There are only two things you need to know if you want to survive.
Whether you're in high school, university, an internship, a job, whatever - that doesn't matter. What matters, is you.
Whoever you turn to, whether its a guidance councillor, careers advisor, mentor, or teacher, prepare to be given the same ‘advice’ over and over; ‘You have to have experience…You need to make yourself stand out from the crowd… Practical, hands-on experience is the best …’
When what they really should be saying is; ‘Prepare yourself for a bleak world of pleading, exhaustion, rejection, being perpetually ignored and humiliated, and pestering, and know that even then you still might not get in. So good luck with that.’
You see, the truth is you might have the best set of qualifications, the best degree, the best extracurricular activities, and be stuck working full time in your local supermarket. You might have the best resume, and yet be the most boring person in the world.
Basically, having these qualifications, while impressive, isn't always what helps you 'make it'. Those who've made it, aren't always the ones with fancy degrees and qualifications, or even a foot in the door. They are the people who faked it till they made it.
There’s only two things you need to know. It may be age-old, but it should never be underestimated.
1. ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’
If you are at the bottom, relish in it. Use your list of mundane daily tasks as a cover-up of your real mission - connecting with the people that can help you, and expressing your sincerest of gratitude's of those who have done, or you have worked with. During which you secretly work out a solid master-plan of connecting, climbing and world-domination, as you clap your hands with a manic laugh whilst stuck at your desk at 1am still pinging off pointless emails. It is crucial that you use all your skills to find the people you need to be talking to, and use all your cunningness to find a way to talk to the people you need to be talking to. Use to your advantage EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that comes your way. These connections are feet in the door. If you make a good impression you'll never ever have to look back.
2. Just Pretend
The real and only skill you need to have mastered to a tee if you want to succeed, is pretending. If you can pretend really, really well, you are then, by default, suddenly very good at everything.
What do the world's most successful individuals possess that allows them to be so influential? What is it that gives a pop star, a politician, or an athlete the courage to perform in front of thousands, even millions of people, or a business leader the ability to keep churning out product after product that is game-changing but might also be a massive risk for their company? For these people to do what they do, they need a strong belief in themselves that allows them to persist in the face of failure and to keep trying, no matter their level of fear. They have an internal drive that tells them that they can succeed, that they have the ability to handle whatever comes their way.
Is this characteristic unique to them? Or is it something we all can possess?
You see“fake it till you make it” is not about faking happiness until you trick yourself into being happy. It’s not about acting like you’re the best until other people also believe you are, and then basing your life around a made-up personality. It’s about confidence. It’s about meeting situations that you feel intimidated by head-on, telling yourself that you’re ready for them, until you’ve done such a good job convincing yourself that you suddenly can handle the challenge before you.
Let this year be the year you start to fake it.
Don't stop until you've made it.