Recently I saw a quote that called that called “fake it until you make it” garbage advice. The quote instead suggested that you “face it until you make it”. This new thought went around and around in my head for weeks. Sometimes I live by the mantra, “fake it until you make it” and I was feeling a little ashamed. Was I wrong all this time? What about those days when I just can’t face it? Is it okay to fake it then? I tell myself that the smile I put on my face is for others, and it often is. But, even when forced, a smile instantly helps me feel stronger and more hopeful.
After much deliberation, I settled on this.
Just make it.
Whether you have to fake it, or if you are ready to face it, or if you just need to be stuck in a hole for a day, just make it. Do what you need to do to survive that moment, to press onto the next. Grab a lifeline, fake a smile, treat yourself, have a laugh. Need to just have a bad day, go to bed early, and start again tomorrow? Do it. Do what you need to do to effectively push through to the next day, hour, minute, second.
Michigan principals had the pleasure of learning from Dr. Adolph Brown this past week and I know I wasn’t alone in wanting to put the praise hands emoji after just about everything he said. One particular part spoke to me. Doc was talking about misnomers regarding self-care. He said that it is not something to add to your to-do list. It is not a potluck. It is not about pampering yourself. Self-care is LISTENING to yourself—to your body, to your heart, and to your mind. And then, it is acting upon those instincts to help create inner wellness.
Self-care is faking it when necessary.
Self-care is facing it when you are ready.
Self-care is crawling into a ball and having a good cry when you need to.
Self-care is picking up the phone and talking with a trusted confidant.
Self-care is renewing your fitness commitment.
Self-care is taking a nap instead of exercising.
Self-care is turning off email on the weekends.
Your self-care is as unique as you are.
Self-care is what you need to make yourself whole and well.
It is making it to the next minute in the most effective way you can.
One of my greatest hopes is that this pandemic helps us peel away unrealistic expectations for ourselves and for others (me included), and instead we are able to accept ourselves as we are. Only then can we truly take care of ourselves. Only then can we fully move forward in a positive direction. Only then can we experience a type of inner wellness that allows us to look beyond ourselves to care for each other.
So, let’s fake it, face, it, and stomp all over it, always moving toward inner wellness. Let’s just make it. Together.
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”