There is some value to the old saying of “fake it ’till you make it.” I’ve taken this saying into serious account for some of the projects I’ve taken on. It works, for me at least, but it works in a concerning matter. You can truly fake your way to mastery of a specific skill or task, but you will be incredibly nervous until you realize that you actually figured out how to solve your problems.
That’s the flaw in this approach. I totally faked my way into believing I had my shit together today when I filed two insurance claims from my last medical expense. I have absolutely no clue if I filled out those forms correctly nor do I have any idea if the insurance company would tell me if I didn’t. I just did my best, tried not to get overwhelmed, and sent them as soon as I could to make sure I had time to fix any issues that might come up.
I guess that’s the thing about being an adult – you have to make a mistake every now and then to understand something. Not every solution or rule is written in black and white. The world is a tricky place – most of the time unintentionally, but nonetheless – and there is no manual for navigating the issues you’ll face. I could have been paralyzed with confusion, left the forms alone, and forgot to file them until after the period of claim was over. Money is a fantastic motivator though.
If faking your expertise or experience works for you, go for it. However, I would never encourage someone at my age to feel as though they need expertise at absolutely anything. At 18 years old, I still don’t have the expertise on how to ask my bank for a box of checks or how to advocate for my own care in a hospital. Things that seem simple become incredibly complex when you’re alone and sick or scared or worried that you’ll mess up. Don’t fake it, just don’t freak out either.