There are a lot of people who create content in the niches I do. Granted, I overlap a couple of niches, and I know that but I see a ton of folks who create content on similar topics, and I’m going to be honest here. A lot of them freaking annoy the hell out of me.
I’ve purposefully set myself up to not do that they’re doing that annoys me because I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this assessment.
What is so annoying about them? Probably because they’re so syrupy-positive that it doesn’t feel real anymore. It’s like they’re telling you what they want you to hear, rather than anything approaching reality.
You know the kind of people I’m talking about. They’re the ones who fill their email lists, blog posts, and social media with tons about how they’re crushing it in almost every aspect of their lives. They’re making large sums of money, they’re killing it with every workout, they have the undying devotion of legions of members of the opposite sex, whatever. They have it all and they’re telling they have it all.
The problem is that they don’t just have this for a time. This is the entirety of their content. This is the image they’re trying to sell you on, and because of that, they can’t admit to mistakes. They can’t admit to setbacks. They can’t admit to basically being real human beings.
The road of life is filled with speed bumps and potholes. You can navigate around a lot of them, but you’re not going to miss them all. You’re going to hit some of them. That’s just how life is.
But the people who are trying to sell you an image, an idea, they can’t really talk about it when they do it. They can’t talk about it because they’re convinced that if you see them hit those potholes and speed bumps, you won’t trust them to basically manage your life. You won’t trust them to be your shepherd.
Basically, they don’t trust you to understand that they’re real people who win some and lose some.
You see, like anyone else, I like to look at the path people before me have gone down. I want to know what pitfalls they had to avoid so I can learn from those mistakes. That way I get to make all new mistakes and screw stuff up in completely different ways.
This becomes a problem when someone refuses to share anything but the failures in the distant past but not the mistakes they’re making right now.
Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of people who like this. They want the uplifting feeling they get reading these people, but I can’t help but feel like they’re being lifted up by the rising level of male bovine excrement accumulating around them.
I mean, if they already know they’re not getting the whole picture, the entire image of what these people’s lives really are and simply don’t care, well, more power to them. No skin off my butt.
What bothers me is that they know that a certain number of their followers will accept what’s laid out blindly, that they’ll believe they’re getting the whole picture.
And it’s not even the big names that do this.
Think about the people you follow on Facebook. Think about there are always those few that present life as absolutely perfect. There’s always pictures of their kids and their clean home and posts about how much they love their spouse and how excited they are to go to work…
…then one day they’ve left their spouse, quit their job, and they’re moving to Mexico with a manicurist named Cindi.
The truth is, they lied to everyone on their list. They presented a view of themselves that they know was crap, yet presented it as fact none the less. (In fairness, I think women are worse about this based on what I’ve seen, but it’s not exclusive to them.)
Now, in fairness, I think they didn’t mean to lie. I think they really want that stuff to be true. They want to be the person they present to the world. They’re taking the “fake it ’til you make it” pathway.
And honestly, we tend to be shocked when we learn the truth, but we’re not upset. We figure they were lying to themselves as much as anyone else, so we don’t take it personally. We tend to let it go and let our friend know that we hope he and Cindi are very happy together.
But when it’s someone who sells something, something that they lead you to believe is the catalyst for their positive attitude, that I have a problem with it.
I don’t know, maybe people really are that positive and happy all the time. Maybe those people are really crushing it in every aspect of their life and they have absolutely no regrets to speak of. I mean, who the hell can tell, right?
But the truth is that most of us don’t know a lot of people like that. Most of the super-positive people we know are usually keeping the darkness away, keeping it out of sight lest people know their positive outlook is anything but a reflection of their reality.
Personally, I think they’re wrong.
As people who have read this site for a while–or those who have gone back to delve into the archives–will know, I’m not one to hide failures from you, even recent ones. I’m not above sitting here and telling you that I’m feeling depressed or that I’m dealing with stuff.
I’m not necessarily going to tell you all everything that goes on because frankly, it’s none of your business. But I am going to tell you things that are relevant, even if they don’t help me sell…whatever.
I’m convinced that this may turn some potential readers off. They want to hear the awesome and never the negative, but that’s not how life works.
If you want someone to cater to what you want to hear, but not necessarily what you need to hear, there are plenty of people willing to take up your time.
On the other hand, if you want the truth, that’s all I’m ready to give. That will include the good and the bad, some uplifting, some admonishing, some provocative, some that will make you wonder just what the hell I’ve been smoking (hint: Nothing. I have bad ideas too), but it’ll always be me and not the faux version of me people create to make their lives look like a greeting card.
Honestly, I think I can help a whole lot more people by doing it this way.