Talking about my confidence, happiness and general quality of life, one of my friends said, “sometimes you’ve just got to fake it ’til you make it.”

Right now, none of those three categories are at the level I’d like to see them at, and so over the past few days, I’ve been trying to “fake it”: acting like my appearance isn’t a constant source of anxiety, acting like I am okay with my current “boy mode” situation at work, acting like I’m on top of the world. The reality is, none of those feelings are genuine. Looking in the mirror and seeing a guy looking back at me makes me feel nauseous, going to work as a guy and being called my birth name is simply torturous, and quality of life isn’t near what I’d like, either. In time, though, I know these things will change: I’ll become more feminine, I won’t have to boy mode it to work forever, and I’ll eventually learn to truly love myself (which is saying quite a lot, as my starting point was a place of deep self-hatred). So, in the meantime, I need to just do my best to get by, avoid moping, and just live.

This is a concept I’m familiar with. In many cases in life, I really, truly had no clue what I was doing. But, I’m still here, succeeded in most things I’ve put effort into. At my current job, when I started there, they’d ask “how familiar are you with working with bulk sheets? Have you ever used this particular ad serving client?” Both answers were, honestly, “no, I have no idea what I’m doing.” Rather than let on, I simply spent time outside of work getting myself to the level I’d like to be at for those skills. And now? I know those skills like the back of my hand, one of the best analysts in my department.

So, I know that “faking it” can have positive outcomes. Here’s hoping that same concept works as an overarching life philosophy.