In a month where major curses were broken- Jurgen Klopp finally lifting the beautiful “trophy with the big ears” and my good friend Nii finally getting a girl to accept going out on a date with him, one man did the unthinkable! He showed the world besides the sombreros and smoking hot Latinas, Mexican fatsos have a thing for exposing the Nigerian-ness in British boxers with Oluwafemi Olaseni as their middle names. #TheDrakeCurse Fake It Till You Make It
Think of all the boxing greats- Sonny Liston, the millionaire asshole Floyd Mayweather, Manila’s golden boy Manny Pacquiao, the meanest baddest George Foreman, iron fist Mike Tyson and there is one name that doesn’t escape the mind no matter how hard you try – Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. the man reborn Muhammed Ali. Baffling as it might sound, there is a part of the story no one has told you.
In the earliest days of boxing, there was a phenomenal benchmark “Tales Of The Tape” used by boxing experts to predict how successful or unsuccessful an athlete’s boxing career may pan out. Truth is, without fail, it had been spot on. If it says, you would turn out a shitty boxer; chances are you would end up being worse than a shitty boxer and won’t have your name mentioned on my blog.
Tales Of The Tape used a series of physical measurements including the fighter’s fist, reach, chest expansion and weight… And guess what? Muhammed Ali failed all of his measurements! Per this unfailing benchmark, Ali was chucked in the failure bucket. He wasn’t born a natural. He was going to be a boxing failure and never have his name engraved on this blog. How did that pan out?
As time, the TOTT(Tales Of The Tape) and Lord Sauron’s crystal ball couldn’t successfully predict, Muhammed Ali defied all odds to become arguably the greatest athlete of all time.
What about Ali contributed to his insanely successful boxing career even when he had no chance from the beginning? The answer is this -he exemplified the mantra and strategy: “Fake It Till You Make It.”
WHY FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT IS A WINNING STRATEGY
“Fake It Till You Make It” is a popularized English aphorism which suggests that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life. In a short confusing simplistic statement, this translates to “You are/can be what you think”. Am I saying, you can become what you dream of becoming? Yes. Am I also saying you can’t become what you think you can become? Hell yeah. Let me explain.
WE ARE SCREWED FROM THE START
As evidence of how screwed you and I reading this is- the Son of Man died on the cross to rescue us from some bad inevitable shit aka future apocalypse which could be a World War Z zombie styled end-of-the-world or human-thirsting shooting robots like we’ve seen in the Terminator movies or worst, a bunch of extremist feminist Amazonians sprouting from thin air and wiping out the male species. Subsequently, end up dying out of depression from lack of good terrible sex. True story!
Truth is whatever you are right now is a sum of all your life’s experiences. Your habits and way you think is a reflection of roughly 30% genetics and 70% societal conditioning from society, family and influences from wherever find your self. And most of your life’s decisions are very much based on your biased experiences.
While you’ve been screwed from the start, you have absolute power in overriding your experiences and shaping your life the way you want. Yes, you can change the game completely. It all starts in your head. You can beat your conditioning by opening yourself up to newer experiences by adopting new habits and behaviours as you will find out soon.
Hold this revelation in mind. I am about to share with you the 3 golden steps in the Fake It Till You Make It Strategy(FITYMI).
VISUALIZATION IS THE FIRST STEP
The whole idea of “FITYMI” is to act as if you have reached where you want to go or be who you want to be. Muhammed Ali’s famous quote “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was” magnifies this idea! He fulfilled the first golden step. He had a surreal mental image of future Ali being the greatest to ever throw a fist in a ring! Do it like Ali! take the first golden step in creating that magical mental image of who you really want to be.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes this image is far from reality. In real life, we are no close to the amazing singer or successful entrepreneur we want to be. We are more likely to have Vaseline in the left and a long strip of T-roll in the right hand on a lonely Saturday evening than be the guy posing with all the jaw-dropping Playboy bunnies in the latest edition of the Playboy Magazine. That sucks ass and I understand perfectly. See, it’s alright at this stage to not be where you want to be. The problem is being there after reading this blog post.
Having an idea of that mental picture is the required first golden step. Hold it firmly there. Is it the straight A’s person you dream of becoming? That confident public speaker who talks like he owns the place or that guy with out of the world social dynamics? You can get there too. Just…
GOLDEN STEP 2: FIND THE PERFECT ROLE MODEL
Now that you know what this “FITYMI guy” looks like, you would bear with me at this stage of development you are not this guy yet or possess something close to the traits he possesses. That’s fine. Now close your eyes and take a deep purposeful look in your environment and you would realize there is someone you know, heard of, or seen before who embodies the traits you wish to have. This person should become your role model as he/she is a living testimony embodying the traits you envision!
HOW THIS STEP WORKED FOR ME:
I admit I was a nobody when I started this blog roughly a little over a year ago. Close to just 5 friends knew I could write some okay stuff on my Whatsapp status. Then I did the unthinkable. I wanted to pick a unique style. Be different from the status quo. Every girl or guy on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook after a miraculous life-changing heartbreak was posting motivational/self-help crap from a point of bitterness.
While people read and gave them likes, Lord Jesus! It was generic as hell. I wasn’t going this way with my unique experiences. I was going to be a badass writer. And who did I look up to, to craft my badass self? Your guess is right! New York Times best-selling authors Garry John Bishop, Newyork’s talented f-bomber, Mark Manson and humble braggart business guru, Grant Cardone.
If you have read books from these incredible authors, you will notice some subtle traits I share with them. In my mind was this version of me who wrote deep profound uncensored shit. I looked around and found my perfect role models. Who would you look up to? Note them down, and google them if you don’t know them personally. Draw upon your observations of the people you most admire, the people who embody the traits you wish to acquire. Then ask yourself: “What would they do? Find out what they do that work. Embody these traits and believe if someone out there has these, you can too!
GOLDEN STEP 3: MASSIVE ACTION
Now fellas, having a vision and finding a role model is a step in the right direction but hell, the most important of all the golden steps is Massive Action. You aren’t where you want to be yet thus you need to be working actively behind the scenes to be turning this vision into a reality. What does this mean? You’ve got to walk it like you talk it. You are going to be doing 10X the work needed. Set the “fake it till you make it” ball in motion!
The people you look up to are finished products that took several years of hard work, self-doubt, pain and relentlessness to get there. You aren’t going to sit at home and think with a good vision and positive mindset you would get there. That is total bollocks! Uncouth. Purge your mind. It’s 10X baby! Do 10 times the action to get there.
HOW I USED MASSIVE ACTION TO MAX OUT MY SUCCESS IN WRITING
I started this blog with 12 visitors in the first month. It was soul crushing. Here, I was with a dream to be like my role models and yet couldn’t crack 15 people to read. But 5 months later with steady engagement, I realized what I was doing wrong. I had the dream, found my mentors but I wasn’t taking massive action(writing only when I’m in the feels). Gutted by this revelation, something in me took a wild turn. I started writing actively, putting in tons and tons of hours to perfect my craft. Every free time was delved into books. I became a reading machine. A writing maniac. Strangely, Grammarly had been keeping tabs and following my writing stats. This is an email Grammarly sent me last month.
A staggering 587,287 words. This coincided with an upturn of monthly visitors hitting 12000. This is what massive action looks like. It is relentless. It takes effort- massive effort. Yours might not be writing, it could be public speaking. Take every chance to talk to people. Take up leadership roles that expose you to these situations. And sooner than later, your ideal image will start taking shape. Every day, chip at your dream self like Pygmalion did in creating the woman of his dreams.
THE SCIENCE THAT BACKS THE FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT STRATEGY
I dug up a few research work done by leading researchers on this strategy and I found gold. Two pieces of research blew my mind.
- In the first explosive research written in HarvardBusiness Review by Herminia Ibarra, Professor of organizational behaviour on mimicking good leaders, she wrote “By viewing ourselves as works in progress, we multiply our capacity to learn, avoid being pigeonholed, and ultimately become better leaders. We’re never too experienced to fake it till we learn it.” Ever find yourself promoted to a position with job requirements that are outside of your skill set? Ibarra’s research shows that the best thing you can do is mimic someone else around you who displays the required skill sets, even if your first inclination is to worry about appearing like a fraud. Fake it till you make it!
- In the second mind-boggling research, Richard Wiseman, a psychology professor at the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K tested this strategy in a speed dating event. Ever been part of a speed dating event? It’s a hell lot of fun. The research was dubbed “The As If Principle” ( if you act “as if” you are a certain way, you’ll come to feel that way).
To test the theory, roughly 100 participants took part in this experiment splitting into two groups of the same sex. In one test group, the participants were to adopt normal speed dating behaviour (act normally like they just met their partners and see if they could strike a connection).
The second group were to adopt the “As If Principle” which meant they behaved as if they were already in love with each other and had a strong emotional connection. Instead of the usual conversation, they were encouraged to gaze into each other’s eyes, to touch hands and to whisper secrets.
At the end of the event, all participants were then asked how close they felt to their various partners (on a scale of one to seven) and whether they would like to see each other again.
On average, those faking romantic interest reported that they felt one point more intimate with their partners. Forty-five percent of this group also said they would like to see the other person again, while only 20 percent of the “normal” speed dating group reported the same. Playing the psychological game(faking being in love) more than doubled the success rate to 45 per cent! Staggering!
Read the full study and interview here: Faking romantic feelings can actually lead to the real thing
This was a game changer in the dating stratosphere. If your marriage or relationship is on the brink of crashing. This study is a timely rescuer! Fake it till you make it!
This is a brilliant animated video of the “As If Principle”:
Adopting and putting into action these 3 golden steps is a revolutionary life hack. Muhammed Ali was renowed for his extreme self-belief. He had a knack of composing rap-style poems designed to extol his talents(which weren’t really truely god-like like he made it look) and unsettle opponents with his intimidatory stares, often subjecting opponents to verbal taunts during bouts. Overtime, Ali’s perennial competitive success increasingly justied the self-belief and enabled him to inculcate an impression that he was almost superhuman. He was the greatest, no one believed it more than he did.
The self-belief and illusion of superhuman qualities were arguably instrumental in enabling Ali survive a number of dangerous contests – “Thrilla in Malina” where he and Joe Frazier inflicted shocking damage on each other in what he described as “near-death experience” by Ali. In that contest, it was evident the Tales of The Tape had predicted rightly Ali wasn’t a natural as evidenced by all his “wrong boxing techniques”. But he had the last say. He faked it till his opponents believed he was a god! He summed up his “fake it till you make it” strategy in this quote:
I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest. It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen!Muhammed ali
Ali showed everyone that success comes first and foremost from the gem between your ears. If you dream it, fake it and take action, you would make it.