“Fake It Till You Make It!”

As you probably know by now, because I have mentioned this quite a bit already in my writing, I’m not the biggest fan of using slogans and cliches to guide my life. But for whatever the reason, my life experiences seem to be imitating them lately, and today was a good example of one in particular…

“Fake It Till You Make It!”

The initial time I heard this phrase was during my first few months of sobriety when I started checking out a few AA meetings. While I didn’t stick around and instead avoided all of 12 Step recovery like the plague for about 12 years, this slogan somehow got stuck in my head. Maybe that’s due to those rare cases when I went to AA meetings back then and would hold them hostage with my many complaints in life. Usually someone always responded afterwards to me and said I needed to fake it till I made it. Honestly, I began to despise hearing that solely for the fact that at the time, I enjoyed living in drama and being negative about my life. So following the phrase’s meaning was doing exactly the opposite of how I wanted to be living at the time. Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore.

While I have my own understanding of what this phrase means, I was curious as to what the Internet said about it so I did a Google search before writing this article. As based upon what Wikipedia says, “‘Fake it till you make it’ is a common catchphrase that means to imitate confidence so that as the confidence produces success, it will generate real confidence.”

Ironically, I also learned in this research that this token phrase did not originate in 12 Step recovery meetings as I once thought. Its actual origin is from a book titled “Con Man or Saint” that was published in 1969.  The book chronicled the life of Glen W. Turner who was a ninth-grade dropout and a poor tenant farmer that borrowed $5,000 for the sole purpose of opening his own business, which eventually went on to become a $100,000,000 endeavor for him. Throughout this book, it’s mentioned he used motivational phrases to become rich and one of those just happened to be “Fake It Til You Make It”.

Even more interesting is the fact that a few years later, Amway Corporation actually took this phrase and published a book with that as its title where it was utilized as a motivational tool for all of its sellers to aid in their personal sales growth. It appears that somewhere along the lines, it made its way into Alcoholics Anonymous. So thanks to some Amway distributor from years ago who probably was an alcoholic and shared the phrase at a meeting one day, it’s now become one of the most widely used slogans in all of 12 Step recovery. I have to believe that this probably is how most of the 12 Step recovery slogans originate, from one inspirational person sharing at a meeting.

Anyway, while I found all of this rather interesting during my research, I think the phrase can be summed up in a much easier way. It’s as simple as “acting as if”. In other words, if there is something in life that one is striving for, “act as if” it’s going to manifest into being and it will happen. As I mentioned earlier, that’s exactly what I did today when I awoke this morning and my physical pain levels were quite extreme. While my brian wanted to pout and complain and not leave the comfort of my bed, I forced myself out of it and began to go through my day doing the absolute best I could with every single activity that was planned. And not once during any of that time did I go into self-pity. Instead, I stayed positive throughout the day and did my best to keep my focus not only on all the things I was doing, but also on my belief that I will get better.

I reckon I have to face the truth now that one of my least favorite slogans seems to have become one I’m actually following quite a bit these days, like today. While you probably won’t ever catch me using this actual phrase during any of the times I share in a recovery meeting, the fact remains true that it’s definition is something which continues to help me keep going day after day with the health issues I’m still facing.

So for all those people who told me over the years “Fake It Till You Make It”, I guess my answer to them now would be “I AM!” Go figure.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Author: Andrew Arthur Dawson

A teacher of meditation, a motivational speaker, a reader of numerology, and a writer by trade, Andrew Arthur Dawson is a spiritual man devoted to serving his Higher Power and bringing a lot more light and love into this world. This blog, www.thetwelfthstep.com is just one of those ways...

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