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After posting the article The Line Between Faking It and Earning It we had a lot of conversations about diving deeper into that topic. From it, I had the opportunity to present at a FEBE3 meeting and share some more about what it means to earn it and when you stop faking it. To access the full FEBE3 presentation subscribe to our newsletter below!  [et_bloom_locked optin_id="optin_4"]


In the last article we started by talking about realization that there are people who are truly amazing. Today we are going to dive into the WHY behind faking it.

Why We Fake It

There are five reasons why people fake it. And it’s important to note that we have all faced one or all of these five things in our lives, and will continue to face them.

1. Ignorance

You can’t know what you don’t already know. There are obviously facts and experiences that you have not yet heard or lived through and so it is impossible for you to know everything.

For example: Did you know that the Blue Whale’s heart weighs approximately 3,000 lbs and is bigger than a VW Beetle? (5 feet long, 4 feet wide and 5 feet tall) You do now!

2. Underdeveloped Skills

You may have learned a lot in your career, but the likelihood that you have mastered every skill you know is slim to none. It takes about 10,000 hours to master a skill. You may have mastered several skills, like walking while chewing gum, but you still have a lot you can learn.

In the book Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.

3. Laziness

It is hard work to do some things. I often say that if God loved his people eating chocolate cake it would make us healthy. (Obviously I am being facetious here. John 3:16 clearly shows how much God loves his people!)  But the truth is, it takes hard work to learn new skills and to master them. It takes hard work to build muscle and endurance. Again, if it was easy everyone in the world would be fit and look like chiseled Roman soldiers! If you don’t have the drive to do what it takes to learn what you don’t know, then you will be forced to fake your skills in that area of your life.

Have you seen the “Couch To Marathon” systems out there? It takes a solid 3 months of dedication to get from couch potato to someone who can finish 26.2 Miles of running! (Even longer if you want to win.)

4. Overconfidence

“I don’t need to learn. I know everything!” Have you ever met someone with an attitude like that? It can be infuriating walking into a meeting with someone who has not prepared and thinks that they have an answer to everyone and everything. I’m not talking about someone who has studied their whole lives on a topic and is an expert in the field. I’m talking about that arrogant co-worker who spends 5-10 minutes in the start of the meeting trying to figure out what the meeting is about (even though they had the meeting invite, agenda, and declined to attend the pre-brief). Then after 10 minutes is the foremost expert, in their own not so humble opinion, on the topic and proceeds to “lead” the meeting...right into a hole!

Want an interesting read? Check out Dr. Leisa Bailey’s article on The Difference Between Confidence and Arrogance.

5. You Get Thrown Under A Bus!

Sometimes it is inevitable. We are put in a situation we could never be prepared for and are expected to perform. You walk in a conference room expecting to stare into the abyss of nothingness and ponder life's mysteries only to hear the organizer say, “Hey Roy, we’re ready so you can go ahead and start your meeting…”   Wait what??  I didn’t organize this meeting, nor am I supposed to be LEADING IT!?!?   Sometimes you have to think on your feet and fake it the best you can with what you’ve got!

The worst time you might experience having to fake your confidence and knowledge is in a job interview. You can prepare to the best of your ability, but you might get that curve ball question like, If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?  I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never thought about that question in an interview...and honestly can’t quite tell why someone would ask that. I mean just because I love the duck billed platypus doesn’t mean I would be a funny looking employee. (Enter snide jokes here!)

At the end of it all, if you can identify when you are faking it, then you can prioritize your learning so you will be less likely to be in a situation where you have to fake it. As I mentioned before, we all fake it sometimes and we will never be in a situation where we never have to fake it again. But the more we learn and the harder we work the more prepared we will be to handle those situations!