We're big fans of the "fake it 'til you make it" philosophy. It's easy, always applicable and most important: It actually works.
Whether it's winging it at a new job or acting like a veteran online dater on your very first setup, sometimes you just have to polish off your drama club skills and act like you know WTF you're doing.
And, listen — before you get all up in arms about 'being true to yourself' and the 'virtue of honesty,' hear this: Faking it 'til you make it ISN'T about lying — it's about trusting your own ability to adapt so much that your confidence precedes your experience.
At the end of the day, faking it 'til you make it is really just about knowing how truly awesome you are, and who can argue with that?
And this mentality is much more than just a cliché: It actually has the potential to unlock success when it comes to life, love and work.
Here are four main things you need to remember next time you're in a situation in which you have to fake it 'til you make it.
Confidence is key.
Whether you're attempting to speak another language or trying to outsmart your landlords in a lease disagreement, acting confident will convince other people that you know what you're doing, even when you don't.
Nothing kills chemistry faster than a lack of self-confidence. No matter how inexperienced you are in the dating world, acting sure of yourself will help you get over any awkwardness that will inevitably ensue.
When you feel unqualified for a task or a new role, don't hesitate to ask for advice. That being said, do so in a way that exudes confidence and makes it seem like you're aiming to glean knowledge as opposed to desperately begging for answers.
Don't fall into the trap of overdoing it. If you're trying to be nice to someone you secretly despise, try not to lay it on too thick. You'll run the risk of looking, well, fake.
True experience comes with an air of cool, calm and collected. Avoid being overenthusiastic with a potential boo, or weaving grandiose tales of past loves. Your date will see right through you.
Once your boss has bought into your confidence and capability, put the brakes on. Do NOT follow up with spontaneous offers to take on additional tasks that are way out of your league. Quit while you're ahead. (Well, don't actually quit, but you know what we mean.)
Follow up with actual results.
Pretending you're a type A neat freak just so you can score a hot apartment with cool roommates might get you where you want to be, but after the dust settles, you owe it to the people you won over to make a concerted effort to live up to your promises of clean sinks and swept floors.
So you exaggerated a bit (okay a lot) and told your cute date that you're an outdoors freak who lives for hiking and water sports. Now it's up to you to deliver and at least try to get in some actual leisure experience somewhere other than your couch.
Now that you've faked it all the way to your dream job, it's time to retroactively study up on what you'll actually need to know in order to excel at the role. Read, practice and work late to fulfill the professional expectations that you've brought upon yourself.
Never come clean.
Although it may seem like a charming anecdote, don't circle back after the fact and spill the beans to friends that you totally guessed the winning trivia answer or had absolutely no basis for that advice you doled out. Some things are better kept to yourself.
After you get comfortable with someone, it's tempting to reveal all the insecurities you masterfully covered up early on in your relationship. Don't. This type of confession could make your partner feel duped and deceived.
So you landed the job, even after embellishing your skill set. Refrain from bragging to co-workers about your, ahem, achievement — this kind of reveal could have dangerous effects on your reputation and, ultimately, on your employment.
Nobody understands what a royal pain faking it 'til you make it can be better than The Magicians' Eliot and Margo. Catch the all new season of The Magicians Wednesdays at 9 on Syfy. Seriously, Do it.