High-energy music blaring through the speakers, my teammates clap, standing tall in five-inch heels on a shiny hardwood floor… This may seem like an odd scenario, In fact, it was the first time I had been in such an environment. Fitness competition-prep. Posing practice. Nearly snapping an ankle and trying to look composed while practicing booty popping and muscle flexing. Did I have any idea what I was doing? Nope, I was faking it and loving it.
Now, this wasn't the first time in my young life that I had made a decision to try something new, get out of my element and just go with it until something great happened. My life has been filled with “fake it ‘til you make it” scenarios, like working with race horses, auditioning for a Hollywood film, personal training, motivational writing and taking on a big marketing job.
I had been formally trained in none of these things and I didn’t have the slightest idea about what I would do when I started them. What I did have was the courage to try and see what happened. Faking it until I make it is a practice that I not only adore but also recommend to anyone who’s ready to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. However, there are some very important guidelines to remember:
1. Have A Goal
If you aren't feeling fulfilled, there's probably a reason for it. The first step to change is recognizing you NEED change and then setting goals to get to wherever it is you want to go. Whether this new ambition is in your career or personal life, having a goal and a timeline is vital.
2. Be Willing To Ask For What You Want
I've ascended quickly professionally and have obtained high amounts of responsibility in a short period of time. This is not necessarily because I was any more talented than other people, but because I wasn't afraid to ask for what I wanted and just throw it all out there. Make your intentions known and put in the work to make things happen.
People don’t walk around waiting to hand you any opportunity want — You have to be hungry for it. You have to let those around you know exactly how bad you want something.
3. Be Humble
There's nothing worse than an arrogant leader or someone in a position of power who has a less-than-desirable air about him or her. Learn to leave your ego at the door. Be the kind of person that people want to emulate.
If you're working toward something new and faking it until you make it, you honestly have nothing to lose. Be willing to learn from those who come before you. And for goodness sakes, be nice along the way — it will help you get where you want to go much faster.
4. Be Confident
Confidence is sexy. There's no doubt about it. Success is also sexy. If you're out there faking it, do so with confidence and a sense of humor. On this journey, you have to know what you can bring to the table and how to rock it.
You may not be the best at some things, but make up for them with your strong points. You will find that anything is possible if you have enough (not too much) confidence in yourself. Help others to see their strengths, too. Find your game face and approach each day with killer confidence.
5. Keep An Open Mind
You could be starting from point A and dead set on working your way to point G, but when you get to point D and your world turns upside down in the best way possible! Don't get so lost in the process of faking it that you forget to enjoy the journey along the way. Keep an open mind to the people and opportunities that come into your life when you step out into the unknown. Respect timing and the possibility for the unexpected in everything that you do.
Let's face it, in today's opportunity-scarce world, we can't be afraid to totally change directions and try something new. That's how we truly find our life's calling. So, whether you desperately want to take on pottery, open up that food truck, learn about fashion or train for a highly competitive fitness competition, just Go For It. Listen to your intuition and trust that even if you fall, you had a hell of a time on the way down.
Photo credit: 'Catch Me If You Can'