People Who Faked It Until They Made It Reveal What Happened

We know the phrase "fake it til you make it" very well. Everyone says it because literally none of us have any idea what we are doing (and the people who say they do are lying). Our brains are always telling us somebody is going to figure out that we are faking and then that's the end for us! But people are faking it and making it every day, unbeknownst to us.

u/butkua sought to bring these peoples' stories forward:

People of reddit who used the "fake it until you make it" method, what was the thing you faked and how long did it take it to make it?

Here's some advice from them.

Acronym Olympics

Went to grad school for applied math, got my first job working in banking.

There are still at least 100 acronyms I don't know, but I learned how to say things like "the trick is just finding that balance" until the meeting is over and I get to go back to my nerd stuff.

Permanent Fake

In 90 days I faked knowing how to do my job as a temp and was hired on full time.

A Little Bit Of Care

I used to be a high school teacher. There was a 12 year old who was one of the least likable children I had ever worked with. He had neither charm nor looks, personality nor intelligence. He was sullen, resentful, belligerent, disruptive, and permanently sour-faced. When he entered the room, my heart would sink.

Then I remembered how my mother told me that when me and my sisters were little and life was very busy, she would get up early to get some chores done. Only sometimes we would wake up too. She said that when she heard our feet on the stairs, her heart would sink, because she knew she wouldn't get her chores all done now. But she had made a promise to herself, that none of her children would ever be made to feel unwanted. So when we put our head round the kitchen door, we were always greeted with a smile and a cheerful "Good morning!"

It occurred to me that in this lad's life, no one was ever pleased to see him. Not his mother nor his father, not his teachers nor his siblings, and he had not much by way of friends. He was nothing but a nuisance - a pest and an annoyance - to everyone who knew him. And that was heartbreaking. So from then on, whenever he came into my classroom, I greeting him cheerfully and asked how he was doing. Believe me, that smile was faked. I didn't feel it at all. Until one day I did. I actually began to care for him. And sometimes I even got a half-smile back.

Easy Deception

Currently faking my job being harder than it is. My boss has been super impressed with my work so I see no reason to work harder since I'm at a set pay. So I spend about 6 hours a day on Reddit and my boss tells me I'm the best worker on the project.

Living The Fake

I faked feeling comfortable in a new culture and forced myself to speak the language even though I was very bad at it and felt like an idiot (also had a bit of social anxiety, but I needed to learn somehow!). It took about a year till I was fluent and reasonably integrated

Faking For The Good

Had horrible postpartum depression after one of my sons was born. I was not bonded with the baby at all. I was protective of him, but didn't feel like he was my son. It was awful.

I told my mom about it when he was about 1. She said "take every opportunity to call him 'my son'. Tell him you love him. Act as if you are bonded, and it will happen."

By the time he was 3, I was head over heels in love with him. It absolutely worked. It took some time, but it worked.

To anyone out there going through something similar, it's ok. It's unfortunately more common than you think. But because you feel that way now doesn't mean you will always.

False Confidence

Cold calling. I was terrified to pick up the phone and call complete strangers to get information out of them. So to compensate I literally puffed out my chest and forced myself to speak loudly. After the first 30-40 phone calls I became much more comfortable and eventually got pretty good.

Code For The Code

Knowing how to code. Took me about a year before it felt like I knew what I was doing.

For The Kiddos

Faking through my anxiety has helped me get to the other side of a lot of it. I didn't want my kids to grow up with fears based on my anxiety, so I just power through stuff when I am in front of them.

Faking confidence in front of my kids has given me confidence as well.

In Steps

I had no experience operating equipment so nobody would hire me. So I lied and said I had lots of experience and gave the name of a small contractor for a reference. I got hired to run a line skidder.

Two hours later I was fired, but I learned how to start the skidder and untangle the winch line I snarled up. (in my defense it was an old Timberjack that had so many levers you had to be an octopus to run it). The next job I had I used the first company and the last one for references and almost made it to the end of the day before I got fired.

On my third try I told the owner that I had some experience but had a long way to go before I could say I was good at running the machine. He hired me and put me to work beside and old pro and I never looked back.

Impersonation Nation

I once tricked my coworkers in a removal company into thinking I'm a supervisor so I could sit idly and order them around instead of working myself. All it really took was a different colored company shirt and a keychain with an 'ID card' (just a random white card). The owner of the company caught me and promoted me to supervisor because "you already know what to do". I tell this story all the time and people tend to not believe me but it's true.

The Front

Bullied through grade school. Grade 9 was good though. I started lifting weights in grade 10, got really big in a year, and acted like "don't mess with that guy" guy. No one messed with me, at school, outside of school, it was pretty awesome to have such a deterrent.

I actually have a huge heart, pretty gentle person, but the front worked. Probably still works to this day. Just from being physically fit, I also developed good posture, developed good eye contact and communication skills.

IT Paid Off


Found a job which was a perfect fit for me, other than it required being proficient in MATLAB. I decided I knew C and JAVA so I was sure I could figure it out. Every task that required MATLAB I just worked feverishly, hacking together what I could from pre-existing code and online help, and then went home and Googled what I needed to know on my own time. I took one of Mathworks online training classes.

In about 3 months, I was suddenly the most proficient MATLAB user on the team. Turns out, most of the team was terrible at MATLAB, and basically just wrote Fortran code, not using any of the advanced features available.


My confidence. As soon as I started faking being confident I just was. Same goes with any quality you want.

Impatient? Fake being patient and you'll become a patient person

Angry? Fake being a calm person and you'll become calm

Unhappy? Fake being happy and you'll become happy

But don't fake it like you're trying with half-ssed effort. You really got to try. Obviously this doesn't work if you've got a biological condition that isn't caused by what you've done with your own free will.

Freestyle Learning

As a kid I took a beginner level swimming class but accidentally went to the wrong end of the swimming pool where the more advanced class was about to begin. The teacher looked at me dubiously (I was obviously shorter and younger than the other students) and asked me to demonstrate the front crawl. I gamely jumped in and tried crawling in the water, as I had no idea what she was talking about. To my credit, I did not drown or need a rescue. I was asked to rejoin my class. I had the stroke down by the end of the summer.

It All Worked Out

I faked being super sweet and nice to get a girl to go out with me, only took a couple dates. Jokes on me because we've been married for 3 years now

Impostor Syndrome

So there is a thing called impostor syndrome where basically you feel like a fraud in your line of work who doesn't know what they're doing. It affects you more if you are more of an "other" than the generic type of person in a group.

Anyway I've suffered this for most of my career, even though I've written first author papers and such. The best consolation for this is recognizing everyone feels this way sometimes so far as I can tell!

It Worked!

20 yr. home repair/ improvement / remodeling contractor. In my 1st couple years when a potential client asked," Do you do *_*?" My standard answer, "Absolutely", whether I'd done it before or not. If I got the job, I'd just figure it out as I went. It always worked out and my clients were always happy with the work.

The Devil

Enjoying deviled eggs. Took about 5 months of "faking" (poorly) that I enjoyed them before I started to like them. Now I could eat those tasty things 24/6.

Just Jump On In

Just about everything when I was a new nurse. I wasn't even allowed to place an IV or draw blood as a student. Soooo much of what you do is a first experience. You learn quickly that telling people you're new doesn't exactly inspire confidence. You have to have good enough judgement to know when to ask for help versus a non dangerous situation that can be figured out on your own.

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!

What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."


"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.


As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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