One bit of advice that is often given to newcomers in recovery is to ‘fake it to make it’. This advice can sound a bit dubious and maybe even a bit sleazy. After all, staying caught up in addiction is all about living a lie, so how could it be good to continue with deception in recovery. This reaction is understandable until it is properly understood that ‘faking it to make it’ is not about living a lie – it is all about changing yourself in order to change your life.
What Does Fake It To Make It Mean?
Faking it to make it is not about pretending to be something you are not; you are not trying to fool anyone, especially not yourself. What is really being advised here is that you change the way you react in the world so that your world will change. This is better understood by thinking about the universal law that states that if you do good things, good things are likely to happen to you. Hopefully, your experiences with addiction have shown you what happens when you do the wrong things, so faking it to make it could be seen as a way of creating good karma for yourself.
Faking it to make it is something all humans do to at least some extent. It is unlikely that you would survive very long in the modern world if you acted on every thought in your head. Sometimes you just need to act like the person you want to be rather than the person you really feel like at that moment. So the advice to ‘fake it to make it’ is not telling you to do anything new – it is really about doing something you already do but more effectively.
Faking it and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
A self-fulfilling prophecy is a type of prediction where the act of making it causes the event to happen. This is easier to understand with an example. If you feel certain that you are going to fail an exam, you might react to this prediction by not studying very hard so that you do fail. Basically, the things people believe about the future affects their behaviour now, so they create the conditions for the prediction to come true.
If you believe that you are going to relapse, you may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. It means that you are not going to be able to fully commit to this new life; why would you if you believe it is all going to end in tears? The fact that you are expecting relapses will mean you are not going to put enough effort into staying sober, so you probably will not stay sober for very long.
If you have been struggling for many years to break away from addiction, it is understandable that you may feel a little pessimist about your chances in sobriety. This is why it is so important for you to ‘fake it to make it’ – you must act as if you are going to succeed because this will allow you to do the things that you need to do in order to succeed. It is not about cheating – it is an effective tool for recovery.
Faking It to Make It Is a Short Term Strategy
Faking it to make it is only a short-term strategy. By initially acting as if you are going to succeed, you start to experience some success in life. As your confidence grows in your ability to shape the future, there is no longer any need for you to fake it – it is just something you do in order to get the ball rolling.