I call myself the fearless bitch.
That doesn’t mean I’m never scared. It doesn’t mean I’m never worried or unsure of myself or just rolling in self-confidence.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d set a bastard on fire for looking at me the wrong way. I would kick the shit out of someone for saying something crossways. I have been in a knife fight that I won.
But, at least 5 times a day, I second guess what I’m doing. With my life, my choices, my face, my clothes–I’m unsure of myself a lot. But everyday I still get up and give the day, my life, a hell of a run for the home plate thanks to something an improv teacher told me years ago.
Fake it ’til you make it.
When you’re learning to make shit up on stage to make people laugh, you second guess everything. The things you are sure will land fall flat, the characters you think are brilliant will be terrible. You will fuck up a lot of shows, and you will be told exactly how you did that by people better than you. It can feel like an exercise in futility sometimes to work so hard and see yourself slip further and further away.
“I don’t know, I just don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. I don’t feel capable enough to carry scenes and make the good jokes,” I said to my teacher.
“We all feel like that sometimes. Realize that confidence is what sells what you’re doing, even if you’re unsure.”
“But I don’t feel confident.”
“Well, fake it ’til you make it. Pretend you have confidence. Act how a confident person acts, say what a confident person says. Don’t stop doing that–one day, you’ll actually be confident.”
That stuck with me. We get into patterns of tearing ourselves down, of self-defeatism and self-loathing. For me, it’s damn near impossible to get out of those patterns without a complete pattern interrupt. I have to change something dramatically to get any better.
When I’m not feeling good or confident or enough, I fake it. I act like a person who is confident, who is good, who is enough. It’s a constant internal conversation to myself about being aware of my patterns, of convincing myself that I really am that person, and to act like it come Hell or High Water.
It’s hard. It takes a lot of time and effort at first. But it gets easier and easier, and then one day, I realize I’m no longer faking it–that I’ve broken my pattern and that I am confident, good, enough.
The thing about Fake It Til You Make It is the realization that you are all you need already. You just have to wake it up.
How do you get feeling better when you’re feeling rough?