“Be your authentic self on social media.”
What exactly does this mean?
From a psychology viewpoint, it means you remove your mask and show your audience who you are, no matter what. It also describes impression management where you determine how you’ll present yourself publicly.
This above all:
To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
~ Hamlet, Shakespeare
To be your authentic self, display your best self.
B genuine and keep it real. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not because people will see right through it. Here’s an example:
Back in the winter of 2012 and spring of 2013, Oscar winning actress Anne Hathaway was the most hated celebrity. Why? Because some believed she had issues with perfectionism and tried too hard. Fast forward to 2015, and Anne is back on top.
Note: I like Anne Hathaway. As someone who has a tendency to learn toward perfectionism (thanks dad), I get it.
If you’re worried you’re not being authentic on social media, don’t panic. Below are fives ways you can use right now. Being your authentic self is closer to possible than you think.
5 Ways to be Your Authentic Self on Social Media
1. Give your opinion.
You have an opinion, right? Don’t be afraid to give your opinion. Most importantly, don’t freak out if people disagree with you. Back up your opinions with fact and state why you believe what you believe. Remember, you can have an opinion and so can others.
2. Be clear about who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
Do you know who you are in terms of being a professional? Do you know what you do? For example, if you’re a certified personal trainer, do you own it? What makes you feel comfortable to make a claim like, “I’ll help you lose 20 pounds in 20 days.” As a certified personal trainer, are you motivated by the fact you get to help others release unwanted pounds. Be clear about who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
3. Balance between business and personal sharing.
Don’t get carried away with posting about your personal life on your business social networks. Using the certified personal trainer example from above, it would be okay to share a picture of you rock climbing in Sedona, AZ while you’re on vacation. Why? Because you can show your clients how they can stay in shape while they travel. However, you don’t want to keep sharing photos of your vacation, especially if you’ve had one too many alcoholic beverages, if you drink at all. You are, after all, a certified personal trainer.
4. Have an attitude of gratitude.
Using the certified personal trainer example from above, if you’ve taken a certification test and passed, share it with your readers. You could write something like, “Passed XYZ certification! I’m grateful I passed and look forward to serving my clients and helping to lose weight faster with the new technique I learned.” If a client, will call her Lila, decides to pursue being a certified personal trainer, you can write something like, “I’m so grateful I get to inspire all of you. My client Lila told me she wants to become a certified personal trainer, so she can help other women like her. Feeling proud!” This makes you seem more authentic because it’s personal and heartfelt.
5. Don’t be a know-it-all.
You may have a lot of knowledge and want to share it but there’s a fine line between being an expert and know-it-all. Be open to feedback and discussions. If you have trouble with this, spend a few minutes in meditation to find out why/ Chances are, you’ve masked your authentic self. You may be compensating for some childhood drama. Seek to find out what it is and takes steps to heal. You can be your authentic self without shame.
Say “Yes” to Your Authentic Self
Being your authentic self on social media can be scary.
I sometimes struggle with the five ways. I have something to say but then I get into my head and start analyzing whether or not this or that person will understand my point-of-view or even be respectful about it.
If you struggle with being your authentic self, give yourself a break.
If you over share on a particular topic or promote yourself too much, don’t worry about it.
Admitting that you do these and other things is the first step toward correcting social media blunders. Look at this way, at least you’re aware and care about what you’re doing. Most people would keep doing the same thing and expect the same results.
Use my above tips to help you become your authentic self on social media today and tomorrow you’ll be a social media phenom.
Over to you. Do you hide or share your authentic self on social media? Let me know in the comments.