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Replace โ€œfake it 'til you make it,โ€ with โ€œfire it 'til you wire it.โ€

In a recent conversation with a friend about facing difficult work situations, she used the ubiquitous saying "fake it 'til you make it."

Listen up y'all...

it’s time for this saying to be officially and permanently retired! 

When we lovingly advise each other or ourselves to “fake it 'til you make it” we are, inadvertently, reinforcing a negative internal dialog that undercuts our progress. Although intended to send the positive, uplifting message of “just take action until you gain confidence and competence,” this phrase includes a subtle, not-very-empowering message that needs examination.  I understand telling ourselves to “fake it” allows us to move forward when we may not yet believe in ourselves, but language is powerful, so let’s use language that describes what’s actually happening.

To better express the dynamic that occurs when we take an action, change our nonverbal pose, smile even if we don’t feel...

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Quiet Your Inner Critic to Gain Self-Confidence

Even as a confident, competent, and well-grounded person, I know I am not alone in sometimes battling self-critical thoughts – call it the inner critic, gremlin, saboteur, or negative voice.

I don’t think anyone completely escapes it, so I think we should just talk about it.

When we don’t talk about the self-critical thoughts we face, we empower that little gremlin and give her cover. If we have shame about having an inner critic, we bolster its influence, if we talk about it we can help each other make peace with it. We can “name it to tame it.” I call her “her” (instead of “it”) because like it or not, she is a part of me – she is not Me, but she is a part of me. (And your gremlin is a part of you too.) 

Our critical inner voice comes from a natural negativity bias our brains have developed to keep us safe. Neuroscience confirms that we’re wired to stay on alert for threat and negative circumstances as a...

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