Thursday, 6 February 2014

Fake it 'til you make it?

I'm quite a shy person when it comes to talking to new people. If I'm surrounded by others, then I won't be. It's a strange thing, but I seem to be more confident with people than on my own.  Maybe they're a kind of support for me? I don't know. But one thing I do hear often is the phrase - 'Fake it 'til you make it'. And I've struggled to understand it. If you're already shy, how are you able to 'fake it' in the first place?

If I have to have a one to one meeting with a teacher or something, I automatically feel nervous about it. No matter what it is. In the past, they haven't gone well (with me ending up crying) so maybe I'm haunted by the past. But anyway, yesterday, I had to talk to my vice-principle about something and before going in I had 'fake it 'til you make it' circling in my head. I walked in. Sat down. And fought for what I wanted. I came out and my face was bright red, but at least I didn't cry. Maybe it was because the man I was talking to was really patronising and I felt that I had to show him that I can speak up for myself. Or maybe I did in fact....fake it. Either way, I got the outcome I wanted.

But in the past I've pondered on this phenomenon. It doesn't make sense to me that someone who is naturally shy would be able to fake it. I have some sassy friends who repeat that phrase to me but ever since I've known them, they've always been confident - they couldn't have been faking it when they were eight...could they? I feel so much admiration for them, because to me, being sassy with teachers is hard, but they get their way. I'm confident at home, with my friends, outside of school. But there's something about college/school that makes me quieter.

College is a place, for me, where I go in, get the stuff done and leave. I work hard and in return, I don't want it to stress me out - even though it of course will. I don't want to be embarrassed by getting a question wrong and I don't want to annoy teachers by pestering them about stupid little things. However, this year, I've started doing those things. Every Friday I go and pester my tutor to ask if I have to go to tutorial that day and even if the outcome isn't what I wanted, I'm pleased I did it. I still rarely ask teachers for help but I do have a rapport with them, which is hard in a class of thirty.

What I guess I'm trying to say is that, I don't think I'm 'faking it', I think I'm growing up. Talking to grown ups gets easier once you get older and I seem to have only realised that after my meeting yesterday. I'm actually so proud of myself. My 15 year old self would have given in but here I am, two years on and I now have less stress to deal with. I don't think I'm going to suddenly become really confident in classes but I'll get there in the end. It turns out instead of faking it, I have to wait to make it.


  1. i always took the saying as going head first into something and for a second just trying to forget all your fears and making it seem like you are more confident then u really are. i can only do this sonetimes. like you i am a naturally shy person as of now im in a room full of my pears to scared to talk to any of them in fear of causing an awkward situation ehhh... but when im.not at school im more outgoing.. i dunno anymore. really liked this ppst btw. maybe il become more social in college..

  2. Interesting piece!

  3. i enjoyed reading this!

    i also know this phrase, and i think that if you tell yourself again and again that you can do something - and therefore kind of 'play a role' -, it will be normal for you to act that way someday. a few people a know have tried to handle situations like this; it isn't easy but does help sometimes.
    if you're happier after you've done something you are in actual fact afraid of it has definitely helped :)

    Lost in my mind


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