A for Authenticity: The A-Z of Blogging
But, what do we really mean when we talk about being authentic on your blog?
I don’t have all the answers, but I’m pretty sure there’s a Ted talk that does!
I really like Mike Robbins’ take on the subject.
Author of several books on related topics and one that shares a title with a great quote from Oscar Wilde:
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”
Authenticity: Share Your Vulnerability
In the talk, Mike explores the idea of a scale of authenticity. At one end you’re false, you’re projecting a glossy veneer – (Much like a beautifully manicured Instagram feed that shows a perfect life!).
It’s easy to fall into the trap of ‘promoting’ your business through your blog, leading readers to believe that everything is going swimmingly, that your business is a model of perfection.
I challenge anyone to look another person in the eye, believe their own hype that they have a perfect life and a perfect business where nothing ever goes wrong!
It will never be perfect, because perfection is a fallacy!
Yes, we want to see how successful you’ve been, but we want to see the struggles you went through to get there. That’s where the story is.
Without a ‘conflict’ you don’t have a story, you just have an unchanging and uninteresting character…
There’s nothing more compelling than a ‘rags to riches’ story.
The value you add is in the things that didn’t go well. The value is in the gaps, in the spaces between the successes and the lessons they taught you.
That’s where the ‘realness’ is – as Mike puts it. It’s the place on the other side of honesty. A step beyond.
“Realness. The other side of honest.”
He also uses a tried and tested metaphor to illustrate the point – the Iceberg.
Your business – your life – is more than the shiny, white, glossy bit that’s above the surface. The real story is the bit below the surface…
The bit we don’t see.
Lurking in the depths.
Sometimes it’s scary. Sometimes it’s treacherous. Self-destructive.
That’s the juicy bit! The iceberg is the reason the Titanic sunk – without it, there would be no story.
What are the ‘Titanic moments’ you’ve dodged?
The bits that didn’t sink you.
The dangers you steered clear of on your way to calmer seas.
To be truly authentic, tell us about those Titanic moments.
Enough waxing lyrical from me, watch this…
The Iceberg – most of it’s going on out of sight.
“When you are willing to be authentic, it both liberates us, and it touches and inspires the people around us”
Surely, successful blogs touch and inspire others? If not, what’s the point?