What does „fake it till you make it“ mean? Meaning, Psychology, Explanation

The english phrase „Fake it till you make it“ means „Fake it and you’ll make it.“

What is meant by this is that someone should imitate or act out the behavior of others until he or she can do it themselves. In particular, behavior, self-confidence, competence, and attitude are to be imitated. The „pretending“ here forms the basis for learning new techniques and skills.

„Fake it till you make it“ is particularly about someone pretending at first in order to accumulate positive experiences. From these positive experiences, someone draws courage and self-confidence in order to expand the newly acquired ability.

„Fake it till you make it“: Formel, Explanation

„Fake it till you make it“ can be broken down to a formula:

If you want feeling x, then act as if you already feel feeling x. And: Act out feeling x in order to experience feeling x.


  • Want to feel confident, act confident. (And, act confident to become confident).
  • Want to be productive, then act like a productive person.
  • Want more friends, then act like someone who has many friends.
  • Want to talk to strangers without fear, then act like someone who talks to strangers without fear.
  • If you want to gain customers, then act as if you are already successful and have enough or many customers. Make your company or yourself bigger than you are. (This is possible through status symbols).
  • If you want to have successful conversations with customers, then act that you are a successful businessman or businesswoman.
  • You want to speak successfully in front of others, then act like someone who speaks successfully in front of others.
  • You want to be slim, then act and eat like someone who is slim.

„Fake it till you make it“: Turning an incompetence into a competence

„Fake it till you make it“ starts with a skill in which someone is incompetent, fearful and insecure. From the positive experience of pretending, someone then works on their incompetence and, through repeated practice, turns incompetence into competence. In the process, insecurities are reduced and self-confidence is built.

„Fake it till you make it“ as an advice to imitate behavior is given when someone wants or is supposed to do an activity or action and this person has no experience and practical knowledge for it yet. Usually the lack of experience is accompanied by low self-confidence, because the self-confidence to perform a certain action or activity is missing.

„Fake it till you make it“ applied in reality: Imitate and imitate

Those who apply „fake it till you make it“ in reality usually start interpreting behavior and words of others. This can be, for example, a certain style of dress, a certain posture, certain choice of words, the confidence and certain phrases used. It helps to imitate others as this gives confidence.

Techniques for „fake it till you make it“ and to overcome fear are:

  • Remember your own successes and achievements. (This gives courage and shows that what you managed once, you can manage a second time).
  • Remember the successes and achievements of others. (What they have achieved, everyone else can achieve too (if they want to and make an effort)).
  • Surround yourself with people who have your desired characteristics. (People influence each other and „rub off“ on each other).
  • Meditate (Give your mind a break to calm down.
    Say what you are afraid of. (This frees you.)

Anyone who exaggerates „fake it till you make it“ quickly becomes an impostor and gets caught in lies. This happens especially when someone lies about successes and achievements. Fake it till you make it“ is about the feeling of e.g. self-confidence, which is tried to get by acting self-confident behavior. It is not a matter of conjuring up self-confidence or even lying about it! (It should be weighed therefore always whether honesty is not worth more. If a lie flies up, then the confidence is lost).

Psychologie hinter „Fake it till you make it“

„Fake it till you make it“ can be broken down to a formula: If you want to feel confident, you have to act confident. This builds on the knowledge that behavior and the physical influences the emotional and the psyche. A good example of this is: if someone pretends to smile (and actually grimaces) for a minute, their mood goes up.

Fake confidence can certainly lead to real successes. These successes then lead to self-confidence growing and someone becoming better at an activity in which he/she is still a beginner or of which he/she is afraid.

„Fake it till you make it“ works for positive beliefs

„Fake it till you make it“ works when a person has recognized what is holding them back or blocking them. (Negative beliefs) If this is not recognized, then imitating will not work either. Examples:

  • If someone wants to be liked by others but does not like himself/herself, any attempt to build positive relationships with others will fail.
  • Someone believes about himself/herself that he/she is not a good salesperson. Now the person wants to pretend to be a good salesperson by acting. The attempt will fail because of the negative belief.
  • Someone believes that money corrupts character. Any attempt to act like a rich person or to acquire money will fail because of self-protection. This is because the person will reject money in order to protect his character from being corrupted.

The brain and mind work here with the goal that contradictory thoughts are rejected and repelled. Thoughts should fit together and be coherent. Any new thought that contradicts a negative belief is therefore „fought“.

„Fake it till you make it“ also means at the beginning that someone has no experience in an activity and therefore can seem wooden or like a robot. This is where a credibility gap occurs because someone is pretending but their behavior, body language and facial expressions betray the act. This phase is part of learning.

Autor: Pierre von BedeutungOnline

Hallo, ich bin Autor und Macher von BedeutungOnline. Bei BedeutungOnline dreht sich alles um Worte und Sprache. Denn wie wir sprechen und worüber wir sprechen, formt wie wir die Welt sehen und was uns wichtig ist. Das darzustellen, begeistert mich und deswegen schreibe ich für dich Beiträge über ausgewählte Worte, die in der deutschen Sprache gesprochen werden. Seit 2004 arbeite ich als Journalist. Ich habe Psychologie und Philosophie mit Schwerpunkt Sprache und Bedeutung studiert. Ich arbeite fast täglich an BedeutungOnline und erstelle laufend für dich neue Beiträge. Mehr über BedeutungOnline.de und mich erfährst du hier.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert