One of my mentees posted up a few week ago on Facebook “I’ve got my poker face on and I am ready for 2018”. Great sentiments and it made me think about a couple of weeks ago, when we had some friends round, and as often happens we ended up playing one of my other half’s favourite games – Poker. Now I hadn’t really ever payed attention to how you play poker before and Chippy was poking fun at me and asking me what I was doing. I started laughing as he was clearly joking around. But, actually, he wasn’t.
First lesson learned – listen properly and don’t make assumptions. Something might not be important to you but might be very important to others. Sorry Chippy!
Anyway, after that I started to listen and observe a bit more about what everyone was doing. I was watching everyone’s ‘poker face’ and learning the rules of the game as I folded several hands.
And what I found very interesting was this – just like when I am coaching public speakers and they have ‘tells’ when they are nervous, like saying ‘um’ or being unable to hold eye contact with their audience – when people are playing poker they have ‘tells’ on their poker faces.
Now, I am not going to tell you who the people were or what their ‘tells’ were, because that would not be fair if you were ever to play poker with them. Let’s just say that I believed I had them sussed. And so, the next hand I got a pair, and I went in with a huge bet. 3 folded straight away, and the one bluffed but eventually showed her cards.
So, I won the hand without showing mine (though if you are reading this you will now know – just a pair!). And it re-emphasised in my mind how important it is in Poker and in life – to have total belief in what you are doing. Now I hadn’t played poker before and you might say I was “Faking it till I made it”, but I wasn’t.
There is a difference between ‘faking it till you make it’ that works and that doesn’t work. Many people who adopt this position never make it. And that is because of one of a couple of reasons generally.
Either they don’t really believe that they CAN ever make it. And so they don’t, they bluff and then they self sabotage. Or, they don’t take the time to actually work out how things work. They don’t bother to put the effort in to acquire the skills or knowledge they need to make it – so their ‘faking it’ isn’t going to have any positive effect – and often will just make them look stupid which then induces reason 1 (they stop believing in themselves having failed once).
The ‘faking it till you make it’ stance only works if you KNOW you can achieve what you are faking. If you KNOW you can for example, become salesperson of the year because you have learnt all the sales skills and knowledge and you know that you are prepared to work as hard as you need to, in order to win that position, then chances are you WILL. If you KNOW that you are going to start your own business and it be ultimately successful – because you have picked the brains of successful business owners and you have a good plan – then chances are it will work out.
If however, you think talking the talk without walking the walk will get you the salesperson of the year award – you will be disappointed. If you think launching yourself into a business and just bluffing that you know what you are doing will eventually see you successful, you are in a dream world my friend.
So – sure go ahead and fake it till you make it. It is a great strategy – IF and only IF – you have also put in the work and have the belief in yourself. Because when you believe in yourself amazing things happen. Other people start believing in you too. And the things you were ‘faking’ become your new reality.
But sometimes it is to hard to do this on your own. Sometimes the little voice inside you keeps telling you that you are a fake, even when that is not the truth. Even when you have studied hard and shown the right aptitude and the commitment to your goals – that little voice keeps saying “Who do you think you are….that success is for others not you….do you remember the time when you failed….how could you ever be a success at……don’t change direction now it probably won’t work out and then where will you be….”
If you have that little voice which is keeping you in the ‘faking it and not making it’ cycle, then what you might need is some support. Schedule a free 20 minute consultation with me, where we can talk about how you can change that little voice and live a life of freedom from the stories you tell yourself that are holding you back. Would you like to silence that little voice? Click here to book a time to change your life.