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October 23, 2012

Owning Our BS

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

Been a while since I wrote a more introspective post, and I’ve been lucky enough to have been inspired A LOT recently, so I thought I’d share with you all.

Over the last 2 weeks, I have attended 3 business conferences and it’s been really fun and educational–all of them a little different, but all equally inspiring. There were many different speakers, concepts and insights, but one of the biggest themes (and one that resonated with me strongly) is this sense of connection with our customers, clients and readers.

Naturally I thought of you all, who read the blog religiously and to whom I am so grateful. And the idea of being as transparent as possible has continued to grow in me, and has become an obsession. Not because I think my life is incredibly exciting or that I have anything more unique to offer than someone else, but because when we put ourselves out there in a public space, like on a blog, we have an obligation to be 100% authentic and transparent. To put all of our own “stuff”–our BS–out there for the readers.

I am passionate about this for several reasons–for myself as a blogger, and also for anyone else thinking about launching an online business, blog or talking in the internet “space.”

Here’s why I feel it is important to own your BS and put your “real” self out there:

It humanizes you, the writer.

And in doing that allows the reader to be human too. Allowing others to be themselves without judgment is an incredible gift to give, and yet many are not shown that courtesy. Jade does this naturally with people, and it’s a joy for me to learn from him.

We are so used to being judged that we walk around trying to be what we think we’re supposed to be to be accepted, when all we really want is permission to be human. To relax and be us. When a blogger or influencer is able to share their own struggles and obstacles (and offer turn-arounds), it can be an incredibly powerful example. Ask yourself, do I allow others to be themselves? Could I give people the benefit of the doubt and not hold them to some ridiculous and random standard that society creates? Let’s be free to be you and me :)

It’s real.

And it’s precisely because it’s real that it inspires. Perfect is boring. It’s not relatable. It’s cliche. And usually…it’s a myth. Often pros in the fitness/competition space will put on the facade that they eat perfectly 24/7 and it’s easy for them. Well, good for them, but I suspect there’s more of a struggle than they let on.

Why do we do this? Have this need to put on a show of perfection? Does it take away from our power in the world if we admit that we have momentary lapses in willpower? I don’t believe it does. In fact, I think that its realness, relatable and honesty inspires more than any model of perfect eating could. And we do a disservice to our clients, fans and readers when we pretend to be anything we are not.

It’s the only way to get better.

When we pretend like we have it all figured out, we are in denial. Being in denial means that there is something to work on but we are choosing not to acknowledge it because then we have to admit that we don’t have it figured out and that makes us vulnerable. This kind of thinking keeps us safe, but it also keeps us small.

For me, I know that as soon as I am done learning, I will have stopped growing and getting better.

It’s through the STRUGGLES–not the moments of perfection–that the most growth occurs. So embrace your BS, look it straight in the eye and man up to it. Obstacles are your friends, they exist FOR YOU, to teach you something incredible, something that will take you to the next level. Embrace your struggle, lean into it.

Here’s the thing though: Being human and exposing your BS isn’t an excuse to throw yourself a pity party. Because being a victim and looking for attention sidetracks the issue–it takes away from the power of transparency. Now it turns into your need for affirmation for the purpose of gathering a team of people to agree to how bad you have it. When we write and animate from a place of victimhood, most are LESS inspired and LESS energized, not more.

Ever have a conversation with someone who puts spills their guts for you, and you spend the whole time trying to make them feel better and offer solutions, only for them to continue complaining and acting negatively? How exhausting is that!? I often leave situations like that completely drained and demotivated, which is of course not the goal. Of course, it’s up to them what they continue to do, but for me, I’m at the point where I refuse to be dragged down into negative-town–I just won’t put negative shit in my head anymore.

So, remember to keep it POSITIVE. If there’s a lesson to be learned, dig deeper to find and share a unique insight. Stop choosing to complain and start choosing to look for and implement SOLUTIONS. The two are mutually exclusive. If you are complaining, you are not taking action to make a change. But if you decide to take action, your innate inspiration keeps you going. It’s simply a choice. Your choice.

Transparency is sexy, baby! Don’t hold back. Relate, engage and allow yourself to be vulnerable. It’s better for you, your readers and your own personal growth :) ox Jill

Related: Check your ego at the door

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