Delulu Trend: Gen Z's Trick to a Better Career Is All About Confidence

If you’re on Instagram, TikTok, and X (the app formerly known as Twitter), you’ve probably heard about the “delusion” or “delulu” trend sweeping the nation.

The term’s meaning is simple: People, Gen Z in particular, are imagining a better reality. Like one in which they are happy in a relationship (delusionship), or one in which they have a really stellar career. It’s a form of manifestation and, fun fact, imagining your goals in this way can make you calmer and more balanced.

Here’s what Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials can learn from Gen Z’s “delulus” in their own professional lives.

How it works.

To embrace “delulu” at work is to basically fool yourself into thinking that you are more qualified and better suited for a job than you really are. On TikTok, many young women in particular are currently showing how this little pinch of self-deception has helped them on their career path.

TikTok content

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“Everyone who knows me always says the same thing about me,” one TikToker says in her video. “They say I live in my own reality.”

At first, she continues, she thought that was something negative, but she now sees this quality as a fundamental element of her success. When she began to consciously celebrate the girlie who lives in her own dream world, she developed a mindset in which she can’t lose. And since then, she says, she has been more successful than ever.

TikTok content

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Another user agrees with her on TikTok, saying when she realized that being a little bit “delulu” could be the key to success, she went back to simply believing strongly in things. She says it helps her behave as if her wishful thinking were reality.

Can this really have a positive impact on your work?

Admittedly, it’s not a good idea to completely abandon yourself to a dream world at work. But some elements of embracing an alternative reality could definitely be helpful on the job.

For instance, being “delulu” could help you feel more self-confident at work. If you feel more empowered at your next meeting by being a little “delulu,” you may start to feel more confident in the real world as well. Stressed on the job? Just remember the confident, smart person you visualized beforehand, and let her guide you through.

Women are far too often affected by imposter syndrome—the feeling that they are not qualified enough for a position and only got their job by chance. Being “delulu” works against this because it directly counteracts self-doubt. By pretending to be better than you actually are, self-doubt brought on by imposter syndrome is neutralized.

Is there a downside?

Of course, there’s a difference between being “delulu” and lying, and anyone who pretends to have abilities they don’t is likely to hit the hard ground pretty quickly. It’s okay to be “delulu,” as long as you don’t cross the line into “scammer.”

However, there is a silver lining here too. If you have to pretend to have various skills in order to feel confident at your job, then you might not be in the right position overall, and should ask yourself whether you might be happier in a different job.

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