How to Fake It Until You Make It and Transform Your Weaknesses into Strengths

Many people find it hard to admit, even privately, when they just aren’t good at something. Sure, you agree that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but how comfortable are you naming your own shortcomings? It’s not masochism — recognizing your own weaknesses is the first step to turning them into strengths. Next time you face a challenge, identify your own weakness, and then make a commitment to act as if it were a strength. Fake it ‘till you make it can go a long way, and you can improve your performance simply by forcing your outward actions to align with your ideals and act as if it comes naturally.
While you’re acting, take these steps to turn “fake it” into “make it.”

Talk to (or find) a mentor
A mentor is a vital aspect of your career. If you do not already have a mentor, I recommend finding one as soon as possible. Find someone who has more experience than you do and a career that you respect and admire. Talk to your mentor and ask her to help you identify and work through your weaknesses. Seek out any advice she may have for improving in the areas where you aren’t very strong.

Make sure you’re always prepared
If you know what your weaknesses are, you know when they’re likely to be an issue. If you are petrified at the thought of public speaking, overly prepare for any presentation or meeting you may have in the upcoming days and weeks. Practice speaking in front of the mirror, write out what you’re planning on saying, and work on breathing techniques to stay calm. Bring note cards to your presentation and you’ll feel so prepared that it will be difficult to get nervous.

Practice using these skills
Deliberately put yourself in situations where you need to practice and cultivate your weaknesses. The saying goes “practice makes perfect” after all. The more you try to improve your weaknesses in real situations, the closer you’ll get to making those weaknesses strengths.

Find people who have the skills you don’t
For some skills, you won’t be able to develop them without years of study or practice. Instead, hire people who have the skills you don’t. If you know nothing about computers, find someone who went to school for computer science and ask for his help. You can hire him for your business, or just ask if he could give you some overview of the most important tricks to know or if there’s a good book or website you should check out. There will always be people who succeed in areas you struggle with and most people are willing to help someone else.

Play up your strengths
As you work on your weaknesses, don’t forget to continue playing up your strengths. Master the skills you know you’re good at and improve your weaknesses enough that it isn’t an issue when you aren’t good at everything. If you’re known for doing a phenomenal job in a certain area, it’s okay that you are weak in some others.
You aren’t a master of every trick, and that’s okay. No one is. But you can fake it, and if you fake it right, you’ll end up forgetting why your weaknesses were such a big hurdle to start with.

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