Once you get very good at reading people, you can easily tell the difference between a fake and the real thing. However, most people can’t tell the difference. How do I know? Because half the people who are faking it are believed to be what they are pretending to be.
In all honesty, there is nothing wrong with faking it until you make it.
In fact, it’s recommended. You need to act and look the part in order to get the part. It’s not deceitful. It’s only natural. If you want to get ahead in life, you’re going to need to pretend to be the person you want to be until you become the person you want to be.
It’s really the only way of transforming yourself. Here’s a quick guide I put together to help you help yourself:
1. Dress the part.
I understand that in high school you got to wear whatever ridiculous outfits you liked to wear, but you’re not in high school anymore. This isn’t to say that you weren't being judged back in high school because you were, but now you actually care that you’re being judged.
Depending what part you plan on playing, you’re going to need clothes that fit in with whatever group of individuals you plan on fitting in with.
Keep your personal flare to your socks, underwear or PJs. Looking the part isn’t as expensive as most people think. You can always find a sale, go to a more upscale thrift store, or shop online for great deals on the right outfits.
The fact is that you need to look the part in order to play the part; otherwise, you won’t be believable.
There are two reasons for this. One: when you smile, it makes people feel more comfortable around you. You seem less of a threat and more trustworthy -- makes networking much easier. Two: it’ll make you feel better.
Science has proven that even forcing yourself to smile lightens your mood. It also helps you relieve stress. I understand that it may be difficult to smile in the situation you’re in, but suck it up and pretend you’re happy until you’re happy.
3. Talk like you know what you’re talking about -- if you don’t know what you’re talking about, then keep your mouth shut.
As a general rule, it’s always better to avoid sounding like an idiot than to try to impress people with your knowledge. If you find yourself in a conversation on a topic you know nothing about, then keep mum.
However, when you do have something valuable to add, be sure to speak up. Even slipping in a good point on the rare occasion will make people think you’re a smart guy/gal -- as long as you don’t slip up too often and say something stupid.
4. Walk like you own the place.
Stand up straight. Pull back your shoulders. Raise your chin. And then take a deep breath and relax your core.
Walking up straight literally changes your body’s hormones, making you more confident, happier and less risk-averse. Check out Amy Cuddy’s wonderful Ted Talk for more information.
5. Eat healthy and exercise regularly.
Your clothes won’t be enough to impress people. Successful people often have a certain glow about them, as if their happiness/confidence were seeping through their pores.
Since you’re not quite there yet in your life, you’re going to have to find a way to look the part. The best way is to stay as healthy as you can.
Successful people tend to eat healthier and exercise more often than the rest of the world. You may find it difficult to find time with your busy schedule, but you have to find time. It’ll not only help your career, but help you be happy with your life.
6. Get your beauty sleep.
Never underestimate the significance of a great night’s sleep. If you don’t understand the importance of sleeping, then you should really look into it -- information on the subject is readily attainable.
Getting great sleep regularly will make you feel less fatigued, will put you in a better overall mood, allow for better focus and more productivity, as well as keep you looking slimmer and healthier.
I highly recommend getting an amazing mattress. It can be pricey, but it’s a necessary investment -- especially considering that you spend more time sleeping than you do any other activity.
You can always find a great deal on a mattress if you look for it. I got myself a memory foam mattress off Amazon for under $300 -- including shipping.
7. Stay informed on worldly events.
When you meet new people, you’re more often than not going to get stuck with small talk. I don’t know about you, but I hate small talk. However, if you know enough about what’s going on in your industry, your city, your country, the world, then small talk can become a lot less painful.
Plus, if you can put in your two cents on a wide array of topics, you’re more likely to make contacts who will want to stay in touch with you.
8. Be well read -- you need to keep a fine-tuned vocabulary.
I’m sorry, but slang isn’t acceptable. Not until you get comfortable enough around people where you start to create your own sort of slang and inside jokes. If you want people to respect you then you need to speak with authority.
You need to speak in a way so that people think you’re as smart as you really are, if not smarter. People feel more comfortable around people who "speak the same language." Assuming you’re looking to enter the big leagues, you’re going to have to talk the talk.
9. Party like a rockstar, but only when people are looking.
Everyone enjoys a good party, but partying regularly is not only expensive... it's tiring. If you can’t afford bottles at the club then don’t max out your credit card doing so. (Hell, even if you can afford it, don’t do it.)
You’re going to need to go out to events and parties in order to build your network, but be smart about it. Keep up appearances, but always give your work and health priority.
You have a goal in mind -- so make sure you only do what helps your cause. Party like an animal when you need to, but when no one is looking, snuggle up on your couch and watch some Netflix.
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