This one is for the athletes, influencers, trainers and coaches of social media.
Your content comes with a responsibility and it’s time to own up to it. The general public deserves it, and both your business and sport demands it.
It doesn’t matter whether your focus is on aesthetics, strength or endurance. Your followers are watching and you have a choice to open a door into your reality, or show a highlight reel full of gaps.
More than a buzzword
The further we push the glorification of peak performance and how the grind just leads to success, the more damage it’s doing to the impressionable audience paying the most attention to content.
Don’t get it twisted though… transparency is NOT talking about how you “sacrificed” just so you appear dedicated and hardcore. That is your ego. I am telling to shut your ego off and present things like vulnerability, regret, and maybe even owning up to the toll certain choices have made on your well-being.
Do your followers know what your body looks like when you aren’t actively cutting weight or hitting PRs? Do your followers know why it’s difficult to give up leanness or skip workouts? Do your followers know your lifestyle choices don’t come with endless fulfilment?
Have you ever bothered to tell your followers that they can be fit, healthy and strong without being competitive in any discipline whatsoever?
But most importantly, do people leave your page having gained knowledge, perspective and feeling empowered, or small, stupid and inadequate?
Success is measured in obstacles
You want to be a true leader in fitness?
Talk about the days you literally want to quit. Talk about crying in the gym bathroom after bad training days, feeling uncomfortable in your own skin and the lack of support you get from family and friends.
There’s a reason people cheer for the underdogs. There’s absolutely nothing inspiring about winning streaks and achieving goals with no real resistance.
As proud as you may feel in those good moments, there’s someone on the other end scrolling and thinking your lifestyle only brings with it fulfilment and joy.
It’s how you breed a pool of injured and mentally compromised amateurs who spend the rest of their life talking smack about your sport of choice.
They go in searching for the promised satisfaction seen on Instagram and come out hating everything about the experience because that satisfaction never comes from achieving the end goal.
So if you want people to respect what you do, start by sharing your truth. Give the process some damn respect and talk about the real obstacles and realities of your pursuits.
You may be surprised at the response you get by stepping off the pedestal for 5 minutes and showing people that you really are just another human too.