Fake It ‘Til You Make It…Just Like Tarek!
Posted on 7 Jul 2019
To fake it, or not to fake it? That is the question - Episode 1 of #StopPretending
Ever met someone who is all about the Instagram life? You know, the one who’s always snapping photos, scrolling past a multitude of timelines, and overuses the motto ‘do it for the gram’. They are often also different from their online persona, a classic case of expectation vs. reality.
To get a gist of what we mean, take a look at Tarek.
His height is probably the source of his over-confidence… but let’s keep that for another article!
Back to our story - Tarek has a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out). He is not alone, though! A lot of other people share Tarek's obsession with virtual life – particularly one that paints life as a never-ending holiday.
In the video, Tarek looks to be living the dream on a beach somewhere. That is until it cuts to his reality of a work site and an angry boss named Vijay. Almost all of us have a Vijay in our lives. He could be in the form of the realistic friend who is always questioning your big dreams and goals but only because he cares about you.
While Vijay is the dream killer in this scenario, we are able to see the bigger picture as well. Tarek is slightly delusional, unintentionally a liar, but also just trying his best to make life seem more fun.
Think about it. We're all guilty of acting like Tarek at times when we attempt to make life more interesting by dwelling on pretentious behaviour. But, is there a way to pretend the right way while making our travel dreams come true?
Make it a mission to fake it till you make it
Fake it till you make it. It might sound counter-intuitive but psychologists call it status-enhancement theory – a tactic used to gain influence by acting confident and capable. It is all about impression here but it only works by practicing balance.
Based on We Are Social's Global Digital Report 2019, there are over 3 billion social media users worldwide. Virtual connection is definitely an integral part of our everyday life, but being fixated on virtual life by living a charade is no way to go. If you can relate to Tarek, you might want to start making your travel fantasy a reality and take control of your life.
Instead of taking selfies all day and pretending you’re in the Bahamas, swap your social media apps with travel apps, consume travel-related content, and actively be on the hunt for travel bargains. You’d be surprised at what you can find these days!
Cut the nonsense and shift your perspective
Living vicariously through social media sounds harmless but it comes with its side effects. Over time you will develop occasional bouts of envy and worse, you’ll start using it as a substitute instead of living the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Social media eventually becomes your reality, your only way of experiencing wanderlust - just like Tarek. So how do you move forward? Get inspired! Surround yourself with active individuals, set out a concrete plan, and focus on achieving it. Remember, social media is just an illusion. Use it wisely.
Turn your addiction into motivation
Have you ever wondered why social media is so addictive? It is because it is a mindless activity! Those things are always easy. Everyone craves adventure but it also requires a lot of action. That is why we’re hooked on blockbuster films and books. They are also a form of escapism. If the idea of adventure is that thrilling, then why are we still hesitant to go for it?
Aside from financial constraints, sometimes it is an underlying fear of the unknown - the enemy of wanderlust. It is so much easier to be on the sidelines and watch others go places but where is the fun in that?
You’re not expected to delete all social media accounts; you just need to remind yourself that life is more than just that. When you #stoppretending, you open yourself up to the possibility of change and harness your capabilities instead of ignoring it. Acting like someone you’re not will eventually shatter your own perception of yourself. It might even cause you to neglect what really matters in life.
Someone like Tarek might seem glamorous through his online persona, but that’s not who he is in real life. In fact, many people aren’t who they pretend to be. But it is perfectly okay to just be yourself. Learn to make peace with that and live your truth with curiosity and wonder.
Here's the full episode. Enjoy!