Sacha Cabral (@sachacabral)
NEW YORK, United States, Sunday April 10, 2016 – I found myself on the bathroom floor. Unable to stop crying. I was scared. I was frustrated. I felt broken. And then when the deep gulps of air slowed and my breathing normalized, I decided it was time. It was time to pick myself up from the bathroom floor. I looked at myself in the mirror and did my best to pinch my face back into normalcy.
I remember finally mustering up the courage to walk out of that bathroom and leave that version of myself – the version crying on the bathroom floor – behind. I shook it off and walked back to my office. The truth is I was broken on the inside. But that part of me didn’t belong at work. That’s because, sometimes you’ve got to fake it.
This is not a how-to guide or 5 ways to do anything. This is a practical fact of any and every success. Sometimes you got to fake it. Sometimes you have to exude confidence on the outside when in the back of your mind you’re not sure how you’re going to get this done. Sometimes you have to shake off the destruction of your personal life or the fears of your career and make the world believe you’ve got the ability to move ahead. Athletes do it. Leaders do it. Speakers do it. Politicians do it. Anyone who has recognized success has been forced to do these two things:
- Compartmentalize – This is me leaving the sobbing version of myself of the bathroom. I compartmentalized because as a leader, it wasn’t the time or place to sob. I used to say that my dad put on his Superman cape when he went to work. His entire demeanor would change. You must compartmentalize the different pieces and parts of your life. That said, if you are having major struggles in an area of your life, deal with them. Give yourself the time to process. But realize that growth happens when you look to the future; not when you’re stuck in your present reality.
- Drip with confidence – Soldiers don’t follow a shaky General into battle. People have to believe that they can believe in you in order for you to gain their buy-in. If you’re constantly putting a disclaimer on your abilities like, “I don’t know what to do. Nobody ever showed me,” or appearing unsure, you will lose your soldiers. And when you lose your soldiers, you’ve lost your ability to influence. Exuding confidence is not about being fake. It’s not about pretending to be something that you’re not. And it’s definitely not about being dishonest. It’s communicating the message that I may not have an immediate answer but I will figure this out. I will get us through this.
There’s one more reason you’ve got to fake it. You’ve got to fake it for you. In order to be successful, you must push past your comfort zone which means venturing into unchartered territory. Naturally, you’re going to be fearful. Faking it, otherwise known as the Imposter Syndrome, turns your mindset around and gives you the confidence to go forward. Act as if and you will achieve new levels of success.
Sacha C. is a life coach, writer and speaker who works with emerging entrepreneurs and dream chasers to monetize their talent. She authors a weekly blog at www.sachac.com. Her topics include entrepreneurship, marketing, motivation, and interviews with featured entrepreneurs.