Some notable wit said that 90% of life is just showing up. That may be true, but a good 75% is also faking it. It’s how successful people get from point A to point B. It’s deep at the root of confidence, and I think it stokes the fires of creativity.
When I was a kid, I was always impressed how grownups seem to know just what to do, whether it was at their grownup jobs, or taking care of the home and kids. I longed for the day when I, too would have that cool calm. “What serenity there must be, in always knowing what you’re doing!”, I thought.
I never seemed to know just what I’m doing. I mean, I knew what I knew, but life never seemed to demand of me the things I already knew – it always wanted what I didn’t quite know. When I got my first real job (with a paycheck), I got it as a result of faking it, a little.
“Can you drive a stick?”, they asked.
“Sure!”, I replied, even though my only experience with driving a stick was doing some laps around a parking lot in my uncle’s big pickup with a three-on-the-tree. Fortunately, I was able to get the delivery van out of the driveway, and did my learning (stalling, gear grinding, etc.) out on the road.
As I became an adult, I realized that the conditions that drove me crazy as a kid still exist for adults. Yes, you have a wider range of experience and knowledge to draw upon, but you’re still constantly faced with situations that demand you know things you really don’t. So, you fake it. You hope for the best, make some guesses and plow ahead. And oddly enough, MOST of the time it works out! And when it doesn’t, you make note of what you’ve learned, and have something (wisdom?) to use if the same situation presents itself again.
So, if you didn’t know already, I’m here to tell you: NONE of us really knows what we’re doing. The difference between being a happy success and a miserable failure is really just the ability and confidence to grin and fake it!