Pretending you’re a genius. Actually a decent strategy!

Sometimes pretending like you know what you’re doing can be the best strategy. You look smart (or at least competent; like you can do the things people are already expecting you to do) , and you end up learning the skill you originally didn’t have. Like when somebody asks you to Photoshop something for them: either just play around with it until you’ve got it figured out (trial and error is a beautiful thing) or Google some instructions. Oh mighty Google, how do I erase this woman’s unfortunate son’s acne in their family photo? (First step: see a dermatologist.)

And then there are those times where pretending like you know what you’re doing just doesn’t work out at all. Like when you’ve been faking how to do pick-ups in tap class since you were eight, and when you’re dancing in a group nobody can tell! And then when you  have to do it on your own … why do I sound like a limping Clydesdale with only one horseshoe on? It’s a valid question to be sure. In this case, perhaps it would have been easier at age eight to have just learned the step properly. These are sad, sad things I’ve learned in retrospect.

The key, that my eight year old self was clearly missing, is that it’s all about knowing where to draw the line. Is nodding along like I know what you’re talking about going to help me learn what you’re talking about or prevent me from ever learning what you’re talking about? If it’s the first one, pretend away! People will think you’re a genius. If it’s the second one, suck it up and learn your pick-ups. Your 24 year old self will thank you for it.

~ Julia

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