Hawaiian Libertarian has an interesting post on Fake it ’till you make it. It is an interesting topic that crops up in many spheres beside that of game. Here is my take on it.
The inner experience or emotion that we call confidence has no outer expression. What others see are the actions that come from that inner feeling or experience. What other people call confidence arises from their observations of your actions; they lack direct knowledge of your inner state. Observers judge your inner state by your outer actions. To the observer there is no difference between you acting (pretending) confidence and you actually having it. Indeed, as with bravery, confidence may well be something you do rather than something you have.
This “fakery,” and I do not really believe it is fakery in the sense of tricking or misleading, arises because, in the short term at least, you have to pretend that those confident actions were easy for you. You have to act as if already had that feeling of confidence. Indeed many of the self-assured others that you admire may well be fellow fakers. We admire the actions of confidence and not any inner feeling, or pretence of one, that drove those actions. We do not judge a comic whose jokes made us laugh less funny because he may believe himself unfunny, we are unaware of his beliefs and can only judge him by his actions.
So if you are faking it, you are only (as they say) fooling yourself. And I say that with confidence, but whether I am faking it or not you will have to guess.