Fake it ’til you make it. That’s what everyone’s doing every day of their lives, but we don’t realize it because we’re so caught up in the myth that “making it” looks a certain way and is a final finish line at which we must arrive.
In that illusion, we compare ourselves (and our struggles) against the ones who don’t appear to have any (all the famous, glamorous, beautiful people of the world!) and then we despair thinking we’re never going to get there. (Wherever “there” is!)
Okay. Take heart. Everyone – and I mean everyone – has along their life’s path faked their way through. Vamped. Punted. Improvised. Made shit up.
I’ve done it innumerable times. From my early days of waiting tables in New York (Having no clue how to even place an order!) to acting Shakespeare (What the hell was iambic pentameter?) to writing (It took me 8 years to write my first book!) to teaching (Aren’t teachers supposed to be like . . . 70?) to directing (Can I please give you a line reading?) to relationships (Still a work in progress!) to . . . well, pretty much everything.
The victory comes – as social researcher and writer Malcolm Gladwell points out – when you keep going and arrive at 10,000+ hours which makes you a bit of an expert at what you do.
That’s 10 years people!
So in that decade there’s going to be some faking! Figuring it out. Falling apart. Putting it together again. Thinking you know and then realizing you don’t.
It’s called learning.
But you can’t arrive at that juncture of becoming a talented actor and confident auditioner, or skilled writer or experienced producer or genius animator if along the way you judge yourself for where you are and decide it’s not good enough, so you pack it all in and move back to Idaho.
Things. Take. Time.
You don’t have to know everything. You just have to try.
You don’t have to have it all together. You just have to be willing.
You don’t have to pretend you’re someone you’re not. You just have to accept yourself for who and where you are.
As you do, you discover that the answers you think are outside yourself are actually all contained within.
But this discovery comes only by your willingness to really be out at sea. Unmoored. Sort of like Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips or Robert Redford in All is Lost or Sandra Bullock in Gravity. (Wow, there seem to be a lot of films this year where the protagonists are literally and figuratively afloat!)
Well why is that? Because along the way to becoming anchored – when you’re feeling anything but . . . there’s going to be a high level of “faking it” and figuring it out as you go along.
It’s because of that that you eventually get there.
So fake it and you will make it.