You've probably heard the saying, "Fake it 'til you make it." Is this really sound advice though? Is it ever a good idea to mislead others by making people think everything is easy and perfect?
I remember a time when I was suckered into a pyramid scam back, when I was in college. "You just buy all of these products and sell them and try to get others to sign up and sell them too. Oh, and buy nice clothes and a nice car to let others think the business is really going well. That'll get people to sign up!"
Now, as a college student, of course, I couldn't afford to try to pull off this deceptive sham even if I wanted to, thank goodness.
I have had my fair share of experiences though, where I felt ashamed or embarrassed about something and tried to cover up the evidence or pretend it didn't happen.
For example, when I was little, my family struggled. My mom became pregnant as a young teen, dropped out of high school, and we just didn't have much. I didn't want anyone to know that my mom was a drop-out or that I couldn't afford what others could. I guess I thought I wouldn't be accepted.
When I was in high school, I didn't want anyone to know that it took me a LONG time to read and study. I learned to read early and easily, but comprehending what I read took me awhile. I had to take notes on everything, sometimes read into a recorder, listen back to it, and take more notes to remember and understand what I read. I didn't want teachers or students to know this because I didn't want people to think I wasn't smart.
When I had my first book published, I fell for another scam by a publishing company that is now closed, due to embezzlement. (The owners are in jail.) I didn't want anyone to know about this because I was embarrassed that I fell for it. I also worried people wouldn't think I was a real author.
As a teacher, mom, presenter for other authors, speaker at Christian events, and presenter for other teachers, I've found that the best encouragement is actually to expose our struggles and trials. By sharing our stories and lessons learned, we can inspire hope for others to be a little braver in their own situations.
Our kids and students especially, need to know that hard work and perseverance is what produces results. They need to understand that their success does not depend on luck, where you come from, or natural-born talent. It has everything to do with their efforts, commitment to learn, and intentional practice that will help them reach their goals.