Honesty, authenticity and vulnerability are the things that I am drawn to in others. I have so much respect and appreciation for those who own and share their stories, embracing their imperfections. So why am I so surprised that those same qualities in ME are exactly what resonates with my clients and my audience?
Last week, I posted this #ThrowbackThursday pic on Instagram:
Real talk: As an entrepreneur hustling with my side biz, I often feel lost, overwhelmed and not good enough. I’m not a skilled photographer or writer, but I take pictures and I write so I can reach my audience. ⠀ ⠀ I almost never know what I’m doing, but I’ve got passion and drive to constantly improve on my skills. Because I love helping people find their healthiest, happiest selves and I love food…all kinds of it.⠀ ⠀ So if you’re an #entrepreneur out there, also feeling like you’re clueless, 👋🏼… I see you. Maybe you’ve also found yourself standing on a wobbly chair, snapping pics with your iPhone because you can’t figure out your expensive camera and you don’t want to waste good lighting. It’s okay, that picture doesn’t need to be perfect. YOU don’t need to be perfect.⠀ ⠀ Keep your head up. Keep learning and keep hustling. I’ll be over here, doing the same, balancing on my chair with iPhone in hand.⠀ ⠀ #entrepreneurlife #RDchat #realtalk #behindthescenes #reality #foodphotography #dietitian #blogger #honesty #authenticity #TBT #throwbackthursday⠀ ⠀
As you can see, it got well over 200 likes and a ton of comments (a lot for me). In fact, this photo is my most liked photo EVER. The photo alone obviously isn’t “Instagram-worthy”, but the caption really seemed to resonate with people. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at one of my recipe photo shoots and in case you’re wondering, this was the photo that came out of it: That final photo is still far from “perfect”, but that is not the point. Yes, of course, that throwback photo shows how we often don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. Gorgeous food photos never show the hard work that goes into developing and testing that recipe, or creating a backdrop with good styling and light.
But my only intention for sharing that photo was as a vehicle for the words below it. I wanted to put myself out there and let others know that I am just as lost as they probably feel. It’s easy to fall into the ever growing comparison trap on social media these days. The avocado always seems greener in someone else’s photo, am I right?
As I said in that caption, I’m not perfect, but I’ve got passion. After years of hiding behind fear, I started the business that I’d been dreaming of, yet I still get really caught up in what sets me apart. Paralyzed by this feeling that I don’t have anything “special” to offer. What is my expertise? What is my niche? Almost every business book/webinar/class I’ve taken has posed this question–what sets you apart from everyone else in the industry? There are a bajillion food bloggers and dietitians out there. Plenty of them have the same message that I do–encouraging self love and teaching clients about positive movement and how to eat delicious (not all healthy) foods. What is so special about me?
For now, here’s what I’ve come up with: I’m ME, which as it turns out is pretty unique.
Confession-every time I repeat that, I feel super cheesy, like I’m talking to a 5-year old kid, reminding them that they too are unique and this world needs their gifts.
I’m imperfect, scared, unsure of myself and anxious about a lot of things. I’m putting it out there and saying I don’t know everything, I mess up and I struggle. I find myself second guessing things I say to clients and even things I write here on the blog. But despite all of that, I’m showing up because I love what I do and I know I can help others. What sets me apart is my promise to be vulnerable and authentic. I will continue to balance sharing the well-lit, perfectly posed pictures and the not-so-pretty, why did my pancakes fall apart photos. I’ll share my failures so you can see that I’m in the arena, getting my butt kicked, but I’m learning and growing from it. I’m finding inspiration from others who are down here along with me. Let’s give a shoutout to everyone who is putting themselves out there and extend a big thank you to those supporting us as we put our imperfections out there.
To wrap up all this rambling, I want to challenge you to share your story, your failures, your struggles. Let’s aim for authenticity because that is what creates connection and resonates with people. What would this world look like if more people owned their stories and showcased their authentic selves?