Why is it that nearly every post I come across these days asking women to Lean In, convey confidence and make it (in a man’s world) includes advice to Fake It?
That’s some of the worst advice ever.
It’s time to stop faking it.
Why would so many other women continue to advise us to ”fake it” in order to convey confidence? I know this: their hearts are in the right place. They truly want us to find our inner confidence. (And perhaps, deep down, they want to stop faking it and to truly access their own as well).
I’m sad that so many of us still think that the only way to get there is to fake it. I’m sad that people can’t see that placing the words “fake” and “confidence” side by side in itself creates dissonance. Perhaps the movie The Wizard of Oz conveyed this best:
You already have the ruby slippers – all you have to do is to realize that and learn how to use them.
There’s no reason to fake it. You are enough. Know that, and continue to reinforce this by sending positive messages to yourself (and other women) and your confidence will emerge.
In fact, in reality, its time for everyone (men, women and children) to stop faking it.
So, if we’re not faking it, how do we get there when we’re not already feeling it?
Let’s clear something up … Confidence that’s “built from the Outside In” is not synonymous with faking it.
There is a link between posture and confidence. The communication between the shape of our bodies and our feelings is a two way street. If we feel down, our bodies will shift to express that. Similarly, if we shift our bodies into a confident posture, we will feel more alive, creative and confident. And that doesn’t mean we’re faking anything.
Something that’s “Inside Out” involves feeling something first and then taking action, moving the body, speaking, etc. The outside expression is influenced by the inner life.
Something that’s “Outside In” involves doing something with our bodies first and then allowing our emotional life to follow the body’s shape. The inner life is influenced by the outer expression.
So, from this point forward replace “fake it” with “embody confidence.” Embody your most confident self by putting your body in that shape, and then fill that shape energetically and emotionally. As you do, keep in mind that “filling it” is more a matter of allowing than forcing (or faking).
Do this in earnest for a week and notice how this simple re-frame changes things for you.