Can Faking It Until You Make It Help You Achieve In Life?

DR JOHN DEMARTINI   -   Updated 1 month ago

Dr John Demartini explains why, if you would love to leave a legacy and make a difference, it is wise to be yourself. The second you try to fake it, you dilute your uniqueness and lose your ability to make more of a difference.


DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 1 month ago

“Fake it until you make it” is advice that is often given to those who may perceive they are lacking in confidence, competence or skills. The idea is that by imitating or pretending that you have those qualities, you can eventually realize them in your own life.

It’s certainly an interesting school of thought that has been widely debated for the past few decades.

Some believe it to be a wise practice to help you move from your comfort zone into more challenging situations where you can grow, while others believe that faking it may be the birthplace of imposter syndrome and stem from an underlying sense that your authentic self isn’t good enough.

What if:

  • The magnificence of who you actually are is far greater than any inauthentic fantasy you could ever impose on yourself.
  • How can you be loved and appreciated for who you are if you’re faking or not being who you are? If you fake it, you’re highly likely to attract people that resonate with the fake, instead of people who honor the authentic you.
  • Instead of faking it in life, it just may be wiser to master your life – to put in the hours to master your mind and master your life.

Let’s take a step back and look at what tends to happen when you are inauthentic or faking it.

Anytime you exaggerate, puff yourself up and wear a fake facade, persona, or mask, you attract humbling circumstances to bring you back into equilibrium and authenticity.

What if every event in life is trying to help you to be authentic?

So, if you puff yourself up and exaggerate yourself relative to another individual, narcissistically project your values onto them, and expect them to live in your values, you likely end up with resistance and critique to bring you back down. As the old saying goes, pride comes before a fall.

This resistance and critique is not a mistake or some sort of mean behavior. It’s just FEEDBACK to let you know that you're exaggerating yourself and out of equilibrium with the individual you're with. As such, this feedback is something to be appreciative of.

In some cases, if you behave in an excessively arrogant and invincible manner, you may even attract a tragic event, or at least distractions or challenges in your life to get you back in equilibrium.

The same principle applies if you minimize yourself relative to others, try to please them, and try to live in their values instead of your own.

You devalue your authentic self when you minimize yourself, and as such you are not being authentic.

Putting on a façade is therefore most likely to backfire because you’ll tend to receive negative homeostatic feedback responses anytime you’re inauthentic and uninspired by your life.

Mastery, authenticity, and being loved and appreciated for who you are is highly unlikely to occur if you don’t know what you truly value most.

If you haven’t yet heard me speak about values, let me give you a brief overview.

Every human being consciously or unconsciously lives by a set of priorities or set of values - that which is most important to least important in their life.


Think of a ladder as an example. Your highest values will be at the top, and your lower values will be closer to the bottom.

In my own hierarchy of values, teaching is right at the very top. So, you’re likely to find me prioritizing and being spontaneously inspired to teach every opportunity I can.

Driving a car or cooking, on the other hand, are low on my values, so I will delegate those tasks wherever possible else I would hesitate, procrastinate and frustrate when doing them, or require extrinsic motivation in the form of reward or punishment to get them done.

In the same way that your fingerprints are unique to you, so too is it exceptionally unlikely that another human being has the exact same set of values as you.

Therefore, trying to copy somebody else’s set of values and “fake it” is almost certain to diminish your potential and result in your being second at being somebody else, instead of first at being the true and authentic you.

There's no competition to your true you. There only appears to be competition from people similar to you, maybe, but not the authentic and unique you.

You have a natural inclination to want to be authentic and to be loved and appreciated for who you are. Your identity revolves around and is an expression of your highest value – so too for others.

Any time you are not living in accordance with your highest values and try to live by other people's values that you envy or admire, it can result in internal conflict. Many psychological conditions may emerge out of such an internal conflict.

I believe it is wiser to:

  • Know what your true highest values are and give yourself permission to live congruently according to whatever they are;
  • Structure your life by priority and do the highest priority daily actions that also serve the greatest number of people that also compensate you financially in return for fair exchange; and
  • Fill your day with high priority actions that inspire you, instead of with low priority distractions that don't.

When you’re authentic, you’re most efficient.

This is because your highest values are where you tend to be the most inspired, most spontaneously active, and where you are likely to be the most fulfilled and find the most meaning.

It’s also where you tend to be the most objective, balanced, resilient, adaptable, disciplined, reliable, focused and expanded in awareness and potential; and most likely to open the doors for expanded opportunities and play in a bigger field of possibility.

As such, the magnificence of who you are is far greater than any fantasies you'll impose on yourself

Instead of faking it, it is wiser to be crystal clear about your own highest values (you can click here to complete the free confidential Demartini Value Determination Process on my website, if you haven’t already), and then decide how to live your life in such a way that it is congruently aligned with those highest values.

The key to this practice is living by priority. If you fill your day with the very highest priority actions, you're going to increase the probability of being authentic, objective, and having a sustainable fair exchange with people. As such, there’s no need to fake it.

When you put on a façade, you attract people to bring you back to authenticity – either by raising you up if you’re putting yourself down or by bringing you down if you’re puffing yourself up.

I show people how to maintain a balanced and authentic orientation at my Breakthrough Experience seminar that I present around the world.

When people praise you and you humble yourself, they tend to keep encouraging you and telling you how wonderful you are. If, however, you get arrogant and project a sense that you are deserving of their praise, they are more likely to criticize you to cut you back down to size.

In other words, you’re likely to receive responses from people - praise and criticism, support and challenge - to try to get you to be balanced and authentic.

And by the way, you’ll do the same to yourself internally to keep yourself in balance.

Many people become addicted to praise, and attract criticism as a result.


If someone praises you and you become proud, you’ll likely attract criticism, challenge, and humbling circumstances to get you back to authenticity again.

Praise without reprimand or positive without negative doesn't work, in my experience. Maximum growth and development occur at the border between the two poles – you require both supportive prey and challenging predator to maximize your fitness.

It is wiser to make sure that you're balanced and stable by fully embracing both sides.

You’re both sided, and so am I. I'm neither a nice person nor a mean person. I'm neither a kind person nor a cruel person. Those are labels and personas. I have moments when I'm kind and moments when I'm cruel, but I'm a human being with both sides.

In fact, many years ago, I found that I have every one of the 4,628 traits in that year’s edition of the Oxford dictionary. I found them all in myself. There are different settings where I play out those roles and I have no desire to get rid of any of them or gain some of them because they're already there. They're not ever lost. They're not ever gained.

A master lives in a world of transformation, not in a world of gain and loss.

As such, I don't have any desire to get rid of anything or gain anything. That's why I'm not a self-improvement promoting presenter.

Instead, I'm here to help you realize that you already have it. There's nothing missing in you. You have all the traits. You don't need to get rid of any of them, and there is nothing missing in you.

The false perfectionism involves one-sidedness often promoted by absolute moralists who inevitably end up being hypocrites, that it’s possible to be one sided – kind never cruel, nice never mean, positive never negative etc. is impossible in the same way that having a one sided magnet is impossible.

You don’t need to get rid of any part of yourself or fake having various traits. You have them all.

True perfection involves embracing both sides of your own life, so there's no reason to put on a façade.

Instead of faking it, it is wiser to master your highest value derived skill

If you know you want to become an expert or master a specific skill, find every opportunity to practice, hone and master that skill.

In my case, I discovered early on in my life that one of my highest values, and something I am intrinsically inspired to do, is professional speaking. Despite my fears and anxiety at the time, I took advantage of every opportunity to speak in public so I could learn to master it.

I spent hours preparing, studying and researching as much as I could so that I knew my material and knew more than enough material to fill my designated speaking time slot.

I discovered that I would far rather be masterful and knowledgeable than fake it.

As such, I could speak clearly, without anxiety, and just be myself up there. That was the key for me.

I also discovered that it is wise to do due diligence and not to take on expertise that's not really yours.

We live in a world of trends where people often regurgitate the content of others. I would prefer to speak from a place of inspiration and specialized knowledge instead of trying to be a second rate version of someone else’s thoughts, ideas and expertise.

As such, I often turn down speaking opportunities and say, “That's not inspiring to me. That's not where my expertise is. That's not really what I would love to share. So thank you, but no thank you.”

I find that if I'm doing what I am truly inspired to do, what's really high on my list of values, I don't have anxiety about it. Instead, I'm inspired to go and study, read, learn, and share the information, and can just be myself.

It’s also where you maximize your knowledge. Your brain is set up to maximize information in the area that's highest on your values.


That’s also feedback from the world within and around you that it’s wise to stick to your core competence.

Take the time to identify your highest values, because your ontological identity and life revolve around your highest value.

My ontological life and identity revolve around teaching – primarily in the field of human behavior. Your highest value might be raising children, managing a business, or pole vaulting.

Whatever it is, your highest value is your life's identity and your purpose is an expression of your highest value.

So if you're doing something most purposeful, most meaningful and where you're most inspired and most knowledgeable, you won't have to fake anything.

As such, you’ll also tend to be most confident in your actions. I think people can sense that authenticity and would rather do business with you instead of someone who they innately sense is wearing a façade.

I could see this in action years ago when I was in full time practice. I noticed how patients could sense if one of my associate and specialty doctors did not have the fullest confidence, certainty, inspiration and love for what they're doing.

Once you’ve identified your highest values, you can stick to that and build incremental momentum in that area of expertise so that you can become masterful at it.

When you're doing something that's truly inspiring and based on your highest values, it doesn't tend to feel like work. When I research, write and study, I don't think it's a lot of work. I’m just doing what I love to do in each spare moment that I get.

It’s the same with teaching – I never have to try and find motivation or willpower to teach others because I love doing it.

When others see you in this authentic state, they typically want to refer others to you.

They typically want to tell people about you, which results in the growth of your business because people see you walking the talk and are inspired.

Einstein said that the greatest teacher is exemplification. I think that that's the key: to exemplify what's true for you, stick to what your core competence is, master that skill and become the greatest at it.

So you're not faking anything, you're mastering it. And you just keep doing it.

To sum up:

  • People who put on a facade are likely to get caught out. People who are on an inspired path usually get known.
  • If you would love to leave a legacy and make a difference, it is wiser, in my opinion, to be yourself. The second you try to subordinate to someone else and try to be somebody you're not, you dilute your uniqueness and diminish your ability to make more of a difference. In other words, you make yourself more like the herd instead of someone that actually gets heard.
  • I'd rather be an unborrowed visionary than a borrowed visionary. An unborrowed visionary is someone who goes within, follows their own path and blazes a trail that's unique to them. So I'm a firm believer that being authentic is probably the most powerful thing you're going to be able to do in your life.
  • I believe that everything that goes on in your life is trying to help you to be authentic. In my Breakthrough Experience seminar program, I show you how everything that's going on in your life is trying to give you feedback to do that. When you see that, you are able to realize that the most efficient and effective thing to do is to be yourself.
  • I believe it is wiser to master your life than fake it, to determine your unique set of highest values, align your priorities and life accordingly, and get over the fantasies of immediate gratification.


If you’d love to learn how to put the principles covered in this blog into action, join me at my 2-day seminar, the Breakthrough Experience, where I’ll introduce you to a powerful self-development process called the Demartini Method.

The Demartini Method is a breakthrough discovery and cutting-edge individual transformation methodology that results in a new perspective and paradigm in thinking and feeling.

It is the key methodology incorporated in Demartinian Psychology. The Demartini Method consists of Executive Function Development exercises used strategically to drive the evolution of the brain - from subcortical dominance to prefrontal cortex or executive center dominance.

It is the culmination of more than five decades of research and studies in numerous disciplines, including physics, philosophy, theology, metaphysics, psychology, astronomy, mathematics, neurology, and physiology. It’s a cognitive process that involves balancing your mathematical equations of perceptions through a continuous thinking and writing action, driving you from your more primitive survival brain (systems 1) dominance to your more advanced thrival self-governing (systems 2) brain dominance.

The Demartini Method results in greater self-governing executive function and thus life mastery.

It is a powerful transformation process used by many leading specialists in the mind mastery field such as psychology, psychiatry, coaching, mentoring, teaching, and holistic healing.

If you’d love to find out more, click here. You can also chat with a member of the Demartini team by booking a call here.