“Fake it til you make it.” You’ve all heard that phrase. I can almost see you rolling your eyes.
A few months ago while at the day job and picking the “soundtrack of the day,” I felt a pull towards some show tunes. A pull that is far from unusual for me – what was odd was my decision to avoid my old favorites and deciding to listen to some I never have before. Googling different musicals, I chose Billy Elliot. I’d never seen it – barely heard of it. Believing that the Universe was truly talking to me, I had to listen to the second song about a dozen times. I needed those lyrics – that day and many since.
So what was special? The brilliant lyrics to the song, Shine, was written by Lee Hall. And although I’ll quote a few here throughout this blog, you can easily find the lyrics to the whole song online. Keep in mind I had no earthly idea what this musical was about (at the time). All I heard were the lyrics.
♪♫♩♬ “It doesn’t matter if you’re large or small
Trapezeoid, or short or tall
Even if you can’t dance at all
All you have to do is shine.
It doesn’t matter if you’re unemployed
Only partially humanoid
An octopoid whose mind’s a void
All you really have to do is shine.” ♪♫♩♬
I needed to hear it because I felt my “fight” wane and when that happens, the shine fades. Are you shining? Do you think you don’t need to? Don’t want to? Don’t have the energy to? Why not? What is stopping you from shining? Shining comes from believing and hoping. What is stopping you from believing and hoping? What is stopping you from fighting for what you want?
I hear excuses for a living. Trust me, I make them as well. I think we’re all experts at excuses. If we were to stop making excuses, what would honestly come out is we don’t feel like it. “It” might be making dinner, going to the gym, planning your meals, going to work, cleaning your house, going out with friends – well, you get the idea. Sometimes we have the “don’t wannas.” We never regret the made dinner, the gym workout, the planned meals or cleaning the house. And if we didn’t go to work every time we didn’t wanna go to work – we would no longer have work to go to. Sometimes we have to fake it til we make it. Yeah – keep rolling those eyes.
♪♫♩♬ “You might be feeling lousy
You might be feeling blue
A little apprehensive
A minor touch of flu
They couldn’t give a monkey’s cuss
They couldn’t give a fig
Come on son get over it
It’s all part of the gig.” ♪♫♩♬
In the last few weeks I’ve struggled with my plan more than I haven’t. Now I must say these days are far fewer these years than it was years ago. And you know why? Because I have faked it til I made it on those days. Because I fought for it – no….I continue to fight for it! It’s not a fight on the easy days. I go to work when I don’t want to. I plan my meals because it’s just what I do now. Exercise? It’s not totally routine yet. But that’s another story for another day. (Do you see my eyes roll?) I fight for it. I fake it til I make it.
I think the reason that phrase makes the eyes roll is the cliché factor. Clichés are clichés for a reason – they’re usually true. Faking it til you make it is about optimism that you will – in fact – make it! There’s no reason to fake it if you don’t want to make it. And if you have optimism – some level of hope – you will stay the course. You will fight for it. It’s when we give up that hope – give up that fight – that we give up on ourselves.
I have a member who has been telling me for weeks, “I can’t get below this certain number. I just can’t.” She’s blocking herself. When we – the meeting members – convinced her to think she just hasn’t yet – but WILL – she did it! By thinking she couldn’t, she allowed extra helpings to her ice cream, to her everything. But by thinking she just hasn’t gotten there YET, she worked harder. Optimism. Drive.
What I love most about the Olympic games are the stories of overcoming obstacles. Have you ever found one athlete who didn’t have obstacles? What makes them champions? Optimism. Optimism and grit. They faked it til they made it. Some days they had the “don’t wannas” but they did it because what they wanted was in front of them and they were chasing it. They were fighting for it.
My weight loss was slow. Snails pace slow. According to Weight Watchers’ definition of a plateau (averaging less than a half pound a week), I lost all my weight on a plateau. I was frustrated, impatient, and often felt defeated. But I kept going. And the reason was simple – I had hope. I knew if I quit then I would gain. (That was proven in my history.) I was losing – albeit slowly. And I also knew that being frustrated and feeling defeated is part of a typical weight loss journey – and ANY journey worth traveling. I fought for it. I watched others quit and have a great time eating all the foods I wanted to consume when I felt defeated. That’s part of this journey. Do you think those athletes have never felt defeated? What matters is what they did with those feelings – not that they felt them. They fought for it. They knew that they had what it took to get to their goals. The difference between them and us? They fight for it.
When we say “we can’t” then we won’t. When we say we haven’t YET, we give ourselves a chance – we give ourselves permission to fight for it. Put what you want in front of you. Chase it. Plan the menu. Make dinner. Go to the gym. Do the workout video. Eat foods that actually make you feel GOOD! Go to a meeting. Open your mind to know you CAN and WILL fight for what you want – whether you want the ice cream or the size 6 or both. Feel confident.
♪♫♩♬ “Doesn’t matter if you’re short or squat
Cerebrally challenged, completely shot
You might have it or might not
All you really have to do is
All you really have to do is shine” ♪♫♩♬
My beautiful friend Randi gave me the corollary to the cliché. “Fake it til you make it. Then fake it til you BECOME it.” (Now the eyes widen instead of roll.)
♪♫♩♬ “Give ’em that old razzle dazzle and shine!” ♪♫♩♬