Faking It

I walk down the hall: shoulders straight, head up, smile on. I good-morning, good-afternoon, or good-evening, usually in appropriate context. My voice projects, as do my hips. There is confidence and esteem in my words and actions.

I’m witty, so chit-chat and banter aren’t hard to come by. It doesn’t take much talk to brew a K-cup and I can think beyond the weather. I make eye contact. I enunciate. I can manage conversations around my business, writing, current events or the news, history, literature, life, TV, kids, and a myriad of other topics. I speak with authority, except when I don’t have any and then I ask questions.

My clothes, though bought at discount, project security, and class. I wear what I am comfortable wearing, and it looks good on me, and typically that is a dress or skirt and power heels. I wear the Kleins, Calvin and Anne, but I shop Ross – though you can’t tell the price once the tag is off. I can sit with my team or with the executives.

Polka-dotted and furry: four inches of confidence.

Polka-dotted and furry: four inches of confidence.

I look and sound like a strong and confident woman, secure in herself and her life, ready to take on challenges and create ideas that move life, and business, ahead. And in many ways, and on many days, I am. But not really.

I spend a great deal of my day imagining that people view me this way. When I’m feeling particularly down, I pretend I can read thoughts and hear people thinking about how smart or creative or pretty I am. Really, I’m hearing me reminding me that I’m not all that bad, that I can do it, that I’m able and capable. But still, when it all comes down to it, I don’t believe it about myself, and take my strength and confidence from perceiving that others perceive me as such. It’s a twisted cycle.

I feel like I’m faking it, like I’m walking around pretending to be something I am still fighting to be, like I’m there already even though I have miles to go before I sleep. I’m working on being strong, and in the meantime, I’m pretending I am.

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26 thoughts on “Faking It

  1. Melanie,
    You are aware of where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. There’s no faking this: you have your head together.
    Le Clown

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  2. I think the fact that you are able to at least project it on the outside shows some effort in your ability to keep working toward change. I know in my case my outside and my inside are a pretty consistent mess right now LOL.

    Keep on and it will be natural one day soon!

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    • You should have seen me Sunday when I went to the store without fixing my hair and wearing the same clothes as Saturday. Sometimes I’m as much a mess on the outside as on the inside (but, thankfully, those days are fewer than they used to be).

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  3. Melanie, This is Marcia from SCI.
    Here is one thing to always remember, you are not alone in your insecurities. Everyone has their own private hell. There is not a person on earth that doesn’t have something that they are insecure about. My insecurities to you or someone else might seem very laughable and vice versa, but to me it’s a monumental thing and a huge insecurity. I know you, your insecurities are all in your own head. They are not seen or perceived by others. You are doing a great job!!

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    • Hi Marcia! Oh I’m so excited to hear from you here. How are you?

      I know what I struggle with is different from what others struggle with, but underneath it all we all struggle with something. Thank you so much for your pep talk. 🙂

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    • I think Sofia Leo summed it up nicely – we’ve got to fake it til we make it. If I looked how I felt, holy shit, no one would want to sit by me at the lunch table.

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      • Agreed.

        Your post is more me 10 years ago than me today since I have no dress code for work anymore. I hardly ever wear heels, but I do wear dresses mostly on the weekend. These days, I get more dressed up outside of work than for it.

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        • I just live in dresses. I love dresses, but the ones for work are seriously fancier than the ones for play. That, and I almost always wear my boots for play and heels for work.

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          • I few summers ago, I discovered that skirts are way cooler than shorts in a broiling LA summer. Then last year, I took it a step further and discovered that dresses are way cooler than skirts. Outside of work, that’s pretty much all I wear. The funny thing is, I haven’t worn one to work at all because it’s always freezing in here. I dress up more outside of work.

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            • I hear ya. This southern summer humidity requires cool clothing. I feel cooler in skirts and dresses too, both definitions of cooler too.
              I still wear them to the office, even though it’s a meat locker in here. I keep a black sweater and a white sweater in my desk drawer to battle the chill.

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            • That’s not a bad idea. I have the blood of a lizard so it makes it difficult to dress in the summer when it’s a billion degrees out there and subzero inside.

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  4. I feel you, Mel.

    I once had a mentor who approached me and said, “You have no idea what you are doing, do you?”
    I was floored.
    “You see right through me. I have no idea what I am doing,” I answered.
    “Let me tell you a secret,” he said. “Neither does anyone else. Don’t let them fool you.”
    Everyone fakes it, even those who make it. Let’s make a badge that reads “I’m faking it.” It will probably go viral. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

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    • Yes! You’ll finally get your viral post.
      But you’re right. We’re all faking it. It gives us and others the confidence we need to continue with our daily lives.

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