Can you fake confidence, and if so is it worth it? Is faking confidence essential in the beginning? Is the very idea of fake confidence an illusion?
Firstly, the confidence that comes from effort, experience, and the knowledge that you have gone farther than everyone else, is unmatched, strong, enduring, TRUE.
You already know what you have to do; the secret to building a life beyond your wildest dreams is to do exactly that—what you know you should do, but don’t want to; and to keep doing it, second by second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, year by year, decade by decade. Magical things will happen—though they will only be magical in retrospect; for life can only be understood backwards, as the great Kierkegaard once said. He also said that it must be lived forwards.
Secondly, it is infinitely easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than it is to think your way into a new way of acting.
The upshot: clearly, there is a place for intentional ‘fake confidence’, but it should only be used to get one on the right track; discipline, habit and grit do the rest of the work.
On a potentially confusing final note, I will add that I personally think of every human as an actor—as fragile actors, in fact, who are just about holding it all together, whilst simultaneously trying to figure out life, change the world, be a good person, make money, be accepted socially (at minimum), find a partner, and so on and so forth. If you think about it long and hard enough, ‘fake confidence’ doesn’t actually exist; it is an illusion, and one that makes you feel like an imposter, and weak, and like ‘it is too hard’.
Not to get lost in the wilderness of ethics and philosophy, here is important thing: if the intentions are good, and you are an unconfident person, ‘faking’ confidence is a crucial step in the right direction—the only step, actually. An example would be asking out your crush: if you’re too shy, you are going to have to ‘fake’ confidence, if you are interested in making something happen. If your crush says no, the fake confidence has still been beneficial; now you have confirmed to yourself that you can do it, which means that you will have an easier time next time (albeit probably so slight that you don’t even notice). If he/she says yes, then… Is the proper term for this type of confidence, that has either landed you a crush or made you better at asking out potential mates, justifiably called ‘fake’? I don’t think so; a better way of putting it would be ‘low’ or ‘embryonic’ confidence.
As confidence develops, imposter syndrome and other distracting ethical dilemmas and neuroses become weaker and even disappear—but how does one get to this stage, without ‘faking’ confidence!? Barring a conversation with a generous genie, they don’t. Seen as there are no genies, there seems to be only one other way.
[P.S. This too can be used for ulterior motives. Don’t be that person. And certainly don’t be fooled by that person should you come across one.]