Faking It

Jason - Provo, Utah
Entered on February 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in being a fake. More specifically, I believe in faking confidence until it becomes a reality. I discovered a main part of this during my senior year of high school. All of my high school years had been building up to this last year, I had been anticipating the self assurance and confident air that automatically came with the transition to being a senior that occurred during that last high school summer. When that last year came and nothing had magically shown up, I realized I had to change myself to gain some of these things. After realizing this, I really shaped up. I scored the lead role in the spring musical, and was working out every morning to compete for an ROTC scholarship. My voice was great, I had finally cut out all that excess weight, and I really liked my hair; what with the little flip that I managed to coax out of my bangs every morning.

I was doing well from all outward appearances, but inside I was the same dorky, self-conscious self. I still held back, never volunteering or standing out. I put on a cold, indifferent front to hide the insecurity I felt. Throughout this physical transformation, nothing inside of me had been changed; I had been focusing too much on outward appearances. Even though my looks and talents could now pass me off as being “cool,” I still hadn’t picked up on the confidence aspect. I still had those awkward interactions, the insecure moments where I didn’t branch out because I was worried about everyone discovering my true dorkness.

So I tried something new. I tried to fake the confidence until I got it. It was really hard at the beginning. I had to throw myself into the spotlight, and give others a chance to see me, and judge what they thought of me. But as soon as I did this, I started to see some differences. I was having fun, and doing what I wanted, but people still liked me. I could hold my own when meeting with perfect strangers, and not automatically assume that I couldn’t keep up with them. With effort, I could walk down the hall and make eye contact with that one cute girl passing by, and not do the usual unpreventable stare straight forward that I hate the whole time I’m doing it. With effort, I could even manage a smile and a greeting. I now realize that no matter how hard I try, there are going to be moments where I am awkward, or when I am clumsy, or when I just mess something up. But if I just fake confidence, I can play it off, and not worry about it. An idea can become reality as much as we let it affect us, and if we act on it as if it were a reality. I fake confidence, and as much as I can act on it, it becomes a reality.