There is an old saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” The implication is that if you imitate having confidence, and ability to do something, that eventually you will build that confidence and ability. There is some scientific fact behind this, your brain can develop neurons that learn to fire and connect in specific ways with repetitive behavior. However, this statement is also very misunderstood in other aspects of life. For example, if you do not know how to fly a plane you cannot “fake it ‘til you make it”, you will likely crash if you could even get it off the ground. There is also honesty and accountability when it comes to owning up to your actions and your abilities.
For those individuals trying to overcome problems with alcohol, drugs, and behavioral health issues, there is a responsibility to yourself to own up to your actions. You must first learn to be honest with yourself about your abilities and actions then, you must face the truth with your loved ones. There is no faking it in these instances. Your brain has been rewired to embrace the addictive tendencies and faking it will not work. You must truly stop the addictive behaviors, completely, and develop new healthy habits and actions to encourage your brain to rewire and build new neuron pathways to override the addictive tendencies.
“Faking it” implies you do not really do it, you just pretend. “Own it” implies you are honest with yourself and others regarding your actions. You cannot tell yourself or others you are stopping your addictive behaviors, yet still have an occasional drink or take an occasional pill, it will not work. You cannot even stop the addictive behaviors by attend the meetings yet not truly working the program and still expect positive results, that would be “faking it”. You must truly work the program, “own it,” to develop those new brain firing neurons and be successful in sobriety.
Using the phrase and attitude “fake it ‘til you make it” isn’t wrong, you just need to be honest with yourself about what you are faking. Faking it that you want to go to a meeting so that you will get yourself there isn’t a bad idea. Faking that you are listening to the stories and advice of those who have been successful in the program will not provide you with the understanding you need, you must truly listen and absorb what is being said. If you are honest with yourself, you will understand when you are “faking it” with no commitment, and when you are “owning it” with full accountability.
The counselors at Aspire Counseling Services can help those with addictions to alcohol and drugs and those with behavioral health issues to develop a healthy attitude toward “fake it ‘til you make it” and how to “own it” so they are successful in their journey to sobriety and healthy living. Call Aspire Counseling Services today if you, or someone you love, needs help.
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