Who hasn't heard that expression? Put another way...
"Act as if ye have faith, and faith shall be given."
But no matter how you say it, the strategy behind it is simple. If you don't feel confident, pretend that you are until you gain the experience, skills or tools that you need to develop the confidence for real.
The trouble for people living with ADHD is that "fake it 'til you make it" doesn't always feel like a strategy... it just feels fake.
I've often noticed that people with ADHD seem to have a highly-developed sense of fairness and authenticity, which likely stems from our tendency to see the world in black and white terms. If something is fake, it's not real. If it's not the truth, it's a lie. For the most part, there is very little room for middle ground.
The trouble is that the world isn't black in white. In fact, the world is mostly made up of differing shades of grey. And that makes us uncomfortable.
I often see this become an issue for coaching clients when work to initiate the process of change. The need to be authentically ourselves at all costs, can instead cause us to self-sabotage our efforts to grow because we view "faking it until we make it" as disingenuous - in essence, a lie.
But here's what you have to remember: you will never learn to swim if you don't get in the water.
That doesn't mean that you fake that you can swim and jump into the deep end. But you can pretend you're comfortable wading into the shallow end while you learn to float. Then perhaps you move a little deeper as you learn to tread water.
Like any goal you want to achieve or change you want to undertake, you do it in small increments. You take baby steps until one day, you reach the deep end. The difference is that the baby steps have allowed you to get there slowly and develop the skills along the way that you need to stay afloat. You don't need to lie and say you're a swimmer. You just have to be willing to dip your toe into an area of discomfort and pretend you're OK with getting wet.
As an ADHD coach, one of the most important things I help my clients do it to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The only way things change is to change things, right? And that often means getting away from your comfort zone. That's why working with a coach can be so effective. Because, as an outsider, I can see where you need a little push and help you develop the tools you require to acquire the comfort you need.