Early in my career, I would have completely disagreed with Faking It 'til You Make It but after seeing it work time after time I have a hard time denying its power. I say this in a way that I do not recommend lying or doing anything unethical.
Many of my thoughts root from Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk. Amy talks about her experience in Princeton where she believes she isn't good enough, and she shouldn't even be there. Her mentor tells her just to fake it and pretend to be there. After years of being at Princeton, she discovers that she is not alone in these thoughts and ends up using these thoughts to help another student that felt similar to her. Amy says it best in the video below; I highly recommend watching.
At various parts of my career, I have been offered projects that weren't necessarily in my skillset, in fact, I had no idea how to get these jobs done. I saw these projects as opportunities to learn a new skill, although it would be tough and I would surely make a couple of mistakes, I would come out of the project a better man. Doing this over and over led me to become an expert in areas I would otherwise not have explored.
Understandably, you may be thinking that this is unethical, to just be yourself. In no way am I recommending to lie about your experience or fabricate stories about your success, getting outside your comfort zone is the important thing. It's okay to tell people that you are doing something for the first time, faking your confidence is not unethical. They will understand the risk and so will you.
My Friend in PR
I have a good friend that works with many celebrities and large businesses. To keep his privacy, we will name him Bob. He started as a social media expert and grew into PR as he built up connections in Hollywood. Starting out, Bob would talk a big game and it seemed to be B.S. half of the time and to a certain degree, I'm sure his stories were exaggerated and maybe even fabricated. While I could never quite know what truth was and what was a lie, I do know for sure that Bob created a career for himself by faking it 'til he made it. This works especially well in Hollywood where it's all about who you know and what projects you have worked with, and if you talk a big game about your successes, it helps that much more.
Be The Person You Want To Be
At the end of the day, faking it 'til you make it is only valuable if you use it to become the person you want to be. This technique requires practice just like anything else and after much effort and awkwardness, you will slowly get closer to becoming your better self.
I'll leave this thought with a comic I found. I hope you enjoyed the post and please feel free to start a discussion below with your thoughts! :)