In amongst the flurry of inspirational quotes which increasingly decorate our social media feeds, there are two particular quotations which get my back up:
- Everyone is winging it
- Fake it until you make it
Let’s start with the first quote – suggesting that everyone is winging it does a huge disservice to everyone who has ever worked hard to get where they are, who has ever nurtured their strengths and talents or who has ever battled to make something a success. Winging it suggests they have no clue what they are doing and that actually anyone else could do what they are doing. Rude. Yes you might be able to ‘wing it’ for a short period of time (particularly those following quote two) but it will soon become obvious that you are incompetent / lying / just not right for the job. Along with you feeling a bit crappy during the whole thing.
If you feel like you are winging it a better option than running with it would be to stop and explore why you’re feeling like that. Are you going for the wrong type of job? Perhaps you just need to skill up in certain areas? Or maybe you are actually doing perfectly well but refuse to believe it (imposter syndrome).
I’m sure the quote is aiming to make people feel better about the fact that even chief execs have bad days, make mistakes and sometimes get stuck but I’m not sure that reassuring everyone to just blag your way through life is the answer. Tackle the underlying issue and you can overcome the negativity and go forth with your renewed confidence / direction / happiness.
As for quote two, arrgggghh. Ok let’s all wander round being fake, getting to know other fakes and going about our fakeness all together for eight hours a day. What an enjoyable thought. Why would you want to be an imposter for such a huge chunk of your time? Having to work with someone who clearly thought this was the way forward made it almost impossible to have an effective working relationship. What happened to being real, authentic and the best version of you?
I started off in the corporate world assuming that this is what you were meant to do. I emerged from induction sessions in the first few weeks of a graduate scheme (learning about shareholders springs to mind and a rather long-winded debate about politics) and found myself nodding in agreement to lots of enthusiastic ‘wasn’t that great, so interesting’ remarks and wondering why I couldn’t think of anything interesting to add. I spent a good couple of years trying my best to be how I thought you were supposed to be at work, suppressing my personality and pretending to be passionate about things that I really wasn’t passionate about and just assuming that’s what you had to do.
Fortunately I then landed in a job where I realised you could be you and it was ok to have a sense of humour and bring it to important meetings and work actually became fun. As I became better at what I did it became apparent I still hadn’t shaken off the ‘winging it’ feeling though, I felt like I had somehow ‘fluked’ getting a good job. Turns out that for various reasons this was down to deep rooted lack of self-esteem which fortunately due to a great coach and doggedly seeking out the right types of support, over time I was able to overcome.
Now it’s your turn! Does any of this resonate with you? Or perhaps you interpret the quotes differently? Let me know your thoughts below or or get in touch if you want to stop winging it too!