Faking It to Make It

When I was younger I thought confidence was something you could fake. I thought that if you really just acted confident, that you were confident. You could succeed in most scenarios purely by acting. I lived out my late teens and my twenties with this kind of false bravado. Throwing myself into situations with little preparation, feeling that no matter what comes my way I can handle it. Or at least if I pretend to look like I can handle it, people will think I can.

It’s only been with the last few years of self reflection I’ve realised that I had strong false bravado on the surface to disguise a shattered and scared confidence underneath. My years of people pleasing and acting had taken its toll on me and my belief in myself.

Now, writing this piece, I realise that for most of my life, I have lived in fear. Fear of failure. Fear of not being perfect. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of not being liked. Fear of being ridiculed. Fear of conflict. Fear of being too sensitive. Fear of tears welling up when talking (happens when I talk about things dear to me). Fear of not being accepted. Fear of not being smart enough. Fear of not being enough. So, for most of my life I have been trying to be “enough” for everyone else. Always being happy for everyone else’s sake. How very sad.

And when you’re trying to be everything to everyone, you do yourself a great disservice. You lose sight of who you really are. Your originality. What sets you apart from everyone else? What makes you special and unique?

I’ve mentioned in other posts how much I always wanted to work in Television, from a really young age. I was mesmerised by it. I loved everyone about it. I would play act out my favourite shows on the trampoline for hours. Pretending to be the actors and the directors and the producers and presenters. Sometimes imaginary shoes would play in my head and I’d pretend to be in the audience and called up to help host a show. It was my greatest dream as a child to work in TV.

Throughout high school I was constantly told it was a ridiculous dream. Impossible for me. I was strongly encouraged to be a teacher or something with more discipline. I was sent to a kindergarten for a week for my Prac, but I didn’t want to be there. I tried to teach the kids by reading and role playing, but my heart wasn’t in it. So my dad organised with my local radio station a private week of Prac and although it wasn’t recognised by my high school, I worked day and night like it was my first job and I loved every minute. I cleaned the windows in my down time, dusted off the tape and cart machines, answered phones, made coffees, and handed out pamphlets. Anything I could see that needed doing, I jumped at.

I had to work for a few months for free to get my first paid job in TV and the wonderful feedback I was given during my week at the radio station really helped propel my understanding of what makes a good and respected worker. When you work for free, it’s tough. It can be demoralising. Defeating. It’s hard work with no reward, well no monetary reward, and sometimes no real promise of employment at the end. But what I did realise was that experience in media IS a currency. I threw myself into any and every role just to get experience and more experience and in the end it paid off and I got my first real paying job at my local television station.

Fast forward a few years and I’m now in Sydney and trying to leave Parliament House where I worked, to go back into TV. I had no contacts. I didn’t really know anyone who was working in any of the jobs I craved, so I started emailing and calling and writing and applying for any job I could in TV. At the end of the first year of trying, I had a folder of 90 something rejection letters. At the time I said that made me feel proud. I pretended like it made me hungrier. I told my parents I was unfazed, that nothing would stop me because that’s what I though they wanted to hear.

The truth was that I had lost my confidence. From the outside I looked strong, loud, and confident but underneath I was unsure, scared, petrified that maybe I wasn’t cut out for it. Maybe those teachers who mocked me at high school for dreaming big we’re actually right. Maybe I lived in my head too much, like they taunted.

Looking back now, I realise I spent so much time pretending to be the person I thought they wanted, that I never looked real. How could anyone connect with me? Why would any TV exec want to hire an unsure phoney actress pretending to be a stereotypical journalist? I was so fearful of getting it right, that I tried to become someone else. And I did this for years and years. Only ever letting very few people see the real me or versions of the real me depending on how close they were to me. I’m exhausted just writing about this, so you can imagine what it felt like living it!

I can’t pinpoint when I started to be more real. I’ve had a lot of big things happen in my life that really shook my confidence and smashed my false bravado. And for someone who relied on that false confidence for survival, it’s been a steep learning curve. Learning to love myself and to be grateful for the things I do like about myself has been a journey. I’m self deprecating but I can maintain balance by pointing out a positive to each negative I find. This has helped me immensely. So has accepting compliments. I used to say “no” or deflect compliments given as I guess I didn’t feel deserving. It’s ridiculous. I now treat them as a gift. If someone tells you a compliment, graciously accept that gift! Remind yourself at times of that compliment. It helps!

I find it much easier nowadays to relax and be myself. I’m not as scared as I was. I don’t know if it was having kids that started the process or moving to the country where I was reminded what is really important. It might also be that I’ve just grown up? Or perhaps it’s because I try to practice gratitude as much as I can.

Living in fear is so easy to do. Beating ourselves up, negative self talk, jealousy, resentment – none of these things are healthy. It’s hard to eradicate them completely from your life especially with social media flaunting perceived perfection in our faces constantly. I don’t want my girls to grow up feeling inadequate because they don’t look or act a certain way. I want them to feel proud of who they really are. I realise I need to set this example for my girls, hence why I think about this topic a lot. I want my girls to be happy and to live life to the full and never EVER question if they’re enough.


I’m a lot more relaxed about being myself nowadays. I try to celebrate my “uniqueness” but it’s something I have to work on. Practising gratitude definitely helps me achieve this.


Behind the scenes shot! My beautiful photographer Tess (Tee Click) tries to make me laugh to help me feel more natural in my own skin!


A photoshoot is NOT a natural environment for me. I don’t feel comfortable at all but I don’t feel ashamed to admit that nowadays either!

Chezzi xox

14 responses to “Faking It to Make It”

  1. Rachel says:

    This is so touching and so relevant to me right now. Thankyou so much for this! I am a teacherand this blog has also bought up feelings of not being good enough because of teachers that taught me didn’t believe I could..reading your post makes me want to even more so now encourage my students to be the best version of themselves and follow their dreams 😘

    • Chezzi says:

      I’m thrilled my piece resonated with you Rachel.
      Being a teacher would be tough work I can imagine. I’m sure armed with what you know about being on the receiving end of some lack of positive feedback, you will be a very empathetic and ultimately wonderful teacher! Thanks for commenting about my story and I wish you the very best in living a life without fear!

  2. Tanya-lee says:

    This article was like you had climbed deep into my soul and read my deepest darkest thoughts!
    Masks are a wonderful thing to wear when you dont want people to see your inner fear and when your afraid to show people who you are because you worry you won’t fit into their box or meet their standards!
    If there’s something I’ve learnt in the past 6 years its that you don’t have to meet everybody else’s requirements.
    The only box you need to tick is your own.
    God made us all uniquely different for a reason why is it we feel like we have to be like everybody else when we should be content just be ourselves.
    Good on you Chezzi for sharing your deepest innermost thoughts and demons.
    So many young girls at there need to know that being who they are is more important than trying to be who everybody else wants them to be😙

    • Chezzi says:

      Hi Tanya-lee!
      Thanks for leaving a comment. I’m so happy you found what I wrote useful.
      Masks are a wonderful way to hide what you’re feeling inside you’re so right. It’s very liberating to live without the mask though. I’m not perfect at it by any means and it takes constant work, but I realised I was living my life in fear far too often and now I’m aware of it, I’m able to manage it much better.
      Yes we are all unique thankfully. It takes practice to be natural and to be comfortable being yourself. Hopefully starting this conversation can aid other young girls to try to live life to please themselves and not try to live up to the image the media makes us believe is desirable.

  3. Tracey M Spicer says:

    What an articulate and well written piece. What a remarkable young lady you are. What you have touched on here is something that takes most of us a whole lifetime to learn and master. Your website is such a joy to discover. I’m thrilled to have come across it and I’ve been sharing it with friends and family and colleagues because it is REAL and it is HONEST and it is INSPIRING. I too have struggled my way through a career I was told I couldn’t achieve and I only wish I could have read this article some twenty years ago as I believe it would have helped me immensely.
    Thank you for being you.
    I look forward to reading your next piece.
    Tracey 😀

    • Chezzi says:

      Hello Tracey,
      WOW!! Thank you for your very complimentary words. I really appreciate the feedback. Thank you very much, that is really very kind.
      I’m so glad to hear you’ve overcome your fear and gone on to create a successful career despite being told you wouldn’t. I’m sad that you had to live in fear though, it’s just so unfair.
      Again, thanks for reading and I hope to chat with you again soon.

  4. Sammy P says:

    Chezzi thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this.
    You have no idea how much I needed to read this.
    You are such an inspiring woman and I can’t get enough of what you write.
    I have lived scared of being myself for so long and now I feel so empowered to be myself and I owe that confidence to you and your diary.
    Keep your posts coming please.

    • Chezzi says:

      Hi Sammy,
      Thank you for your really lovely comment. I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you.
      I’m just so glad that the article resonated with you. I think its so important to know we are not alone in these feelings.
      Look forward to sharing more stories with you in the future.

  5. Can’t agree with all the previous comments more. I have sent you an email just now to the contact email for the website. I would really like to discuss writing a book with you if you’re interested I will ghost wrote or dictate for you. I think it could be a great manual for young girls. Let me know once you have had a chance to consider.

    • Chezzi says:

      Hi Charlotte,
      Thank you for leaving your comment.
      I haven’t yet received the email. Can you resend?
      I’m interested to talk as I love the idea of helping young girls live life to the full, while being proud of their uniqueness.
      I hope to hear from you soon.

  6. Kimberley says:

    Chezzi thank you thank you thank you. I just want you to know I think you’re amazing! Your diary is SO comforting! I am going through absolute hell right now, it’s a daily struggle but reading your words has given me the strength I need. THank you so much xoxox

    • Chezzi says:

      Hi Kimberley,
      I’m so sorry to hear you’re living in hell at the moment. Things WILL get better I assure you. I’m really glad you enjoyed reading my post. That means the world to me. Sometimes the biggest blessings come out of shit times. You can’t see it at the time but just hang in there and make sure you seek professional counselling if you think things are just too tough, or call Lifeline if you need to talk to someone 13 11 14.
      Lots of love and warm well wishes

  7. Juliette Kingham says:

    Absolutely spot on! Thanks you for sharing your innermost thoughts because it’s something I’ve been dealing with for a bit now the whole living in fear and not knowing how to overcome these feelings. I have read the feel the fear and do it anyway books but to be perfectly honest always thought I was alone in this. It’s so refreshing to read a celeb have the same worries and to hear how you deal with it. I really can’t thank you enough for what you are doing Chezzi because you are touching so many people and I feel like I know you so well and I’ve never met you lol. Thank you.

  8. Lane says:

    Thanks for replying to my email and listening to my story Chez. I think all girls growing up need to read your pieces. You are able to capture a lot of feeling in whatyou wrote and I instantly found you to be engaging and interesting and real. As I wrote in my email I’m telling the world about your website I hope you don’t mind.

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