In a world so dominated by social media it’s so easy to pretend to be someone else and portray a different image rather than the real you.
One of the things I coach my clients on is authenticity. Being authentic is very powerful and I’m also going to add into the mix being vulnerable too.
What does being vulnerable mean in this context? Well, it doesn’t mean doing a Facebook live naked so you can put that worry away. In this context being vulnerable is showing the deeper side of you. The one that has struggled and triumphed. The real side of you that’s outside of your business.
Here’s an example.
Many years ago I was doing a lot of public speaking on stages and talking marketing and branding then, one day I was having a chat with a friend and he suggested I tell my story.
My reaction was something along the lines of ‘yeah right, who wants to hear that?’ He urged me to do it. I was nervous and I really didn’t know if this was going to work.
I prepared my talk with the intro about the real side of me and some of my past and how I had got through it all. After my talk and as I stood on that stage, the look on people’s faces said it all. I had goosebumps. One person at the back was in tears as I’d hit a nerve. I got a huge round of applause and that person who had been in tears came up to me and explained that my childhood was similar to theirs and by me having the courage to speak about it on stage opened them up too and they were deeply grateful for my talk.
On that note let me remind you of this truly beautiful quote by Marianne Williamson
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson
This is such a incredibly powerful quote and the line that says “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us”
On social media we feel we can’t show the real us. We feel we have to show the ‘life is all so f###ing amazing’ us. Which we know deep down isn’t right because it’s not authentic, and because it’s what so many others are doing, how can there be any point of difference and how can we truly obtain real engagement from it?
How can we really connect on a deeper level?
When I went through some bad times a few years ago I didn’t air my dirty laundry on social media but I did share what I had learnt from the experience. I showed that I had been deeply hurt but I also shared what I had learnt, what I was now doing and also gave some other insights into my overall experience. This showed a vulnerability but also inspiration and motivation because, I want to gain more leaders not followers and my aim is to help inspire others who may also be going through a bad time. By being vulnerable and sharing it helps you gain greater trust with the people you are connected too and this is so important if you are wanting to building real world engagement.
Now, I don’t share this kind of 'stuff' with the sole intention of gaining more people on my email list, I share what inspires me or what I’ve learnt which I hope will help others and one of the benefits of this is as I’ve said, people become more engaged with you and this is something that is missing from the world of social media. We have forgotten that social media means being social.
If we want to get to know someone surely we want to know more than there amazing, happy, look at what I’ve had for lunch side of them yes? I know I do.
Man years ago I used to run a number of networking groups and at each meeting we would ask 3 people in the room for a 10 minute meeting each. so we could get to learn more about what they did.
The same question would be asked time and time again and that was ‘so what do you for business?’ After about the thousandth time I decided to change it and I started to ask ‘what do you do outside of work?’ Suddenly their faces completely changed. They became more animated and more engaged. I could now see their real side it was such a breath of fresh air and it’s not too different to what we can do on social media.
So what can you share on social media that shows a slightly different side to you?
If you connect with me on Social media you can see what I post which may give you some ideas. Click on this link here for my personal page PLEASE NOTE: If you do decide to connect, send me a message first to say you’ve read this post, otherwise I may not accept you because I get a lot of requests.
I also highly recommend you watch this excellent TedTalk by Brene Brown on the power of vulnerability
But before you leave this post let me ask you this... "Do you have the courage to be vulnerable?"
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