The other day I was driving past an apartment building that I used to live in. It wasn’t an overly nice apartment building and it’s not in a fantastic area (I once interviewed about what I thought of the murder that happened on my front lawn) but I actually really liked it there. The units themselves had a really nice layout, the bedrooms were reasonably well sized and it was all hardwood floors. For the price, it was pretty great (assuming you didn’t get murdered).
But there’s something I really hate about that building as well. Just after I moved out, they decided to do some “renovations”. So they covered the old, weathered brick exterior with a granite façade. I hate fake exteriors. When I see a building that’s covered in a fake façade I picture an idiot wearing one of those shirts with fake muscles or one of those shirts that makes it look like you’re wearing a bikini. I’m always left with the same thought? Who are you trying to fool?
It’s not a building thing, or a shirt thing. It’s a fake thing.
People do it all the time. They post Instagram pictures that make it look like they live inside a furniture store. They post a picture of the left side of their face because they have a giant zit on the right side of their face, with the hash tag, “perfect skin”. People love to make believe that things are better than they are and then they like to talk about it or take pictures of it. And here’s why that’s a problem.
People like to be inspired. But they also don’t believe in fantasy. When I see an entrepreneur talk about how they made 7 figures in 7 days or they grew their business by 5000% with this one little hack or they lost 25 pounds just eating McMuffins and drinking coffee I don’t think, “that could be me.” I just tune out. There’s a point where I stop paying attention to your “motivational message” because it’s not motivational to see something I’ll never achieve.
So how do you show that you’re working, that you’re hustling and most importantly that you’re succeeding without making it seem like you’re wearing a shirt with fake muscles? It’s actually not that complicated.
For the past 21 days I’ve been posting yoga poses on Instagram I’m doing something called #FireUpFeb where each day I do a short practice and then try to land in a particular pose. Some have been pretty easy, some have been pretty challenging and some have been downright impossible. But there are two things I’ve been doing as part of this that illustrates exactly what I’m talking about.
First, I don’t have a hermetically sealed room painted in eggshell white with a single plum floating in a hat filled with perfume. I don’t have a yoga studio in my house. I have kids play-mats covered in Lego and puzzles. And that’s where I do my yoga. So I don’t hide that. There is a children’s toy in just about every single post I’ve made.
Second, I’ve been taking video of me getting into the pose and many of them are filled with falls, flailing and laughter. In some of those videos I end up laying on my face. In some of those videos, I fall on my ass and make our neighbors think that they live in the middle of the Red Dawn sequel. And then you know what I do with those videos, especially the particularly terrible ones? I post them on Instagram with the hash tag #FireUpFebFails. I want people to see that YES, I did do crow pose, but that I spent some time laying on my face, laughing.
There’s nothing wrong with being vulnerable. If you’re posting for business, maybe you don’t want to leave it all out there. But you want to be relatable. You want to be a real person.
You do NOT want to be wearing a fake muscle shirt. Unless you’re 8…or it’s Halloween, you look ridiculous.