The real fake-it-til-you-make-it

The improvements in Eliza’s speech alone do not confer the opportunities. But being able to speak like a duchess puts her in the company of people from whom she can learn the sentiments and sensibilities of the upper class. When she begins to speak like them, they treat her differently, giving her an opening to expand her capabilities.

~ Farnam Street from, https://fs.blog/2021/05/the-pygmalion-effect/

I’ve always been unhappy with the phrase, “fake it ’til you make it.” It’s always seemed that there was something missing. (Yes, sure, it’s meant to be short and simple, not long and accurate.) But this bit from Farnam Street hits it on the head.

By acting as if I already were the thing I want to be, I’m practicing being the thing. That’s obvious. What’s not obvious is that doing so creates a positive feedback loop as other people then treat me as if I really were the thing. I make a change, and then as if by magic, other people offer me new opportunities. I use the work magic because what I might change—for example, how I speak, as in Eliza’s case—should have no bearing on what opportunities I am offered. But it does.

Why? Other. People.

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