle, but you definitely are right. There is a major difference between faking it and having the ability versus faking and not being able to deliver.

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