Ruth Richards, hypnotherapist and intuitive coach shares her experience from the corporate world. She explores how women in business can overcome this mindset to become more successful.

Fake it ‘til you make it.  What does it even mean?  Have you ever heard a man say that?  I’m very sure I haven’t.

An online search gave this as one of the definitions of fake:

someone who is not what or who they claim to be.

Now we may know people like that but why would we self-sabotage ourselves by thinking this?

A few years ago, I worked with an inspiring woman who was the CEO of a business in a male dominated industry.  I was the Head of HR within the company at this time.  She had two oft repeated phrases: “fail fast and move on”, and “let’s fake it ‘til we make it”.

I was always surprised when she said “let’s fake it ‘til we make it”.   There was nothing fake at all about this woman.  She is genuinely warm, caring, authentic and one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever worked with.  I loved working with her.  So, what on earth were we faking?

In hindsight, neither of us were faking.  We worked hard, brought all of ourselves to work and we cared deeply about the people working in the business as well as a passion for its customers.

My view is that we use this phrase when perhaps we feel a bit of the imposter syndrome.  You probably know the thoughts that come with that too:

  • How did I get this job?
  • Do I deserve it?
  • Everyone around me knows more than me.
  • I’m the only woman here, how will the men react to me?

To take our much deserved and warranted place at the leadership table, and to cope with any level of imposter syndrome, our mindset becomes “fake it ‘til we make it”.

If telling yourself you’re faking it until you make it helps you; that’s OK.  Nobody is judging and we all do what we can to keep going.  But, what if there was another way of thinking about this and managing the imposter syndrome?  Here’s a short thought practice to help re-frame your mindset.

  1. What do you think you are faking?  Whether it’s your position at work, being a mother, a spouse or business owner get specific with yourself.
  1. Note examples of how you’ve been authentic in this situation. As a mother, think about something you always do for your children. As a business owner think about your successes for your business that were a result of you being YOU, we all know the phrase “people buy from people”.
  1. And then ask a close friend or colleague to give you examples. Our self-worth should come from within, but we are human and sometimes it does us good to hear from someone else about the way we are real.  Clearly, this close person may be biased but equally it’s good to have someone in your corner.

Footnote: dictionary definition source: (source :

Photo by DAVIDCOHEN on Unsplash

Ruth Richards is a hypnotherapist and intuitive coach working with people to create new habits for their best life.