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.


Improving Your Hustle

Hustle is in my blood. It was in the blood of my parents, who got it from their parents. Hustle was passed down to me from generation to generation. Now, hard work is all I know.

If I don’t know something, or don’t understand something the first time around, it’s not an issue. I don’t give up, I don’t let someone else handle it, and I certainly don’t forget about it. I work at it, I improve myself by working my way through any problem that comes my way, mental or physical. I’ve spoken before at length about being born with hustle and having it instilled into me and perfected during my youth, so I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’re hearing about it. If you’re not sure what I mean by hustle, read my previous post. Explaining the concept again here would waste my time and the time of everyone else reading this. There are simply not enough hours in a day for me to waste them repeating myself. I’ve got to hustle.

And you do too. But I understand that not everyone is born with the same work ethic. Perhaps even more so, not everyone is raised by parents who are as hardworking, no-nonsense providers as mine. Maybe things were handed to you on the metaphorical gold platter–maybe they were handed to you on a literal gold platter. Regardless, it’s not too late to learn how to hustle.

As I said in my last post, hustle is a mindset. It isn’t just about doing the work, it’s about understanding the fact that the work needs to be done, and you need to be the one who does it. This is the first step in improving your hustle.

Understand The Necessity and Implications

You’ll be hard-pressed to meet someone who outwardly talks about loving hard-work. People like that are few and far between, but you can become one of them–one of the hard-working, nose-to-the-grindstone hustlers. Before you can do the hard work, however, you need to understand why you’re doing it, and why you’re reading this blog.

Hustle isn’t just about getting your work done early on Friday so you can slip out of the office at 3 p.m. Hustle is about getting your work done early on Friday so that you can grab a cup of coffee and start next week’s work. Whether or not you genuinely enjoy sitting in your office and filing reports or negotiating a potential contract is neither here nor there-those things need to be done whether or not they’re done with a smile on your face. So why not enjoy it? (there will be a link to the “business as a game post here). Hard work is necessary wherever and whenever you work, so hammer that into your head again and again until.


Don’t Sulk Over a Tough Situation-Change It

Let’s put this out there early–sulking isn’t going to accomplish anything. Sulking is going to be another time-suck that will only exacerbate your already tough situation. Pouting about being too far behind on your work or having to stay a few extra hours at the office is essentially the opposite of someone with hustle. Instead of sulking about your bad situation, change it. Take charge and step up, text your husband or wife to tell them you’ll be missing dinner and do the work. Cut out time spent checking your phone and chatting with coworkers and do what needs to be done before you’ve fallen into a downward spiral of procrastination and despair.


Make it a Habit

Here’s the closer–the final point that will make or break your hard work ethic and your nature as someone who hustles. Make hard work a habit, not an occasional occurrence. Scientists estimate that it takes 21 days to form a habit. You could take that and push yourself towards hard-work for 21 straight days, dust yourself off and consider that an accomplishment. Or you could throw that in the back seat and make hustling second nature. Hustle day in and day out not just for 21 days so you can check off a box on your to-do list–hustle for everything, everyone and for the rest of your life.

If hard work doesn’t come easy for you, there are plenty of places you could look to find who or what is to blame. Today though, instead of playing the blame-game, fix it.