The Power Of Sharing The Unfiltered Journey
The work you share doesn’t always have to be about success.
What doesn’t work as well as you hoped, is still valid. Yet, for many people, we head straight to the tales of triumph as our badges of honour. It becomes the proof of being worthy of people’s attention.
Only by looking back now, where I have shared stories of work not having the outcome I wanted, I have realised the importance of building these scrapbooks as we progress, otherwise, all we’re doing is heading straight to the conclusion and leaving out the rest of the story.
It makes me think, must our shared work always revolve around success?
In reality, life comprises of a sequence of setbacks interspersed with fleeting triumphs. The setbacks are far from being negative, it’s simply a way of reality.
This is all about telling the truth. As uncomfortable as it might be, for the most part, expectations don’t unfold as brilliantly as we hope.
Sharing My Experience With You
I have always lived an honest approach to my work. Plus, I know that stories of ‘failure’ tend to be the ones that gain traction.
I’ve shared what has happened when I deleted the entire YATM subscriber database by mistake (you can read that here), stories of having a power cut mid-event (you can watch that here) and having to cancel events through lack of interest and a bruised ego (read more about that here).
It’s a pretty long list of not quite getting there. It’s the tweaks you make, that help you craft your own manual, that no one else has tampered with. Over time, you look back it with a sense of pride, even if a little sore from the hours of effort.
What I have learned by sharing this as we go along (the moments that don’t quite live up to expectations), is that you have to be willing to let go of the outcomes.
The reason I share when experiments don’t quite hit the mark, is that it’s a process of connecting the dots from a place of uncertainty and accepting that truth has to be a long-term play. For instance, no one ever expected they would walk into the working world as an event coordinator, a writer, a publicist, or a presenter. You only become marginally better, over time. It’s the continual practice that helps us progress.
It’s also not about showcasing failure as virtue signaling, it’s about helping people navigate their own paths and you share the forks in the road, so people save time (and money). I look at this as being legitimate, where you make the alignment between the promises you make, the outcomes that happen and the value delivered.
The practice of documenting, writing down and sharing with you has allowed me to ease up (you have become familiar with me, over time) and that means I inject more personality into my content. Interestingly, as I started to experiment and open up, I noticed something happening. Personal anecdotes resonated with readers, creating this bridge of shared experiences. The more I opened up, the more I seemed to connect with people, offering not just advice but a sense of shared struggles and triumphs.
This is what I mean by being open not everything is going to work straight away.
It Will Never Work When You Pretend
The era of the ‘personal brand’ often comes with the unspoken rule of projecting an image of continually being at the top of our game.
The moments of unease and not quite working is a non-existent narrative. From a crafted narrative what happens is a formula of success for other people to follow. The danger here is that no one talks about the years of attempts and not quite getting there, but the illusion of success that misses out the challenges and the setbacks.
This is why I champion the ability, to tell the truth and that the spaces we build just take time to accomplish.
How To Approach With Honesty & Your Truth
It can be challenging to inject the reality of life into your content. At the opposite end of the scale bleeding for the sake of bleeding should never be the goal. True value comes from authentic sharing, not pretending to be someone you’re not.
Standing up for something, especially your truth is a gradual process. It starts to toughen you up, see the world through your eyes, hones the way you articulate and enables you to withstand the moments that feel wobbly. It’s a journey that shapes you over the years, it also starts to turn what didn’t quite hit the mark, into a formidable force.
This is what I know that matters the most:
Courage is important
The first place of acknowledgement is to say to yourself, ‘This might not always work, but the value is in what I am doing.’ By doing this you transcend the veneer of success to reveal the building blocks of the human experience.
Your values help people trust you
If an audience is going to put their trust in you, they deserve to know who you are and what you stand for. If 5,000 people are telling you what you do and one person is telling the truth, then that person is going to stand much taller than everyone else.
Originality is important
Your own perspective is what draws people closer. It isn’t about tips and industry tricks, it’s about finding ways to get to know people better and you show the proof.
People know when it’s from the heart or a sales tactic
The journey into showing your hand can make you vulnerable. It’s also incredibly entertaining. It means that when you hit that moment when it all works, it’s magnified, as you have put the effort in to figure it all out. People return for advice not because they always agree, but because they know it comes from the heart, not a pitch.
Over time, you start to become free in expressing yourself – You start to push the boundaries further each day, transcending the need for societal and social media approval. It’s an ongoing process of self-discovery, an ongoing commitment to push out the boundaries we have until they cease to exist.
In the journey of sharing our work, it’s important to break free from projecting only our triumphs but embrace uncertainty. Not everything works as we had hoped, that’s ok.
The danger we find ourselves in is that we don’t necessarily always have to share the answers, so why not share the journey too? When you project perpetual success, it puts you in a corner to continually deliver rather than acknowledge patience as a driver (read this article that looks at resilience).
Stepping up and being prepared to share your truth is about acknowledging that not everything is going to work, but the value lies in ongoing effort. Trust is built on values, and originality draws people closer.
Step away from repetitive success tales, and embrace the strength in imperfect journeys. It’s about being ourselves, recognising efforts may not always unfold as planned, but finding resilience in the genuine stories shared.