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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

The Worst Advice I have Ever Given

Imposter syndrome, mental health, shyness, tiredness, IBS: there are many reasons we don't always feel our best day to day.

When asked about how I coped with the strains of life, my advice was to fake it until you make it. That’s right reader, I was urging people to pretend to feel fine.

Just so we’re clear - I no longer endorse this.

This is the worst advice I’ve ever given. Now I look back, and think what in the Molly Mae was I thinking! At the time, I genuinely believed what I said. For a while, it did work for me. But, now I am older, wiser, burnt out, and well and truly stuck in my ways, I realise that this is not a useful thing to say at all.

Let’s explore it shall we, fake it until you make it. There are no attributions for this saying, and in fact, it is just an English expression that gets chucked about by #girlbosses and rubbish therapists. It essentially suggests that mind over matter and working as if you already have achieved your goals will get you to where you want to be. Reader, just so we’re clear, this will NEVER work.

Fake it until you make it has an implied darker undertone, suggesting that life will never be as we wish it to be. I hate the idea of that and don’t believe it to be true.

Now, there are circumstances where we have all pretended to be okay for many reasons. Whether we are holding back emotion to protect ourselves & others or avoiding blurring the lines of personal & work lives, you name it we have all answered “and how are you” with “yeah I am great, doing really well” when what we really mean is “I am not great, I am doing really not well at all”. It isn’t faking it until you make it at all. It is just avoiding opening up in every interaction we have!

So if my advice is no longer about false positives, what do I offer you instead?

Well, instead being genuine will make all the difference. Being alive is hard, but lying to yourself is even harder. The truth may be uncomfortable in the short term, but in the long term, it is much healthier.

Some circumstances enhance how terrible we feel, and perhaps instead of adjusting our mood to fit, we should consider changing the things we give our time to. I am a huge believer in saying no, and 2022 is the year of putting yourself first.

The more our lives are lived on our own terms (where possible) the less need we will have to even consider faking it to make it. We are not the problem, we have nothing to fake. This is much better advice!

Thanks for joining me this week, and I hope it helped you. I will be back next week to explore comparison. As always, I love you lots like jelly tots, until next time, uh buh bye.

Images shot by Ruth Pechey


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