Single Steps Strategies Blog

It’s Only Make Believe…

…Or Fake It til You Make It

In the month of Halloween, it is fun for me to remember that as a little girl I loved dressing up like someone I was not.  The norms for girls like me back then were to dress as a Princess, a Ballerina, a Nurse or Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

I had friends who dressed as brides or nuns, but I never saw myself that way. But it was quite clear we all saw ourselves as the typical stereotypes of women of that era.

Kids dressed in various halloween costumes

A Mom and a Role Model

Surprisingly, having a mom who was raising two children alone after the death of our father; a mom who became a nurse, but then became an administrator, a director at a nursing home, who started a business of her own and who was really a pioneering spirit in her day, I had a great role model for why it was not likely that I would become a Princess, a Ballerina, or live in a fairy tale world of Oz.

But like many women in my time, I did become a school teacher. Even if I never pretended to be a teacher, it was an acceptable career for a woman. 

The one thing I never, never did was dress up as a Financial Consultant.  I never saw myself in that role, I never pretended to be that person.  So, when the time came to move from teaching to consulting, I had to “dress up” to fit into the role.  I had a mentor who would remind me of the old adage of “dress for the career you want, not the job you have.”  It was sort of a “fake it until you make it.”  In those days, women trying to make it in a “man’s world” dressed like men.  I had a blue blazer and a red tie.

Dress on Purpose

And did you know that when Native American’s dressed in animal skins to go out to hunt, it was not to blend in with the animals? The animals were smart enough to know the difference between who they were and who a human was. I was told by a Native American that hunters dressed to attract what they wanted.  They wanted to attract animals for food, clothing, shelter.  So, they dressed for their success.

Graphic of women dressing for different professionsIf you see yourself as someone other than the current you; or you are unhappy with your current career or life’s work and want to be someone else; maybe this is the perfect month to pretend to be who you want to be.  Dress for the life you want.  Dress like the you that you want to be.  Afterall it may seem like it is only make-believe, but it could just be that you have to fake it until you make it.
– Mary Grace Musuneggi

Happy Halloween