I challenge everyone to be 100% themselves.
I post to get unfollowed. I literally try to be as transparent as I can be. I want the people that want to be apart of my life and apart of my community to have a positive space to do so. If you don’t want to be apart of that or don’t like me and still follow me my only question is “why?”
Over the last three and a half years I have been intentionally posting more about me, more about my relationship with Scott, and just more about my life. Scott and I have talked about this but a few years ago when I would post about Scott and me, I would lose 500 followers, every time. There would be a lot of “gay” negative commentary and I decided then, that I was glad to see those people leave. I became even happier because when those negative people, who didn’t accept me for me unfollowed me, they took their negative and judgemental energy with them. Leaving plenty of room for those who love and accept me fully. I soon realized that the more authentic and transparent I am, the more quickly my followers grew. Yes, I was still losing the wrong people but I am gaining more and more of the right people for my community and life.
Chip Hoffa (@ChipHoffa) of Team Shaun T and I were having a conversation recently about Instagram and a post he wanted to post. The photo was great (side note: Chip is being fresh with this fly photo in his tights while working out) and when it came to the caption he came up with something to say that was cool but wasn’t really speaking to what he was really trying to say with photo. I told him to write “still looking for a man” because I knew that is exactly how he was feeling in that moment. Being transparent and present is much better than trying to be perfect. That post became one of his highest engagement posts in the last few months. The original caption was going to hint at him thirst trapping and my thought was thirst trapping is cute but let’s tell them “why you are thirst trapping?”.
Another example today is with my Naked Coffee Posts on Instagram. Each time on average when I post one of those photos I lose 2,000 followers but the like and engagement I get on the post are threw the roof. Those posts get the most engagement because people get what I am posting and what I like about the body and the ones that don’t still interact by removing themselves from the conversation and that’s okay!
When you get people to follow you and engage with you online because they really enjoy the REAL and RAW you, you get people who are loyal, loving and never going anywhere. Those people won’t leave because they love what you show them, how you make them feel and it’s actually sustainable because it’s YOU.
How to assess if you are showing up online authentically:
- Ask yourself: “Is this photo and message a snapshot in time?” After you post this photo, video, quote or whatever, are you going to continue to live as you have portrayed in the post? If the answer is no you need to reassess how “authentically” you are presenting yourself online. Be honest with yourself. If you are not going to live like “this thing” don’t publish or change how you talk about the subject in the post.
- Go to a friend or person who really knows you before you post. Chip and I do this all the time, and I will send some people on my team photos or captions I am thinking about posting and ask what they think. I do this not because I need approval but because I want an outside opinion that still knows me and can assess if the content that I want to publish is really speaking to where I am in the moment or in life.
- Ask yourself: “What is the longevity of this post? How does it pertain to my life?” Can you create an ongoing story about this? For instance, my Instagram is about fatherhood, family, and fitness. My Instagram is about those things because they are my literal focus in real life. I care about those things the most. All of my posts tie into one or more of those key things and are authentic to my overall story in life which is why I resonate as very authentic and transparent with my following.
When you wake up in the morning and you go to work are you going to work and changing who you are? Are you telling yourself, “I am going to change who I am because I am around these kinds of people?” I have literally, except for maybe one point in my life when I was finding my way when I moved to LA and I thought everyone was fake, always been myself in each job I have had. I remember I would walk to my job at this pharmaceuticals company and I would be 100% me. Was I different? Yes! Did I stick out? Yes! But I was also very happy and that showed in my work.
So many people go to work and then switch up like “Okay, I have to act like I’m at work”. I am not saying that you should go to work and behave inappropriately but you can be yourself exactly as you normally are in that space. If you free yourself to be yourself at work, then you also free yourself to show and have joy for the space that you’re in.
How to show up more authentically at work:
- Do a Self Assesment
- Identify the things that are making you feel like you can’t be yourself?
- Address those things one at a time.
Getting to a place where you are your most authentic self in public is a process. It takes a certain level of self-confidence, desire, and attitude to choose how you show up in the world. If you want to get to a place where you are 100% yourself, all the time then start with self-assessment. At the end of each day ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how much you felt like yourself today. One being the lowest and you didn’t feel like yourself at all and ten being the highest meaning you were 100% you. If you find yourself on the low-end, then each day do one more thing that will move that self-assessment number higher for you. The only way you will be able to change is by doing.
On a more practical level, in the work environment, you can practice showing up more authentically by finding people at your job whom you actually vibe with. Test out being more open with them. I get it can be very hard to be the most open and honest version of yourself possible but with people you already like and trust is a great place to start.
I hope you enjoyed this conversation about authenticity and being yourself. Take the challenge and send me a video or post on Instagram saying how you plan to show up more authentically in your life. @SHAUNT