Fake It ’til You Make It #DBlogWeek

Mantras and more is the #dblogweek topic for today, and ironically (because yesterday was supposed to only be about the things that bring us down), I already touched upon the core thought and attitude that does wonders to get me through the really tough times in diabetes management, in life – in everything.

“Fake it ’til you make it.”

I’m not sure where I first heard that advice….maybe it was from the Life Coach I worked with back in 2004…..a dark time in my 10th year of having T1D when I would punch myself in the proverbial face everyday with negative speak and was ridiculously hard on myself for everything involving every facet of my life. I was alone, I wasn’t married/didn’t have a family like I always thought I would have by then, I wasn’t where I wanted to be in my career,  I felt fat, I felt worthless, I felt sick, I just felt awful. All the time. The early 2000s were tough, but I finally snapped out of it, and spent a lot of time working on myself, working on my attitude, and discovered that I could “fake it ’til I made it.”

Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. FranklMaybe I read that phrase on some self-help website talking about the power of positive thinking. Maybe I heard it in reference to one of my favorite quotes by Viktor Frankl….”Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” (If you haven’t read his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” I highly recommend that you do.)

In his own way, back in the concentration camps, Viktor chose to fake it ’til he made it. He survived through some seriously awful things. Experiences no one should ever have to have. (I’m being very short in my summation – would rather you read the book than hear my layman’s review of it.) But through it all, he made the choice to stay upbeat, and control his response to all the things that happened to him. It really was the last thing he had any control over in his life.

I made that choice as well, somewhere in 2004/2005. No matter how crappy I felt, how badly I felt the world had somehow wronged me, or how down on myself I was, I put a smile on my face, and told myself it was going to be a GOOD day, I was a good person, and good things would happen. I made a conscious effort to stop saying negative things about myself….stopped saying them in the mirror when I was having a crying jag, and tried to stop saying them around other people as a defense mechanism. If someone complimented me on something, I said, “thank you,” instead of noting 10 reasons why it was nothing great/important/good. <– That one is still hard to do sometimes. It’s hard to take criticism, but even harder to take applause and appreciation.

In essence, I faked it until I made it. Funny how, once I made that decision in my head, all sorts of nice things started happening in my life. I got the gumption to help start a non-profit schnauzer rescue, I got a raise and a promotion at my job, and I met this guy – this awesome guy! – who eventually became my husband, and now we have a daughter. The big things in life I always wanted finally were in my grasp. And it was so worth it.

There will always be bad things that happen, bad times we have to go through, and no matter what positive spin you put on your life, life-itself-will-be-hard-to-get-through. Our loved ones will die. We face physical and mental adversities every single day. With diabetes, we suffer the same exhausting trials and tribulations over and over.

But the one mantra I will say, day-in-day-out is: Fake it ’til you make it.
Because, even though at first you may be faking, before you know it, you WILL make it!





17 thoughts on “Fake It ’til You Make It #DBlogWeek

  1. What a wonderful mantra. It’s a great reminder to make due and hold over for a better time ahead, too. “Just keep swimming!”

    I used to do a trick to fake it till I made it when I was in college. When I would get really down and feel like I couldn’t finish and assignment, or even if I felt like I was really upset with a friend or professor, I would make a list of reasons I was lucky or why they were awesome.

    It worked wonders for me to shift my thinking from damning to gratitude. Your post brought those memories back. I think I’ll begin to do this one again!

    Thank you for sharing, it was a wonderful read!

    • I know it sounds corny, but really – there is true power in positive thinking. I know so many people who harp and hound on all the bad things, always talking about what is wrong with them, with everything, and they wonder why they aren’t happy?!? If you look for the bad/negative, you will find it *every* time. If you look for the positive/good, it’s amazing how much you’ll find, and how it will change your outlook on everything! Gratitude is such a wonderful emotion to dwell on, I love that one, too!
      Thanks so much for reading! 🙂

      • But P.S. Don’t even think I am the bastion of positivity – I’m not! I have crappy days. I have days where I’m pissed at the world, and mad, and upset, and bitter, and nothing I think or do will put that “fake it til you make it” smile on my face. But I just do my best to let those emotions get out, get over with, and move on. It’s the “dwelling” on the negative that hurts the most. If we didn’t have the bad, after all, how would we know how much better the good feels??

  2. Thanks for this. It’s something that I struggle with..no one likes to hear someone who is constantly negative, which I have been at various points in my life. It can get better,but even if it doesn’t the human spirit was meant to find joy and purpose in life. We have to choose that.(IMO)

    • I know how hard it is to make that choice, believe me. It took me several years to get out of my place of darkness – I hope to never go there again. The pain, the worry, the negativity…it’s all not worth it. You do have to choose where to focus your energies, but if you’re down a deep well, it makes it even harder. My advice is always (on top of “fake it til you make it”) – talk to a professional. I’ve enlisted the aid of a life coach as well as a couple of psychologists over the years. Friends are great, and the good ones will support you in whatever you need, but really, it’s not their job to fix what’s in your head. They can’t. YOU have to help yourself. You are the one who decides if you choose to be happy or not. It really is the only thing in life that you can control – your reactions to what happens to you.

  3. I just wanted to say that I also loved Man’s Search for Meaning. I read it in college and it had a profound impact on me. I think everyone should read it!

  4. Great way to look at things Rhonda. And you’re so right about how difficult it can be to accept compliments!

  5. Thanks for recommending a new book (that is, new for me). I am a believer in faking a smile when things suck, and that even that fake smile will brighten things up and soon you’ll be genuinely smiling. I also find that positivity attracts positivity and negativity attracts negativity (not all like forces repel each other 🙂 ).

  6. Oh my gosh, I feel like you wrote this specifically for me. It’s like you are describing the things I do – right down to being notoriously bad at taking a compliment. Thank you for sharing this and for inspiring me to Fake it ’till I make it too!!

    • Karen – I haven’t said it yet this week, but THANK YOU for organizing the DBlogWeek! YOU and DBlogWeek were my inspiration for even starting to blog this time last year, and look how far we’ve all come! I’ve “met” so many wonderful people by just sharing my experiences, and love DBlogWeek where I am always introduced to awesome new folks as well. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! (ha, ha, and now, you must graciously take that compliment 🙂 )

  7. Rhonda, what a great post and what an inspiring story. I will for sure read that book and if the library doesn’t have it, I have some Amazon credit waiting to be spent. You have been an incredible Internet supporter and friend to me in the last year as I’ve gotten to “know” you. Thanks!

  8. Loved your post! That is a great mantra to have. I will also have to check out the book.

  9. I use the Fake it til u make it mantra as well!! Helps me get thru the day!! Thanks for your Blog week entries. I too am passionate about Medicare & CGM approval!!

    But I must say, THANK U, THANK U, THANK U for reading my blog & liking my last entry!! I really didn’t think anyone was reading what I wrote & I was thinking of giving up. But U give me hope!! MAybe I can connect to the post pancreatectomy T1D’s out there!!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while & ur an inspiration. Thank u for all u do!!

  10. My first boss after grad school told all her new hires to “fake it til you make it.” Kinda weird hearing it from a boss, but it definitely helped!

  11. Pingback: My Favorite Things | Test Guess and Go

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