Here I am back with part 3 of “How to Own the New Year”! Parts 1 and 2 focused on investing in yourself and networking and if you haven’t read them yet please go check them out! Lots of us set goals or resolutions for the new year and they end up being forgotten or abandoned by spring. This 5-part article is not about what goals to set, but rather, what techniques you can implement to make sure they are fulfilled.
3. Fake it Until You Make it
One of the biggest reasons we set goals for ourselves and then never complete them is that we don’t really think we are capable of achieving them in the first place. At least, that’s how it used to be for me. I would set a goal because it sounded great, but then just as I started to work toward it I would see all of these people around me who had already achieved it and convince myself that I just wasn’t capable. These people who had already mastered the goal I was going for seemed to have all these qualities and traits that I did not. And they had so much confidence!
The problem with this kind of thinking is that it gets you nowhere. Telling yourself that you aren’t capable of something is not going to solve the problem. In fact, negativity has never solved any sort of problem. It’s a waste of your time and it is seriously detrimental to your mental health. Unfortunately, when you’ve been stuck in this rut of negative thinking for a decade or more, to simply stop doing it, is a lot easier said than done. This is where “faking it until you make it” comes in.
Chances are, you’ve heard the term “fake it until you make it” before reading this article. You may have even heard it from people who are very successful. So why is everyone telling you to fake it? Because 90% of the time, your lack of confidence in yourself is completely unfounded. This, in part, comes from comparing yourself to others. And there are two problems with this. The first being, you have no real idea of what is going on in that person’s head. They may seem like they have it all together, but they could be faking it too! The second problem is that even if that person isn’t faking it, and they really do have it all together, it is completely irrelevant to you. Just because one person is good at something does not mean that you can no longer be good at that thing as well. So I have a challenge for you this month. Start paying attention to that negative voice in your head. When you find that you’re comparing yourself to others, rather than thinking “I will never be like that”, break down what it is that they are doing which makes them seem so confident. Are they smiling and nodding a lot? Are they making a lot of eye contact? Are they offering their opinion and engaging in the conversation? Write these things down and then start doing them yourself. Even if you feel uncomfortable holding eye contact or you think your opinion isn’t valid, do it anyway! That’s why it’s called faking it! After doing this for a month, even if you still feel like you’re faking it, it will become more natural, and eventually, you’ll realize you are completely capable and that the confidence you’re exuding is well deserved.
I hope that if steps 1 and 2, Investing in Yourself and Networking, seemed a little daunting before, step 3 has given you the boost of confidence to try them out anyway. Or at least that it has given you the ability to pretend like you’re confident enough! Remember that to be successful not just this year but in life, you need to focus on yourself and know what you’re best at, not the people around you. Please share this article if it’s been helpful to you as I think many of us can use this to our advantage in the new year. Also, keep and eye out for tip 4 tomorrow!