I heard the idea “fake it till you make it” back in college. I tried it a few times. But every time I do, something always felt off. The whole interaction that comes after is usually stressful. I put myself in a position where I have to be careful with my words, where I can’t be fully myself, or share challenges I encounter with what I have to deliver.
It’s a big disservice to the other person because expectations were not properly managed. If they knew I couldn’t do certain tasks, they could’ve tap other people to do the work instead.
Beyond this, faking doesn’t align with my values. I value truthfulness (even if it hurts). If I don’t practice it myself, how can I expect other people to do the same? This incongruence with how I want to live versus how I’m living makes me uneasy. It’s essentially lying to myself.
A better alternative: face it till you make it
The way I approach it now is saying what I’m lacking upfront. I’m straightforward with things I don’t know. I’m more willing to appear like a fool now. No one is expert on everything anyway.
I lay all my cards. I share what I’m good at and how can I help them achieve their goals. I share my plan on how I’ll address my lack of skills.
It’s a risk if they want to continue to work with me. But it’s a risk they can decide for themselves. The other person can make an informed decision.
If they do decide to go ahead, I’d be grateful for the trust. I’d go extra mile to deliver what they need. If not, that’s okay. There are countless other people. I just need to match with people that will benefit with my current expertise.