TikTokers say it pays to be 'delulu' or delusional at work if you want to get ahead

TikTokers say it pays to be 'delulu' or delusional at work if you want to get ahead
The hashtag "delulu" has 1.6 billion views on TikTok.Tracy Bennett/MGM Pictures via Getty Images
  • Tiktokers are saying that being "delulu" or delusional can help you achieve professional success.
  • The term means having radical self-belief that you will get a dream job or a long-awaited promotion.

TikTok users have unlocked a new psychological hack that encourages people to be delusional to get ahead at work.

Being delusional – or as TikTok users like to say, "delulu" – is a technique in which having radical self-confidence can help you bag a dream job or get that long-awaited promotion.

The term has largely made the rounds on TikTok in the context of dating and relationship advice. For example, tricking yourself into believing someone likes you even if their behavior suggests the opposite.

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

Although it seems counter-productive, TikTok users are lapping up the advice – the hashtag #delulu has 1.6 billion views while #delulugirl has 233.8 million views.

Some TikTokers are applying the advice to their careers. One user said she secured a job at Google as a technical program manager straight out of college, with minimal industry experience, by being "delulu."


"I think it all comes down to being deluded enough to just delude yourself into thinking you're qualified for literally this position or every position that you're interviewing for and that the job is yours," she said in a video explaining that she was offered a different position at Google but asked for the particular role she wanted and succeeded in getting it.

She concluded: "The moral of the story is to just be 'delulu' because you're already jobless so it can only go up from here."

Another user posted a video saying she quit her full-time job with no plan lined up after but she is "in delulu land thinking everything will work out."

She added in brackets: "Somehow idk how but we're manifesting it bc there's no reality where you won't be rich and successful."

The "delulu" mindset is rooted in using affirmations and positive thinking – a popular TikTok strategy – to claim success in all areas of life including relationships, careers, and school.


LinkedIn users have also caught the "delulu" bug. Elle Louise Wilmot, who was formerly a trainee on TikTok's graduate scheme, wrote on LinkedIn: "I am jumping head first into delulu season from today onwards meaning I'm going to be delulu with my goals. Why? Because most often we have goals we are absolutely capable of but our minds, thoughts and belief system tell us we're not capable or that's not impossible."

Aspiring barrister Selcan Tufan said on LinkedIn that being delusional can be important in the field of law in managing high stake situations and complex cases. "Embracing a bit of delusion can empower us to approach these challenges with unwavering self-belief," he wrote.

But being delusional is more than just a fun trend on social media. Instead, it reflects young people's desire to find a sense of control in an uncertain economic environment where normal life goals like buying a house or having a family seem increasingly out of reach.