Normally, I find that there are three versions of any one person: the person that they see themselves as, the person that others perceive them to be, and the person they really are.
If you’re lucky, these three versions of you are somewhat similar across the board. They make sense, relate to one another and fit together like the pieces of a puzzle. Especially when it comes to how you see yourself lining up with who you really are.
But that second one, how others perceive you to be, that one stands out. It is so easy to get caught up in the perceptions of other’s that we actually end up trying to measure up to someone else’s expectations. But in reality, we have more control over how people perceive us than we give ourselves credit for.
Bloggers cannot be open about every little aspect of who they are. And while you can likely deduce somethings about the deeper aspects of the lives of your online friends, hiding behind a computer screen is easy to do.
Take me for instance. You can probably guess what some of my core values, beliefs and ideals are based off of what you read here. I’ve probably said some of these things pretty explicitly. But what you can’t see are the morning when I run through my house like a crazy person trying to get to work + my internship on time, burn half a bagel and almost butter my wrist, all in the process of getting this post up. You don’t see the days when my laundry basket looks more like a suitcase full of all the clothes I own because everything is dirty. I can’t show you all the dirt collected in the creases of my white Macbook.
But I’m comfortable with those things.
I’m comfortable with having people appreciate my strengths, but also capture the unique qualities of my weaknesses. Because like it or not, it usually isn’t the perfect model of ourselves that we work so hard to portray that inspires or motivates us. It is our willpower and ability to be humble, openly show our less than perfect selves and be a little transparent that truly motivates and inspires others.
People learn and grow from being around real people, not robots. (tweet this!)
Our struggles and hardships make and shape us as much as our strengths and successes do. We are not only guided by our goals and dreams, but also by our attempts and failures. Have you ever been trying to reach a new fitness goal; running an extra mile or two, or lifting a few pounds more than usual. You try, almost make it, but don’t quite get there. And then this incredible feeling of determination and drive takes over, and you try again and again until you do reach that goal.
It’s not just the end of the story that people need to here, it’s the story of your journey that will inspire them. Tell them that you failed once, twice, or three times before you were final able to reach your goal.
Be shamelessly yourself. Don’t be afraid of transparency.