‘Fake it till you make it’ is a phrase that has caused considerable damage to many professionals whose goal in life is to do well and succeed. I think mainly because of its interpretation. Ann Smarty, SEO expert sheds some light on the genesis of this phrase:
“Confidence has a large effect on performance. In everyday life, it could mean getting (or keeping) a job, finding and maintaining a relationship, and even just fighting off depression. We have to feel like we are making progress in life, which requires taking real steps forward. Believing in yourself is a key element to that. This is where the saying “Fake it till you make it” comes from. Or, at least what it means. If you don’t feel confident, PRETEND you are until you gain the experience or tools necessary that it is all for real. Even therapists use it all the time for patient’s suffering from depression. Though it might feel artificial and forced in the beginning, soon it will become more natural until you are happier and healthier.”
How have we used the same phrase to create chaos in our lives? We spend money on clothes and cars and ‘trappings’ that we cannot afford so that people can SEE that we are successful – successful of course meaning – being able to afford ‘the good life.’ Inside of us there still remains an emptiness that we can’t seem to eliminate even as we buy more and more things. This results in us being full of debt and VERY unhappy. We keep seeking external solutions but the place we need to start our search is inside. It starts with FINDING OUR VOICE.
In the Science of Being Great, Wallace Wattles tells us “Every man comes into the world with a predisposition to grow along certain lines, and growth is EASIER for him along those lines than in any other way.” (Emphasis mine.)
So how do you know if you haven’t yet found your voice?
Do you feel like Wayne Dyer describes in ‘Being in Balance’ – frequently spending your life running on an endless treadmill where all of the pressure of working and striving may have many worldly rewards, yet at the same time there’s a feeling of going absolutely nowhere?
Look at the stuff you write – your marketing communication materials – even your advertisements? Libby Wagner author of Influencing Options says “Most business writing and speaking I’ve seen is boring, verbose and absolutely ignores the audience in any way other than to demonstrate how smart the author or speaker thinks they are.” She then talks about those who’ve FOUND THEIR VOICE. “There are exceptions, of course, and these are those whose voice, personality and humanity jump out at you. They feel authentic and genuine to you. If what they say resonates with you, you might even imagine yourself aligning or following, adapting or adopting.”
Do you find yourself caught up in getting your ‘elevator speech’ accurate and polished, about your title – what you are called or known as, practicing canned approaches with customers so that you will be perfect in your delivery? None of these are bad except when you leave YOU out of it – and I’m talking about the ESSENCE of YOU!
It is my view that most businesses never get the return on their investment in marketing and advertising because their voice is missing. To customers – they are looking and sounding like everybody else. Too much copying is going on – too much sameness – no distinguishing voice. And so customers decide what they’re going to buy – most times based on price.
When you think back to what Wallace said earlier – the fact that we all have a predisposition to grow along certain lines is what gives our world endless variety. We need not strive to be different. To the superficial observer we may look alike but our growth will reveal a TREMENDOUS difference. And that is the growth that comes from within.
Mr Wattles poetically describes the results of our voice made manifest. “Men and women are like a basket of bulbs. One may be a rose and add brightness and colour to some dark corner of the world; one may be a lily and teach a lesson of love and purity to every eye that sees; one may be a climbing vine and hide the rugged outlines of some dark rock; one may be a great oak among whose boughs the birds shall nest and sing, and beneath whose shade the flocks shall rest at noon, but everyone will be something worthwhile, something rare, something perfect.”
As the leader it is important for you to find your voice. When you do you can help each member on your team unlock their potential – finding their own. Don’t be concerned that you will now have cacophony in your organization with everyone singing a different tune. Once you’ve found your voice, you will find those whose voices harmonize with yours. You will also easily identify those individuals who are singing out of tune or lacking the rhythm that you desire. You will be able to lovingly let them go because you would be so clear about the music you want to create. You will be able to say to them – your voice is required somewhere else for sure but definitely not here – without feeling guilt or shame regarding your decision.
Visualize the potential and possibility of finding your voice then contemplate these words by Neil Pasricha, author and blogger behind 1000awesomethings.com “You will never be as young as you are right now. And that’s why I believe that if you live your life with a great attitude, choosing to move forward and move on whenever life deals you with a blow, living with a sense of awareness of the world around you, embracing your inner three year-old and seeing the tiny joys that make life so sweet and being authentic to yourself, being you and being cool with that, letting your heart lead you and putting yourself in experiences that satisfy you, then I think you’ll live a life that is rich and is satisfying.” And I’ll add you would have found your voice!