Why Faking It Can be Soul-destroying

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How often have you heard, ‘Fake it till you make it’? It’s recommended behaviour. We’re supposed to pretend until we are the real thing.

I recently was at a conference and listened to a motivational speaker. He told people how happy he was, how successful he was. He boasted of his Porsche, his million dollar mansion, and hauled his young, blond wife on stage to show her off as one of his trophies. The audience was ecstatic. All except me, that is.

Because my teeth were on edge and all I could think of was, “Fake, fake, fake!” I could see the whole thing for what it was: a class act. It wasn’t real. This was not a happy man, not a kind man. I could feel that deep down he was troubled, angry, and deceitful.

What about caring for others? Is it acceptable to fake kindness, or love?

Seth Godin, a well-known blogger suggests that ‘pretending you care’ is an acceptable alternative to showing that you don’t. Is it really?

He goes on to say: If people start out pretending to care, next thing you know, they actually do care. They like the positive feedback and they like the way being kind makes them feel. It spreads. It sticks.

That’s the theory of  ‘fake it ‘til you make it’: at first you pretend, and then it turns into the real thing.
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Putting on a happy face
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The Huffington Post recently interviewed social psychologist Fred B. Bryant:

Putting on a happy face–even if you don’t feel like it–actually induces greater happiness, says Bryant. So be exuberant. Don’t just eat the best peach of the season–luxuriate in every lip-smacking mouthful. Laugh aloud at the movies. Smile at yourself in the mirror.

I’m sure we’ve all met people like that. You ask them, “How are you?” and they bare their teeth in a fake smile and say, “I’m fine!”

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Affirmations

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Have you ever tried affirmations? They’re another way of ‘faking it ‘til you make it’.  People trying to slim down, look in the mirror and say to themselves, ‘I’m slim and beautiful!’, even though they can see the bulges and sags. We are lying to ourselves and there is a wise part within that knows a lie when it hears one.

We are trying to brainwash ourselves.

(Having said that, there are ways of using affirmations that don’t go down the road of ‘fake it ‘til you make it’. That’s if we focus on the inner knowledge that we have everything that we need for success.)

Dr Annie Kaszina  states:

Before very long, “faking it” has created a new, authentic experience of your desired state.

Does faking it create an ‘authentic’ experience?

Does pretending to be kind lead to kindness?

Does pretending to be happy lead to happiness?

Does pretending to care lead to love?

Let’s be clear about ‘faking it ‘til you make it’:

Faking is lying

My question is:

What happens to your soul in the process?

We lose integrity. Integrity means that and ‘inside’ and  ‘outside’ is congruent. We instinctively trust people of integrity. Because we know in our heart of hearts that they are not faking it. That they are worthy of our trust.

Don’t bother to try and be the best fake you can be.

Focus on authentic experience and leave faking to the con artists.

Be real.

What do you think about ‘fake it ’til you make it’?

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1 Cindy September 23, 2008 at 1:42 am

I used to subscribe to this way of thinking. Faking it could get me the job at an upscale design company, but I soon realized it couldn’t carry me through. While I knew I had the talent, eventually my lack of self esteem, and anxiety caught up with me. I was let go “due to lagging store sales, and since I was the last one hired….” In effect, I had sabotaged myself, and wound up feeling worse about myself than before. I saw myself as a failure. It was a very difficult time for me. Now, after 3 years of therapy, I realize I did not have a sense of self. Faking it was a defense mechanism. I still have periods of insecurity, and anxiety, but I’ve learned how to cope with them, and love myself, as I am now, and as I was then. It’s been an incredible journey!
As for affirmations- I think they can be helpful, as long as you don’t lose site of reality, like you said, using them to fake it. One I like to say to myself is “I am a happy, healthy, well adjusted woman”. That’s not to say I’m perfect, but after going thru life thinking of myself in negative terms, it’s more of a reminder that I am not those negative things.
Instead of putting on a happy face, and pretending everything is ok, therapy has taught me the value in “half-smiling”. To quote Thich Nhat Hanh “Sometimes your Joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your Joy”
The part about faking kindness is interesting. I tend to be a compassionate person by nature (with boundaries),so I’ve never given it much thought. There are times I just want to say “Oh please! Get over yourself” (gee, where have I heard that before?) Instead, I listen, and I do just what’s needed in that moment…. I think in faking kindness, you can sometimes get more than you bargained for, and you’re not helping yourself, or the other person.
I think what it boils down to is not going to extremes. Finding the middle ground, knowing, and accepting who you are, being mindful, and true to yourself.
Thanks for this post, it made me smile, and gave me a lot to think about!

2 Mary Jaksch September 23, 2008 at 3:03 am

Hi Cindy!
Thank you for a lovely comment! I loved reading your story of how you have gradually come to value yourself as you are.

That quote by Thich Nhat Hanh is very interesting -“Sometimes your Joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your Joy” It’s true, our body can initiate a mood-change. I think there is a big difference between initiating a mood-change with intention, and pretending a have a certain mood. What do you think?

Actually, the body never lies. It always tells it straight. Here’s an example: My ex-husband Uwe and I once made a video for his parents a month after we had emigrated to New Zealand. All our great plans had collapsed in a snivelling heap and we were very homesick. But we didn’t want to let on. So, in this video we are on the beach. We both look deeply unhappy. But we are wearing strained smiles, saying, “We love it here! It’s so wonderful and we know that we made a good decision!” It’s quite a funny video really because the opposite is quite apparent: we’re so obviously depressed! The only real moment in the video is when our son Sebastian, then 2 years old, crows with delight while playing in the sand! :-)

3 John Hollandsworth September 23, 2008 at 4:20 am

Mary,
thanks for swimming upstream on this one!

I think your perspective is wise & honest. I think experience shows that sometimes by discipline we have to choose to be loving even when our emotions are temporarily low, but this blatant & pervasive mind & soul hypocrisy which is so in vogue now is just as you say, soul-destroying.

Affirmations which remind me of a truth about myself which I haven’t fully internalized & embraced are very helpful– an affirmation which is just wishful thinking is just silly.

Have a great day,
John

4 Holly Hoffman September 23, 2008 at 4:20 am

As a recovering alcoholic, “fake it till you make it” is one of my go-to slogans. When I didn’t have any faith in something larger than myself, I faked it. The idea was that if I could just crack the door, it was a start. I was scared to death and I didn’t think everything was going to be OK. But acting like it was gave me the time I needed to let the fog clear out. Sometimes that’s all we need – a little time. “Faking it” can be taken too far. In my program, I’m sure they would be worried if I was still faking it 18 months later. The idea, of course, is that you make it.

Holly Hoffmans last blog post..A schedule monger no longer

5 Mary Jaksch September 23, 2008 at 4:58 am

Hi John!
I hadn’t thought of this post as ‘swimming upstream’ but I think you’re right.

There are so many articles out there that tell us how to achieve ‘instant charisma’ or other faked “transformations”!

As you’ve gathered, I’m not a fan of such bullsh..
:-)

6 Mary Jaksch September 23, 2008 at 5:05 am

Hi Holly!
Thank you for sharing your journey of recovery with us. Your post made me thing that there are times when faking can be useful, especially at times when we are afraid.

It’s wonderful that you’ve tackled your addiction and are already 18 months in recovery!

7 KatFrench September 23, 2008 at 5:20 am

I agree. Deception is destructive, whether it’s simply attempting to deceive others, or self-deception.

As Cindy points out, “faking it” can help you get that job: can it help you deal with the nagging belief that you don’t deserve it, and that you’re going to get found out? Nope. I dealt with that very fear for a long time when I was younger.

That said, obviously you shouldn’t just surrender to your ugly side. Digging deeper and finding some small piece of genuine kindness, empathy, gratitude and satisfaction is not faking it. It’s refocusing your attention onto something that genuinely is there.

KatFrenchs last blog post..The Interactive Family Album Series: Capzles

8 SpaceAgeSage September 23, 2008 at 6:21 am

In many ways, I agree with Cindy. Inside us are many parts that have been programmed — “I’m too stupid to figure out social media,” “My work is more important than my family right now,” and “I will never succeed.” Certain “reprogramming” needs to happen before those lies are faced and we accept reality. For some, affirmations help change the lies; for others, the mask of “I’m fine” is a coping mechanism that helps them deal with the now. (However, the price of saying “I’m fine” for a lifetime led to stroke for my mom and one of my brothers.) And yet, being authentic comes with a high price some are not ready to pay. How many of us want to throw up out of fear when giving a speech, but we fake our way through it anyway? Our society craves authenticity online, but when we meet face-to-face, authenticity can be too much to handle.

SpaceAgeSages last blog post..Can wisdom contradict itself?

9 Mary Jaksch September 23, 2008 at 6:59 am

Hi KatFrench!
You’ve reminded us of something precious: “Digging deeper and finding some small piece of genuine kindness, empathy, gratitude and satisfaction is not faking it.” Thank you!

10 Mary Jaksch September 23, 2008 at 7:20 am

Hi SpaceAgeSage!
Yes, there is a price to pay for authenticity. I think that’s why quite a few people on the net hide behind a pen-name without revealing the real person behind it. I was so happy to go your blog and find your real name, Lori!

Your mention of stage fright was interesting. It reminded me of the time when I was a professional flautist and had to learn to deal with performance anxiety.

What I learned was that if I tried to push the fear away and say to myself, “I’m fine! I’m fine!” it didn’t get better, it got worse.

It was only when I reframed the fear and said, “I’m keyed up!” that I would feel better and could make use of my nervousness. It was like I was both honouring my fear, as well as explaining it to myself – that helped.

11 Jonathan Mead September 23, 2008 at 9:30 am

You’re totally on a roll Mary. I think instead of faking it till you make it, you should just do something to actually feel the way you want to feel.

Do you feel guilty about eating 40 cupcakes a week? Want to stop feeling guilty? Eat a carrot! =)

12 PeaceLoveJoyBliss September 23, 2008 at 9:45 am

Hi Mary, there’s a school of thought that encourages you to say, “I am a fake”, as a way to own the shadow of all that you would embrace as light and positive. By doing so, you’re at choice about what you can and cannot be, have, do, or become. By doing so, you’re at choice about when to be fake, if or when that serves you. Please discuss.

Sin-seriously,
Christopher

13 CG Walters September 23, 2008 at 10:02 am

I think the difference, Mary, is whether one is making a point to (let’s say) be kind to appear to be kind (for personal profit) or making a point to be kind because they believe it is the right thing to do. It’s the intention that matters.
In the first case, no value is given to the spirit, for the act was for greed. In the second scenario–no that might ‘stick’–because their spirit shows their true nature of kindness, by carrying out the act even though the ego self was not quite in the mood to do so.
Wonderful discussion. Thank you.
blessings and wonder,
CG

CG Walterss last blog post..CelebraZine: 20 Sept 08

14 sambit September 23, 2008 at 10:39 am

I think there is a difference between faking and cheating. Faking is essentially a defensive act to overcome a temporary problem. Many in the animal kingdom fake colour, size etc to escape from immediate danger. In that sense I believe it is acceptable. But cheating is a subtle act of aggression.You tend to do it to benefit you by inflicting loss on others. It can not be acceptable. When you are with yourself and trying on something personal even when it looks like faking to the outside you know that you are merely diluting the real problem to gather courage to face it some other time when you are better prepared. You are merely protecting yourself from ridicule which may harm your confidence. In that sense it is a defensive action and no harm done to anybody. As to faking kindness, it is better than hurting others. Even when some body is physically handicapped does he like to be referred to as lame or blind. Is it not better to call him physically challenged ? Will not the first act be rude and unkind ? I think god has given us all a head to analyze each situation separately and respond to it. There can not be computer like answers to life’s questions.

15 Tomas September 23, 2008 at 11:28 am

Oh, I agree that you’re swimming upstream with this one, and thank goodness for that! It’s just so refreshing to see someone actually pointing out that the emperor has no clothes…

When you call “faking it” into question, I think it’s clear that you’re not recommending we become brutally honest with whoever crosses our path, nor that we become thoughtless or rude. Rather, I think it has much more to do with authenticity, sincerity and spontaneity. Yang compassion! :)

“Faking it” is really cheating ourselves, if not others as well. It is keeping ourselves from ever really coming into contact with what’s real in us, from having to deal with things that would really require us to look deeper, to work harder, to really stop and take a good look at ourselves and at our lives… And how we like to come up with excuses for not doing that!

Best wishes,
Gassho,
Tomas

16 Kelly@SHE-POWER September 23, 2008 at 11:43 am

I’ve sat here for a few minutes now trying to come up with my answer to this question, but it’s really really hard. I used to fake my whole life. I was so busy pretending I had everything under control and knew everything and was SO happy and positive ALL THE TIME I got to the my 30s with no real sense of how I inherently felt about ANYTHING. I was as un-authentic as you can get.

Now being myself and real is extremely important to me because I don’t think you can be happy when you’re behaviour is not in line with your real feelings. If you are scared and/or negative about something, I now believe it is better to acknowledge that and move forward from a place of truth.

But sometimes I wonder if I take authentic too far. I am very honest and some people find this upsetting and think I’m being confrontational when I’m not. I don’t mean being rude under the guise of honesty (ie. your butt really looks big in those jeans, but people don’t like it when you don’t back up their beliefs. They really think you’re attacking them when really I’m just owning my truth, which doesn’t happen to be the way they see things.

I also find that I am very transparent now. It’s easy for peple to see when I am unhappy and sometimes this vulnerability makes me nervous. What am I opening myself up to?

So, is it better to fake it sometimes? I’m not sure. Maybe. It’s deinitely easier.

Kelly

17 Paul R. Davis September 23, 2008 at 12:11 pm

I agree that faking is first and foremost self-deception. If you can believe your own lies, you have murdered your soul. For many years, I was a pathological liar – toward everyone, in every situation, whenever it was convenient. Until my wife and I were in counseling and I learned there was nothing of value in lying. So perhaps our quest should be for each of us to have value in simply being the sum of our seven senses (the two extra are common sense, and a sense of humor). Or, we can choose to be a bundle of doing. I believe that in being, we are more authentic, more natural. Doing can achieve results, but I believe that is not the purpose of life. I believe our purpose is to be, and in our collective being, to uplift each other. This is why faking it leads to failure and soul-death.

18 Jarrod - Warrior Development September 23, 2008 at 12:22 pm

I disagree with affirmations and lying.

However I think things like changing your external behaviour to be more confident at the same time as you try to become more confident is fine. Because the purpose is to discover the things(fears) that stop you. Then deal with them.

Jarrod – Warrior Developments last blog post..My Past is Useless

19 K Park September 23, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Totally agree with what you’re saying.

It drives me crazy to see people acting kind. I don’t think that it “sticks” at all. I have a coworker who is miserable from faking kindness. People can TELL she’s forcing it, and it makes her seem artificial when she’s not.

Faking or forcing it causes a disconnect between your mind and your action. How can that magically bring happiness?

20 Robert Henru September 23, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Mary, it’s an interesting post and discussion. I agree that we are not supposed to rely so much in affirmation, as sometimes it’s fake and our mind will doubt it naturally.

One suggestion that got me very much is from T. Harv Eker, where he recommended declaration instead of affirmation.
Start declaring (though you can’t affirm)

I like the quote “fake it before make it” especially in self confidence. Sometimes we need to fake our confidence, even though our feelings does not tell it so. It’s a way that we can declare, that no matter what, we’ll feel good about ourselves as we are in the process and in the success journey.

Great article,
Robert

Robert Henrus last blog post..Your heart, your fight, your dream

21 Seamus Anthony September 23, 2008 at 7:13 pm

Stuff faking it. I never do, unless doing so is a genuine act of compassion. Otherwise, love me or loath me, this is the real deal, dude.

Seamus Anthonys last blog post..10 Reasons Why Being a Lazy Dude is Actually a Good Thing

22 Dianne September 23, 2008 at 11:57 pm

I love you. I’ve always had a hard time with affirmations and happy talk, because I felt it was all so fake. How do you trust anyone who you know is always lying, even to themselves? In the end, the truth reveals itself. We might as well accept it from the beginning. Thank you!

23 Kent @ The Financial Philosopher September 24, 2008 at 12:58 am

I agree so completely with your statement here that I will add nothing but someone else’s words that express my thoughts better than I:

“We get so much in the habit of wearing disguises before others that we finally appear disguised before ourselves.” ~ Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Kent @ The Financial Philosophers last blog post..What Would The Greatest Thinkers Think of the Financial Crisis?

24 Dare September 24, 2008 at 2:14 am

This was a very interesting post. I think the question is are you being deceptive or are you trying to move in a positive direction?

The people who mentioned intentions and declarations found terms that resonated with me. In those situations you are not faking it but stating your goal – what you want to achieve. And, the first step to getting anywhere is knowing where you want to go. Then you take small steps to achieve these goals. And, part of those steps to success may be to act like the feeling you want to experience until such time as it becomes real.

For instance, I tend to feel a bit nervous whenever I do a presentation. However, while in front of the group I will act and appear confident. Being a bit scared in front of a group is normal. And, as I present I will find my feet and truly feel confident because I am knowledgeable about the subject matter.

Being deceptive would be to show up unprepared with no knowledge of the subject matter, faking expertise I don’t have. In this situation my actions and confidence are a lie not only to the attendees but also to myself.

And, while I may not tell the attendees to the presentation that I am nervous, I would tell my friends and family. I know how I feel and I have people I trust to share those feelings with. You should be authentic to who you are and always honest with yourself. But, there are times to be forthcoming and times where you do not share your life story with the people present.

What are your intentions? Are you being deceptive? Are your actions moving you or those around you in a positive direction? Are you being honest with yourself?

The answers to these questions will determine if you are faking it or simply taking small steps to make life better.

25 Tim Brownson September 24, 2008 at 3:22 am

IMHO faking it till you make it is absolutely critical to success. Ask any successful athlete if they have faked it. Ask any entrepreneur whether they have faked it. Ask anybody that is at the top of their field whether they have faked it. I can tell you the answers you’ll get and it is YES!

With happiness it’s also important to understand that there is a direct physiological connection between smiling and feeling better. Even if the smile is ‘fake’ it still sends the same hard-wired signal to the brain that things are well.

There is nothing wrong with faking it till you make it and it doesn’t necessarily make you an insincere person. You can be sincere in your desire to succeed and your commitment to being the person you want to be and still be faking it.

I have to say I have never spoken to the professional therapist or coach that dismisses this approach (I’m sure they do exist though) and I have seen many clients move forward using the fake it till you make it approach.

I think we’re in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath here because this DOES work and sometimes that is the main thing.

26 Success Professor September 24, 2008 at 3:47 am

While I absolutely agree with the title of your post and the premise you are sharing, I think you are getting Seth’s post wrong.

Seth isn’t arguing for you to fake anything. Rather he is suggesting that you start by choosing to ACT in a certain way and then your emotions will follow suit. He doesn’t say that you should fake anything, or suggest that fake customer service is a good as real customer service.

Emotions and attitudes start with a conscious decision. You can choose to be happy and put a smile on your face even when you are having a bad day. This will naturally help your attitude and make you feel better. This is not faking it. Faking it is when you completely pretend to be something, or someone you are not.

Success Professors last blog post..The Success Professor’s Top 10 Book Choices

27 Diane September 24, 2008 at 4:28 am

This is a very thought provoking post, Mary. It and all the comments really got me thinking. I think faking it till you make it is just a phrase to get you moving in the intended direction. Like Nike’s “Just Do It!” Any new behavior feels funny because it is unfamiliar. It’s like a sample to see if you like it (or it feels right, make it yours).
Great post, thank you!

28 Bamboo Forest September 24, 2008 at 4:42 am

I’m not sure I agree completely…

Sometimes I feel like I’m in a bad mood. Sometimes I want to be rude to other people. Should I then, be “authentic” and spread my venom to others?

If we always acted how we felt, we wouldn’t be very kind people.

I think the phrase “fake it until you make it” is deceptive. It doesn’t paint the whole picture…

We can’t always control our inner climate. Sometimes, our own efforts to alter our inner topography fail. It is then, that the only weapon we may have is our actions in the physical world. It is far easier to control ones actions than it is to control the inner spirit.

And yes, sometimes by doing certain actions, we generate a change in our very souls. So, I don’t think one can totally cast off the benefits of trying to be a certain way in the physical, even if it isn’t felt internally.

That said, there is a balance. Sometimes, for example, it’s good to tell a friend what is causing one misery. By sharing ones troubles, the burden is lightened. Definitely.

But, the notion that we should always act like we feel, is not going to make the best of people. We all experience bad moods from time to time. But, I believe it is true kindness to not allow that state of mind to infect others. We have an obligation to others, since our demeanor can either negatively or positively effect others.

Bamboo Forests last blog post..Some Bits About Me

29 amazingmess September 24, 2008 at 5:01 am

Thinking over this post I remind my mothers sayings, be true to yourself always, and to others if possible. You cannot be true to every person. If you do so anyhow you will end up at the cross or in the psychiatric hospital. In the end fake is true also. Truth has no knowledge of fake, cause fake is included in truth, and thus also true.

amazingmesss last blog post..guinea fowl

30 Mary Jaksch September 24, 2008 at 2:33 pm

What a fantastic discussion this is!

One question that we seem to be grappling with is: where is the kind edge of being honest?

Hi CG Walters! Thanks for reminding us of the “…true nature of kindness, by carrying out the act even though the ego self was not quite in the mood to do so.” I was also very interested in your idea that your intention makes a difference in the process of faking.

Hi Kelly: I grew up in Germany where people are often painfully blunt – and think that’s a good idea, so I resonated with your comment:”sometimes I wonder if I take authentic too far. I am very honest and some people find this upsetting and think I’m being confrontational when I’m not.”

Another important point that has come out is that we can influence our emotions – and that is not faking.

Hi Jonathan! I agree with you that we have more control over our feelings than we think…But when I’m grumpy it doesn’t feel that way :-)

Paul grappled with why faking kills the soul.

Hi Paul! Your story of becoming real touched me. I love your last sentence: “I believe our purpose is to be, and in our collective being, to uplift each other. This is why faking it leads to failure and soul-death.”

Some of you have spoken about the value of faking and I really take note of that.

Hi PeaceLoveJoyBliss! You said, “there’s a school of thought that encourages you to say, “I am a fake”, as a way to own the shadow of all that you would embrace as light and positive.” Could you please explain this a bit further?

Hi Samit! Your comment that faking can be seen as “… a defensive action and no harm done to anybody” made me sit back and reflect. There are definitely some circumstances where I would agree with you. Let’s take an example, if I was a survivor in a lifeboat lost at sea, I would definitely fake some confidence that we’ll be rescued and not tell my fellow passengers that I think we’re doomed!

31 Nick September 24, 2008 at 3:53 pm

I think it is very important to define “faking it” clearly. If it is trying to do or be something that you are not, then this is not healthy. However, acting cheerful and positive when you may not feel so at the time can help you to get into a better mood. Continuously reassuring yourself that you can do it, even when you think you can’t will also help in your success.

32 Dan September 24, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Acting as if is going forward with an intention of becoming something you want to be, perhaps a little bit of fake creates enough momentum to make it real. Like a smile when you feel sad will release the endorphins that kick start feeling happy.

33 PeaceLoveJoyBliss September 26, 2008 at 8:21 am

Hi Mary, per your request, let me explain the passage you quoted.

When I embrace the declaration, “I am honest”, I also embrace what is light and positive, because honesty is in harmony with the positivity of light (i.e., the positivity of light for the sake of truth). However, because we live in a universe of dualities (hot, cold; warm, cool; light, dark; real, fake, etc.), any perception of one must necessarily be accompanied or realized through another.

Now, let’s take honesty. In order for you to be honest, you must also know what it means to be dishonest. If, however, you resist your experience of dishonesty for the sake of honesty, then your experience of dishonesty will persist (“whatever you resist will persist”). I would go further: unless you can be dishonest, unless you’ve been dishonest, you can never really appreciate the value of honesty.

And so I declare, spiritually (not morally): “I am dishonest”. I take ownership of my capacity for dishonesty and my ability to be dishonest. In doing so, I am always at choice about whether to be dishonest or not in any given situation.

But isn’t being dishonest always bad? Clearly not. For example, if someone confronts me with a gun, threatening to blow my head off, and asks me which way person X went, I can choose to be dishonest and feel good about my choice.

Debbie Ford, in her book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, clearly shows how it is in our best interests to give the shadow side of ourselves its due when chasing after the light.

Am I a fake? Yes. Am I real? Yes.

Blessings,
Christopher

34 Elizabeth September 26, 2008 at 10:05 am

I don’t think of it as faking it- if I’m not feeling kind and compassionate, if I don’t have the energy or the stability to be genuinely in the moment with someone, I like that I can still choose to react with consideration. We aren’t just how we feel, or what we’re thinking. We’re defined by our actual responses as well, no matter how “authentic” the motivating force behind them.
I’m not saying that faking a smile is always right, but there are times when faking a smile is not falsely declaring something you don’t really feel, but recognising that we can be carried through by determination even if we don’t feel joyful.
To me, fake it till you make it just seems like a rewrite of being the change we wish to see.

35 aris September 26, 2008 at 3:25 pm

“Fake it until you make it” usually means a method that can help you get started with change, not a prescription for a lifestyle.
It is no more soul-destroying than method acting.

36 Martin September 26, 2008 at 7:46 pm

I can see your point that fake people are hard to be around. But I never taught this quote to encourage fakeness. I took it to mean that sometimes the mind mimicks the feelings that the body displays. In other words if I act happy, then eventually the mind will feel happy. I guess it all depends on the context the quote is used in.
p.s Your writing is very thoughts provoking. I like it.

Martins last blog post..The Mind Body Connection

37 Carmen September 27, 2008 at 4:17 am

I believe that you can use positive affirmations, but be realistic about it. For example: If you want to lose weight you could say to yourself: I have the ability to lose the weight and I can lose it if I work really hard at it. Than set positive, healthy practices in place and do your best to stick to them. If you falter on any given day, just pick yourself up and start over. This way you are being truthful with yourself and working to meet your goals.

38 rolf October 14, 2008 at 2:34 am

I guess faking can be used as a technique in some situations. But basing your whole life on faking can have some drawbacks…
1-Eventually your fear catches up, and in a SECOND… the stilghtest trigger will turn the fairy tale into a nightmare… Then you have to face the fear head on… but if you fail.. you’ll be back where you started… leaving others heartbroken in your wake
2-Faking something to get it is assuming that you know what is good for you. Most of the times this will be dicated by society (pretty wife, nice house, etc…)… that takes off some of the charm in life, life being a journey unique to every person. If you are yourself maybe you will attract what is good for you. And I dont mean be your defensive self, I mean be your real self and take risks.

39 Daniel Brenton November 9, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Appreciate the message.

I suspect I know the motivational speaker you’re talking about. I agree 100%.

However, I suspect the fine young men in masks in your photo are members of the “Anonymous” movement protesting Scientology. Even if they aren’t, whenever I see a Guy Fawkes mask any more, I think of them. In my mind this skews the message, but that may just be me.

I wrote a piece some time ago where I critiqued one of The Secret bunch for just this same ego flaw by dissecting one of his/her blog posts, and a rather strong discussion ensued.

There are probably some folks who aren’t going to get this no matter what.

Daniel Brentons last blog post..Gratitude Watch – 2008-11-07

40 Mary Jaksch November 9, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Hi Daniel!
You say: “I suspect the fine young men in masks in your photo are members of the “Anonymous” movement protesting Scientology.”

I had no idea of that. I just choose the image because I was looking for one with masks :-)

41 Daniel Brenton November 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Mary –

I did not think you intended your image to be a reference to “Anonymous.” The idea never crossed my mind.

In fact, for all we know, these may just be a handful of Guy Fawkes Wannabes.

Daniel

42 Aaron Agassi May 13, 2009 at 8:07 pm

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