Live Through This

Fake It Till You Make It

How to make friends, speak in public, navigate awkward run-ins, and get stuff for free using this one trick my mom taught me.

Illustration by Hattie

Growing up, my mom gave me so much advice. Some of it was usable: always wash your face before going to bed, no matter how tired you are. Never buy a coat without checking the buttons and zipper. Flowers will stay alive longer if you put a teaspoon of sugar in the water. Don’t pick at zits on your chin, because the chin never forgets, and it stays red for a really long time. Never run over a bag on the highway, because it might be filled with kittens. (Yes, this is a true story. Someone had dumped a garbage bag of kittens by the side of the road in Arizona when she was growing up. I’m scarred for life.)

Some of it was deeply questionable/bullshit: you’ll need to learn to cook, because your husband isn’t going to. Pleated, tapered jeans flatter everyone. Keep your skirt down and your panties up until you’re married. If a dog is wagging its tail, it wants you to pet it. (HOLY SHIT IS THIS EVER UNTRUE, AND I HAVE THE SCARS TO PROVE IT.)

But, like most moms, she meant well, and wanted me to have a happy life. She doled out advice all over the place and hoped I’d use her experience to avoid awkwardness, dismay, and years of pointless blundering. And she succeeded! Because there is one piece of advice she gave me over and over again. It has helped me immensely, and here it is: fake it till you make it.

Lemme explain. “Fake it till you make it” is not about faking happiness until you trick yourself into being happy. It’s not about acting like you’re too cool for school until other people also believe you are, and then basing your life around a made-up personality. It’s about confidence. It’s about meeting situations that you feel intimidated by head-on, telling yourself that you’re ready for them, and putting I-can-DO-this intentions out there, until you’ve done such a good job convincing yourself that you suddenly can handle the challenge before you.

When I was nervous about going to an audition (I used to love musical theater), or worried everything would be different on my first day of high school, or terrified of going to a party where I didn’t really know anyone, my mom would say: “Krissie Raye. You have as much right as anyone else to be in that room. Fake it till ya make it, honey. Pick your head up and show ’em what you’ve got.”

In other words, you know you’re a cool person! You know you’ve got something to add! You just have give yourself a chance! And people who radiate confidence don’t usually spend the whole night hiding in the bathroom at a party (this used to be me), petting the cat in the corner of the living room all night because without the cat-as-prop you might have to talk to people (um, also me), or avoiding potentially frightening social situations by just not going to them (tiny cough). I found out that if you adopt the actions—the physical actions—of being a confident person and pretend you’re playing the role of Someone Who Doesn’t Feel Awkward, it works wonders!

But how do you do it? Here’s how.

1. Stand tall.

Not in a philosophical sense: physically stand up straight, you guys! Head up. Shoulders back. The act of standing up straight, with your shoulders back, exposes your heart. You fear no attack! It shows people that you’re in the room. You are a force to be reckoned with, and you’re not shrinking or cowering from the way others make you feel. Here you are. All 5'1" (or whatever) of you.

Here’s an example: A few years ago, one of my close friends was having a birthday party. A huge birthday party. At a recording studio downtown that was going to be shut down for the event. It was going to be epic. The problem? My friend had casually Facebook-invited everyone she knew, and that included a girl (let’s call her Sally) I had, um, a history with. Once upon a time, Sally and I had shyly admitted we liked each other, gone on two dates, and made out, rather extensively.

WELL. I realized I wasn’t as interested in Sally as I thought, so I kind of…tapered off with the cute, flirty texts. And then told her I wanted to be friends instead of date. So what did Sally do? Sally went around and told lots of people that we’d fucked, that I was “boring” in bed, that I was “obsessed” with her, and “wouldn’t stop texting” her. Let me reiterate: WE NEVER HAD SEX. And Sally was a person with a lot of friends, and they were also coming to my close friend’s super-mega-fun birthday party. (Thanks, Facebook!)

So if I wanted to go to my friend’s epic party (I did, badly), I would be walking into a room full of queer girls who thought I was insane, bad in bed, and obsessed with their friend. Fun! I went anyway. I was very nervous, but I threw my shoulders back at the door and lifted my head and and walked into that party. Yes, I was there. You couldn’t miss me. And I had a great time that night, dancing with my real friends, and guess who tried to come drunkenly dance with me, with everyone watching? Yeaaahhhhh.

2. Talk to people.

Does this feel like an obvious point? It might seem obvious, but if everyone who felt nervous in a social situation did this, then situations wouldn’t feel so scary, period. Are you a little shy? Don’t know anyone in the room? It’s OK! Everyone is new at some point. Look for the first person who looks nice and introduce yourself. Say something super simple, like “Hi, I don’t know anyone here, my name’s Mia,” and smile, and I’m telling you, suddenly you will feel better. You’re taking action against feeling awkward! Pretending you’re confident turns into feeling confident. It works, Mom! You’re a genius!

My first few weeks at college were very scary. I felt like all these little groups were forming (smokers, partiers, pre-med kids, etc.) and I didn’t have a group. I stayed in my dorm every night and cried a lot and wrote a lot in my journal and worried about why I didn’t feel like I had any friends, and everyone else seemed to have lots. No one was hunting me down in my dorm room and demanding to be friends with me. Weird. Eventually I realized that everyone else was as new as I was, and I might have to put myself through some uncomfortable-for-me social situations—e.g., introduce myself to strangers—in order to actually meet people. About a month into college, I…TALKED TO A GIRL IN MY LOGIC CLASS. I turned to her while the professor was demonstrating a complicated problem and said (ready for it?): “Hi. I’m Krista. Do you, um…get this?” The girl’s name was Jess, and it turned out she didn’t understand our assignment, either. Jess and I formed a logic study group together, and three similarly illogical people from class joined us. My first college friends! We eventually had so much fun in our study group that I ended up with a C-minus!

3. Get authoritative.

“Fake it till you make it” can work in lots of different situations, not just social ones. You can use it help you sneak into places you don’t belong, like research libraries where you don’t have a pass and hospitals after visiting hours and building floors you’re not supposed to be on. Don’t hide from people who actually belong there—stride past them with purpose, pretend you know exactly where you’re going, and act like you belong there, too. Other people will believe it, and rarely will you be stopped or questioned. Look like you’ve been doing what you’re doing for ages! (This can sometimes cross the line into doing things you really shouldn’t be doing, but for the most part, a little chutzpah never hurt anyone.)

Is there something you want that would help you immensely? Ask for it with an air of authority, as if you’re expecting to get it and you get it all the time! My friend Kelly is awesome at this. Just like Herminone Granger, who confidently asks for (and gets) access to spellbooks in the Restricted section of the Hogwarts library, I’ve seen Kelly get first-class upgrades on planes rides when there is no call whatsoever to give them to her. It’s unreal. Where most people might, at most, tentatively ask the airline check-in person, “Are there any upgrades on this flight?” Kelly saunters up to the counter and says with a smile and with this amazing authority, “I’d love to be in first class on this flight. What seats are open?” as if she’s certain of getting an upgrade because she always gets an upgrade. AND SOMETIMES SHE GETS AN UPGRADE. Because she’s so believable!

My friend Jen is also very, very good at this. She gets into shows around Chicago for free all the time, just because she locks eyes with the guy at the door and says, “I’m with the band.” I’ve even seen her just walk in. As in, everyone sees her go in, but she seems like she’s already paid, or she belongs there. It’s crazy. She breezes by the door, and everyone else pays $12!

4. Realize that other people are faking it till they make it, too.

A while back, I was in a room full of 20-somethings who had all just been hired to do the same job I had: travel around the country setting up educational seminars. In our first meeting together, we had to get up and talk about ourselves, and our previous experience with traveling, in front of everyone. And I was last. Everyone who went before me seemed so together. Witty! Funny! Smart! Sophisticated! My god, their past experiences! Their years spent abroad in China, Spain, India, Turkey! Their hilarious anecdotes about trips gone wrong! I was freaking out: how could I compete with these stories? Until I suddenly remembered: I had been hired, just like them. I, too, must have something to offer. Something that’s as cool as what the other kids have to offer. That thought helped immensely, and I was able to just be my (still pretty nervous but OK) self in front of that room.

Afterwards, I told one of the girls, Lisa, that I had been nervous to talk in front of everyone, and she laughed and said, “Oh my god, me too! And I went right after that guy Mike who lived in Mexico for so long! Did you see my hands shaking, it was awful!” She had been intimidated and nervous? ’Cause she had pulled it together in front of everyone. Wow.

Here’s the thing, you guys: LOTS OF PEOPLE FEEL LIKE YOU DO. Almost everyone gets shy, or tongue-tied, or feels freaked when you step into a room of people who you might perceive as cooler than you, or more talented then you, or more stylish than you, or smarter than you. But all those extra-cool, smart, stylish, talented people are looking at you the same way, thinking you’re so cool, stylish, smart, etc. Nobody knows anything about anyone, deep down, so pretend to be a confident person until your real, inner confidence can come charging out for all to see!

5. Consider your assets.

Take stock of what you’ve got. All right, not everyone is brilliant or gorgeous or makes perfect style choices every day or is good at thinking up pithy, quotable statements. But—this is my mom talking again—everyone is good at something! For real! You may be entering a situation that intimidates you, but you have a reason to be there, and you have something that no one else does. Maybe it’s your sense of humor. Maybe it’s your ability to include people. Maybe it’s your sensitivity to the feelings of others around you, or your ability to recount entire plot lines of movies in terrifying detail.

When you realize what you’ve got going for you, cue the eureka moment: YOU’RE NOT REALLY FAKING IT AT ALL. ♦


  • Celiabow May 11th, 2012 7:14 PM

    This is a great article cause it’s so true, I do this all the time and it always seems to work well.

  • Ludo May 11th, 2012 7:14 PM

    Great article and great advice! I’ve always been shy, but faking confidence until I felt comfortable around people really helped me with meeting new people and doing presentations.

  • Kathryn May 11th, 2012 7:42 PM

    this is the best

  • Milala May 11th, 2012 7:43 PM

    This is actually great advice. I’m painfully shy and feel socially awkward most of the time, and I’m generally ok with it, but it really affects me when I’m in class and I’m DYING to say something (especially in Literature classes) but I can’t bring myself to. The worst thing is when SOMEONE ELSE SAYS IT and the professor congratulates him/her. Ugh, then I just wish I were the biggest extrovert. I’m going to fake it next time!

    • mayacolor July 3rd, 2012 11:10 AM

      Aaah same! I get scared all the time it’s really annoying I literally can’t talk I had a music exam today and I was shakeing – got another one tomorrow and hopeing It goes well. The weird thing is im quite loud if i know the people im with but that dosnt realy apply in class , so I feel your pain when someone says what you want to say

  • dani wills May 11th, 2012 7:49 PM

    i´m not that shy but i do that all the time, avoid social situations where i have to introduce myself, make conversation etc. I´m gonna put those advices in practice like right now!

  • annagracie May 11th, 2012 7:55 PM

    Both of today’s posts have been SO relevant to my life. Rookie is the best!!

  • decemberbaby May 11th, 2012 8:03 PM

    OH MY GOSH THIS IS PERFECT. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I seriously thought the subtitle/description at the top was too good to be true, and the article would say something like “there’s nothing you can do to avoid awkwardness,” but this is actually amazing.

  • KinuKinu May 11th, 2012 8:30 PM

    This is awesome!
    I can’t talk to people at all……I try…..but just,no.
    I’ve been homeschooled for 3 years now and I have lost the ability to speak to people my age.I don’t get put in a position where I meet a lot of kids my age,so that’s good.I’ll just chicken out and stare at stuff weirdly.
    Eh…I want to talk to people but I can’t….
    This is great,and I loved it♥♥♥♥

  • OldBaggery May 11th, 2012 8:41 PM

    This is all such great advice. And the illustration is beautiful!

  • unefillecommetoi May 11th, 2012 8:48 PM

    this is awesome and so helpful. most of my friends are older than me, and sometimes I find myself in a crowd of older, cooler guys, and the more time I spend with them more I realize they’re just as awkward as me (:

  • Nashipae May 11th, 2012 8:52 PM

    exactly what I repeat to myself every time, but said it explicit words… so useful, thank you!

  • Ellie May 11th, 2012 9:19 PM

    I LOVE THIS WITH A LARGE PART OF MY HEART. I’m entering high school this fall, and this is what I freak out about every day. Thank you. :)

  • lelelola May 11th, 2012 10:06 PM

    This is seriously perfect for me, thanks so much, it’s just what I needed!
    I’m going into high school this year, and there’s a total of two people I know that are going there. They’re going to be in all their classes together, and I’m going to know absolutely nobody in any of my classes. I was getting really worked up about it, because I have such a large group of friends where I am, and I’m kind of dependent on them. Thank you so much again, this helped me calm the heck down and get a plan! (:

  • Clairebearscare May 11th, 2012 10:29 PM

    Absolutely loved this article! So wonderful!

  • necroticbird May 11th, 2012 10:44 PM

    Adding this to the mantra: I have a right to be here! I’m a cool person and I want to show it!

  • lylsoy May 11th, 2012 11:12 PM

    this is exaclty what I needed!!! I’m hosting a speed-friending event for girls tomorrow and I’m so excited! My hands get sweaty when I even think about it… THANK YOU KRISTA! I’ll make it :)

  • Mayabett May 11th, 2012 11:28 PM

    This is such good advice because it totally works. I’ve been doing this for a while, so much so that I really AM confident. It’s brought out the best in me.

  • whisperedglasswords May 11th, 2012 11:45 PM

    Loved this article! And, funny coincidence….
    Im 5’1″. ^^

  • cherrycola27 May 12th, 2012 12:07 AM

    This is a great article! I’ve finally been realizing these things on my own, and even though it’s tough I try to do things like go out on my own where I don’t know anyone and be more confident.
    The walk up to people thing backfired on me once, though. I said like “Hi, I’m Mae, I don’t know anyone here blah blah blah”. And then this guy wouldn’t leave me alone! We were at a church thing and he asked me to go “look at another room” with him
    (it was empty), and I politely declined. Oprah says trust your instincts, and that guy just creeped me out! So be careful! :)

  • alesssurprise May 12th, 2012 12:35 AM

    You’re so cool Krista.

    The part where it says “feels freaked when you step into a room of people who you might perceive as cooler than you, or more talented then you, or more stylish than you, or smarter than you” is the story of my life.

    But for me, I’m scared almost all the time and i suck at lying or pretending. How can i be confident if i can’t even fake it? :’(

    • Pauletta May 12th, 2012 8:49 AM

      Practice when you’re alone. No, really. Imagine an awkward situation and rehearse what you would say or do. That way you will have a stock of phrases and attitudes to draw from when you’re on a REAL awkard situation. It lifts the burden of having to think how to act ON THE SPOT. It works for me ;9.

      • alesssurprise May 12th, 2012 11:15 PM

        omg ;_; ok i’ll try, thank you very much for your advice

  • Susann May 12th, 2012 12:42 AM

    This is truly helpful!

  • DitzyMo May 12th, 2012 12:58 AM

    This is just the article I need

  • Caden May 12th, 2012 3:54 AM

    I really needed this advice :). I’m about to graduate from university and need to learn to fake it till I make it!

    Caden x

  • horreure May 12th, 2012 5:55 AM

    I love this article, it’s so helpfull and talking from my own experiences: you and your mom are absolutely right.
    At my school people keep saying things like: oh you’re so confident I wish I had the guts to dress like you, etc. But you know what, I’m not that confident as everyone thinks, I too look at people nervously, afraid of what they might think of me. But I just fake it, pretend I don’t care what people think about me, or the way I dress/act/talk. Because I do love the way I do those things, I just ignore the voice in my head which says people will think I’m weird.

  • sully-bean May 12th, 2012 6:39 AM

    I recently adopted this technique from watching excessive Lady Gaga interviews and it’s just amazing, like whoa. Rookie, you are beautiful.
    I want to share another thing I do when I’m scared to talk to people out of fear of making a fool out of myself, because it really helps! Basically, I think of Glee, (Don’t judge me LOL) When Blaine texts COURAGE to Kurt. I think ‘courage, gurrlfrand’ and just do it. Then after I feel so ELECTRIC and POWERFUL because I DID IT and it is AMAZING.
    I really hope this helps you like it helps me!

  • Gabriela May 12th, 2012 8:31 AM

    Amazing article! I started to feel more confident in the last grade of middle school. I could go across big hall at my school not carying what people will think about my clotches, hair or my no makeup face. This year I’m going to high school and I’m shure that a lot of things will change. Thanks for advices :) I will remember about this advices ;)

  • ezingz May 12th, 2012 10:15 AM

    My mom always says to me “create your own reality” and IT WORKS :D

  • julalondon May 12th, 2012 12:52 PM

    I just realized, -while reading, that i always always ALWAYS try to pretend to be a confident person because i always feel akward in new situations… But i felt kinda weird doing it because i thought OMG you’re just pretending, you are not a confident person and you actually just wanna run away and hide…
    Well now i know that pretending like that is a good thing and that it helps. You just have to tell yourself that everyone around you probably feels as akward as you. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.=)

  • Ro415 May 12th, 2012 1:19 PM

    !!!! This is EXACTLY my motto in life. I am 22 years old and finally just got my first boyfriend thanks to this motto. I just got my dream job as a flight attendant because of this motto. I used to be so horribly shy and closed-off to people. And even though it took me a long time (I graduate from college soon) to develop the “personality” I use around people and see that it works wonders, I now feel as though my life has improved tenfold because of this! It’s like magic I swear.

  • Mags May 12th, 2012 2:19 PM

    I can tell you from experience that this totally works like a charm.

  • A Fox In The Snow May 12th, 2012 4:31 PM

    Krista, your articles are the best! I’ve always been very shy and inconfident, but since I’m reading Rookie I’m really trying to gain more confidence, and it seems to work.
    But I didn’t get how to ACT confident, so THANK YOU! :)
    Oh, another thing: you once wrote an article with the advice to put my alarm clock in the other end of the room … that sort of changed my life because now my mornings are relaxed instead of a big rush.

  • hollyhotdog May 12th, 2012 5:48 PM

    thanks so much for this! Recently, I failed a Uni interview due to nerves (as in I completely fell to pieces) so next time around, I’ll make sure to appear confidant (even if I don’t feel it).

  • Maren Elisabeth May 12th, 2012 7:08 PM

    this really helped me tons, ecpescially the “It’s not about acting like you’re cool until other people also believe you are, and then basing your life around a made-up personality” Because this seems to always be my problem.
    I mean, not “too cool for school”, just pretending to be something I’m not..

  • Pashupati May 12th, 2012 7:12 PM

    I’ve two things to say: I LOVE YOU and THANKS.
    First I was like: oh, this would have helped me last year…
    And then I was like: oh, that can help me now and in the future too!
    It really makes me want to actually DO things that I’ve wanted to do for long!

  • MissKnowItAll May 12th, 2012 7:42 PM

    I’m really happy you wrote this. Personally, this hasn’t really been a problem for me. My school is tiny so everyone is really close with each other. For anyone having troubles with starting a conversation, it may sound cheesy but try to find a common interest. I met my best friend when we were obsessing over Amir Khan in symbolic logic class. If you find people with common obsessions and interests, you’ll end up meeting a lot of amazing people. Another thing is that, confidence really is key to being successful.
    I found this out first hand. I really suck in AP chemistry. But whenever I would go into a test thinking I was going to fail, I did end up failing. But when I studied and felt confident about myself, I did pretty well. It also applies to bigger decisions. I’m not really the most patient person and as silly as it may sound, I was pretty scared over the whole “helping other people with their problems” thing. So it was pretty crazy when I signed up to do peer counseling job over the summer. But I acted like I knew what the hell I was doing and you know what? It made all the difference.

  • TheAwesomePossum May 12th, 2012 9:22 PM

    Ok, so hopefully this will be helpful for me. I was literally silent for two years and then one day I just sent someone who I was kind of admiring from afar a text without thinking about it, and my social skills sort of snowballed from there. I’m still waaay more awkward than most people appear to be, and have a hard time relating to people, but it’s still much better than it used to be. I’ve realized that sometimes it’s better to blurt out something nervously than beat yourself up because you didn’t say it at all. Now I just kind of have to work at appearing confident when interacting…

  • escalier May 12th, 2012 10:28 PM

    This works so well! I remember a couple weeks ago I went to a little social gathering/party where everyone was pretty much friends with each other, except me. I barely knew anybody there, so I just introduced myself to anyone who looked nice, saying “Hi! I don’t really know anybody here, what’s your name?” Ten minutes in, I was surrounded by a group of people who were, for some reason, interested in what I was saying! Once you get going, it becomes so easy!

  • Kaleidoscopeeyes May 12th, 2012 11:04 PM

    I totally tried this today when I went into Neiman Marcus in San Fransisco. I knew and everyone else knew that I had no place there, but I sure as hell acted like it. Thanks guys!

  • A May 13th, 2012 2:28 AM

    ugh, that kittens thing gave me a horrible panic attack and my night is ruined now.

  • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini May 13th, 2012 10:23 AM

    So helpful! The last three years my social life has been non-existent, and this fall I’m starting a new school and have to actually talk to real human beings. Social skills are a bit rusty.

  • woweezowee May 13th, 2012 12:40 PM

    this is a great article for if you want to “make it”, but sometimes people don’t care about being a social person. I don’t feel the need to fake it because I don’t care about making it and I think that’s fine too.

  • rrruthie May 13th, 2012 12:46 PM


  • Sea goddess May 13th, 2012 2:55 PM

    this article is GREAT! it nails it to the point, easy and straight up…awesome job Krista:)!

  • Nikkita May 13th, 2012 9:25 PM

    Hey this is the advice that I give everyone! Marvellous article, I’ll be sending people here from now on.

    Rookie is my bible. Stay awesome! (:

  • evaah May 13th, 2012 9:41 PM

    haha the entire time i was thinking
    “YOLO” as cheesy at it sounds,
    cause really, you just have to go with it :)

  • Nishat May 14th, 2012 11:09 AM

    I am exactly 5’1″ and it feels so, so short all the time. Haha. I like this advice though!

  • Marian K May 14th, 2012 4:15 PM

    This is really great. It took me a while to realize that it’s all about perspective.

  • jessilikewhoa May 14th, 2012 9:46 PM

    I’ve been reading Rookie since it launched, but today I finally registered to comment. I think this is all fantastic advice, and even though I’m an adult in my 30s I’m definitely going to try to use some of these pointers (I never really outgrew being super socially awkward. doh.)

    But, and I feel bad having my first comment be negative, what your friend Jen is doing isn’t cool or confidant, it’s stealing from hard working bands. The money people pay to get into shows is how the bands get paid, and that money plus whatever they make selling merch is how touring bands pay for gas, and food.

    I know it can suck wanting to go out and see bands and being young and broke and it really does seem to get more and more expensive every year, even for local bands in small venues, but if your friend loves music so much, and loves these bands, she needs to support them, including by paying at the door. Because this isn’t like stealing a lipgloss from Walmart or whatever, this just makes it harder to see live music, because if bands can’t afford to tour, they won’t.

  • guiltfreedonut May 15th, 2012 1:24 AM

    I want to print this out on my wall and read it everyday. How inspiring! This is such a great way to life your life. I’m determined to try it.

  • Moni A May 15th, 2012 11:53 PM

    This is a great piece! I’ve used to solve my anxiety problems by smoking…but knowing this … It’s very very inspiring!! congratulations! mamma knows best!!!

  • Alfie May 17th, 2012 9:33 PM

    Wonderful article, perhaps until the last paragraph. I try to believe that everyone really can be brilliant and gorgeous. I think that was what the paragraph was essentially saying, but the opening sentence got to me a little!! Nonetheless, good advice (◡‿◡✿)

  • lelelikeukulele May 18th, 2012 5:13 AM


    Acting authoritative really does work, as I’ve realized recently. I’m underage (and very obviously underage) and I went to a wedding where the waiters were going around serving champagne and sparkling cider. When a waiter came up to me and asked if I’d like some sparkling cider, I put on my (metaphorical) authority pants and said “CHAMPAGNE, please” and whaddya know, a glass of champagne was in my hand. I couldn’t believe it actually worked.

  • ANT May 20th, 2012 12:39 AM

    Great article! But just to be nit-picky, I’d like to say this – bands charging $12 at the door in Chicago are musicians working super hard to pursue their art. Most of them also work day jobs to support themselves. Often their friends and family who come to shows get in free – the band gives their names to the doormen. But if you are not one of those few people (and hey, even if you are!) you should support the band entertaining you for the evening. Otherwise I really do think this is a great piece and all of the above about confidence really can be used to get yourself places!

  • ru June 14th, 2012 9:16 PM

    this is the truest thing i’ve ever heard and every rookie should take it on board.

    it’s something my mum used to always say to me too and i just wish i had taken it on board sooner than i did. i spent years being the awkward kid who had panic attacks at the mere thought of facing any kind of stressful situation head on (like, seriously, even phonecalls).

    then one day my boss reminded me of the “fake it to make it” mantra, and i decided to give it a go, seeing as it had obviously worked for her over the years.

    literally a month later, that same boss actually said to me “you’re doing really well…dealing with situations head on that most people above your level would flounder with…you just have this innate confidence that i’m almost jealous of…”

    INNATE CONFIDENCE!! i have always felt like the least confident human being alive!! i tricked the person who told me to fake it in the first place into thinking i wasn’t faking it!!

    so yeah…everyone listen to krista and go forth and fake!!

  • Harley June 23rd, 2012 7:31 PM

    I have experienced the “people are more stylish than you but not really” feeling. I went to school once wearing a baggy MCR tee, some tight jeans that were so old the knees had turned white, and some scruffy gray ankle boots that look like they belong in the trash. I wasn’t wearing eye makeup because I misplaced my favorite eyeliner and I didn’t bother with other makeup.
    Towards the end of the school day, a girl in my class told me that she loved my style and the outfits I put together. “You always look so cool,” she said. I felt so happy because I thought she looked way cuter than me (and I told her, I never hold back if I have compliments to give out!)

  • Nikilodeon June 25th, 2012 3:01 AM

    Thanks for the advice, Krista, but I’m not sure I can actually do this. I went to my first party the other night and … it was awful. I did try at first to act confident and be my awesome, funny self, but all I got were blank stares from people.

  • oriana June 29th, 2012 12:38 PM

    all of this is so true, when i figured this stuff out, life got a lot easier! i’m still working on the “talk to people” part though :p

  • MissWorld17 August 11th, 2012 9:06 PM

    i love this article its helped so many times!

  • Jussayinn September 8th, 2012 2:04 PM

    This is EXACTLY what I need right now. Thank you.