Faking It

I am not a confident person.  Or, perhaps more accurately, I tend not to feel very confident the majority of the time.  This is something I'd like to change.  At the same time, however, maybe "feeling" a certain way isn't really the point.  After all, one doesn't have to feel romantic to be in love, or feel heard to be heard, or to feel creative and inspired to make art.  You can be in love, be heard, and be creative without "feeling" those things all the time.  Does that make sense?

When I was at Hoopcamp earlier this year, a recommendation more than of the workshop leaders shared was to "fake it 'til you make it."  They meant that if you're hooping it up, for a performance or just for fun, and you're quaking with insecurity and self-consciousness, pretend instead that you believe you're an amazing dancer and go for it.  Just because you feel awkward or clumsy or uninspired does not make that true for whoever might be watching.  And maybe acting as if you're awesome will help make that true.

This week I wanted to take my hoops out to play downtown.  Hoopcamp aside, I've never hooped in so populated and public a place.  I was nervous, but I also really wanted to do it.  So I did. 

As I was trucking across a busy bridge en route from my car to the pavilion that was my hoop-tastic destination, I quailed against the wind and the gazes from passing cars and pedestrians.  My shoulders slumped as insecurity flooded my being -- What do they think of me?  Do I look weird carrying hoops?  Do I look fat?  Do I look ugly?  What do they think what do they think what do they think --

Halfway across the bridge, the Hoopcamp advice came back to me -- fake it 'til you make it.  So I tried.  I straightened my spine and thrust my shoulders back.  I told myself that I was a kickin' hoop dancer and that people were looking at me in wonder, wanting to know what I was doing, wanting to join me.  I told myself that I rocked, and I began to believe it. 

Is this what people mean when they say they manifest things in their lives?  That they pretend what they desire is true until it is?  There's something powerful in this faking it.  As I hooped and danced under the downtown pavilion, I wondered if I wasn't just encouraging myself as I faked confidence,  Maybe I was tapping into what God truly wants us to be -- and knows that we are under all of the crud and mess that the world heaps upon us. 

What do you think about "faking it 'til you make it"?  Is it a life-changing mantra or a form of self-delusion?

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