Many folks in the Manosphere talk about "fake it until you make it" with regards to building up confidence and approaching women. The point of this advice is to try and generate a positive feedback loop for which the struggling male discovers that women are attracted to confidence and resolve in a man, and while he may be faking it at first, the success he experiences while faking that confidence and bravado should boost his REAL confidence so that eventually he is no longer faking it.
That is because the true path to self-esteem for males is to struggle with adversity and overcome it through persistence and perseverance. It is the realization that you've triumphed through the force of your will. The experience gained from this process is what real self-seteem is founded on. This truth is one of the principles that is deliberately distorted by mass media culture - that self-esteem is the result of shielding children from negative experiences, protecting them from harsh criticism and avoiding any possibility of failure. We don't want to hurt their feelings...because hurt feelings is evidence of a low self-esteem. This philosophy that seems to be at the heart of our culture's principle in raising the next generation. It is one of the reasons why we are a declining civilization.
This false definition of self-esteem is at it's core, a dishonest philosophy...and an enfeebling one at that. This is one of the reasons why we have what is now commonly referred to as an "extended adolescence." Shielded from the consequences of failure, one never learns from that failure, so they never improve.
True self esteem is an honest existence. It's the realization that you can and did overcome adversity and struggle to accomplish something. I take pride in attaining my black belt in martial arts, although I am very circumspect and humble about it, I never talk about it or use it as a means of describing myself to people who do not know me. (It is only in the anonymity of the internet would I write something like this.) That is because I went through years and years of extensive, grinding and sometimes very painful training to achieve that rank. I've been knocked out cold, and I've knocked out others. I've had broken bones and an endless amount of bruises. The self esteem I built up from that is founded on honesty. I know what I went through to achieve that rank.
I've met guys who got their black belts from a "McDojo." They spent hundreds of dollars and a short period of time to be "awarded" the rank. It is a mark of false self-esteem. It is the seeking of status that is not really earned. When you see a McDojo black belt recipient "move" they don't move like a person who has gone through the extensive training required to attain that rank in an honest dojo. Any true black belt can recognize immediately whether or not a person has a real black belt versus a McDojo rank. Fraudulent self-esteem is easily recognized by those who attained it authentically.
Self esteem comes from truly learning about yourself through testing yourself and pushing your personal limitations as much as you can. This process of building up a real self-esteem is the basis for the type of advice given by Shark over at Solve my Girl Problems, when he advises men to "kick it up a notch":
I don’t care what you do for a living, what fetishes you have, what dreams you dream, or what hobbies you uptake to pass time.
If you are a professional male dancer trying to make your way to the Russian Royal Ballet, kick it up a notch.
If you spend your day playing Call of Duty and yearn to get a contract with MLG, kick it up a notch.
If you work at retail and have aspirations to become manager, kick it up a notch.
If you compete in Origami tournaments and spend your day making paper airplanes, kick it up a notch.
If you want a torn physique, kick it up a notch
If you’re on your high school basketball team and want to make it to the NBA, kick it up a notch.
If you’re a pre-med student in college who dreams of becoming a successful doctor one day, kick it up a notch.
If you have a 9-5 desk job but have been thinking for a long time about starting your own business, kick it up a notch.
If you smoke weed all day and aspire to achieve a level of euphoria few organisms have ever achieved, kick it up a notch
Move mountains, shake the earth, point your toes.
You want self-esteem? Find some goal that involves some sort of struggle. Apply yourself with persistence. When you experience difficulties or set backs, don't quit...
...kick it up a notch.
POST SCRIPT - Commenter Greg asked a question in the last thread regarding honesty and the "fake it til you make it" advice.
Greg: I have been struggling with this issue for some time now. On the one hand, I find I am most confident, centered, and strong, when I am unapologetic about myself, do not fake myself, and am honest about my intentions, desires, and actions.
On the other hand, doesn't game say specifically that you have to "fake it till u make it"? Isn't that dishonest? Doesn't roissy repeatedly say you should not "be yourself" but fake yourself in ways he says will earn "respect" from women?
Isn't this a contradiction or a paradox? This seems to be a central paradox of game - that in order to win respect you need to be yourself, but game tells u that to win respect you have to act in specific ways that may not reflect your true beliefs/desires/intentions and thus be dishonest.
Is it dishonest to fake confidence and self-assurance? I don't think so. For many, many men, approaching and talking to beautiful women is very intimidating. The fear of rejection can be so palpable, it overrides your normal state of confidence and causes you to be crippled with self-awareness.
"Faking" the confidence, and seeing how women respond to it, is exactly what is needed to begin building up real confidence. It's all about starting a positive feedback loop. Remember that probably 80% of Game deals with getting men to actually build up the courage to approach women in the first place. If the man doesn't approach, there is no game to play. The biggest obstacle to men approaching women is the man's own self-doubt and fears of rejection holding back. Acting like you don't have those fears and self-doubts is probably the only way to eventually overcoming them.
You may feel dishonest by faking confidence you don't really have...but it's not the same as using lies to avoid uncomfortable situations.