This journey of self-growth and development I have been on has had me listening to podcasts more often than music much of the time. From the MFCEO Project with Andy Frisella, to Sean Whalen’s podcast, to more educational podcasts such as Body of Knowledge, there is so much to be gained from the wisdom of others. With that said, I am going to focus today on the application of a concept both Andy Frisella and Sean Whalen discuss quite often in their podcasts. The concept of being HONEST.
It is sad that in this day and age, true honesty is so rare. I’m not pointing fingers saying that everyone is a liar, but all of us are guilty of withholding the truth more often than we think. Just ponder for a second the content you see across most social media platforms. Now think, what does that resemble? Is it an honest depiction of one’s life, or is it simply a highlight real, showing all the best of their lives while leaving out the strife? For the majority of those we follow on media, I would be willing to bet it is the latter.
While it is cool to see all of the awesome, exciting things people are doing, it also creates a completely unrealistic standard of life that some people begin to strive towards. It leaves many people hollow, searching for a “perfect life” that does not really exist, even for those who act like they have one. We have essentially created a culture where no one is comfortable in discussing their struggles because everyone wants to appear as their peers do; perfect.
I’ll give you the quick summary as far as what Frisella and Whalen have to say on this topic, then flesh out how their wisdom has helped me become a more effective influencer. For a little background, both Frisella and Whalen are multimillionaires who have built multiple businesses each, have the cool cars, the means to buy big houses, and the ability to travel whenever they feel. Sounds perfect, right? But it’s not and they admit it openly. They are two of the most honest influencers (which makes them immensely effective and rare) and they both share that they have struggles and trials daily. They fight with self-doubt and negativity despite their massive success.
Now, why would they share this so openly? Why not just purvey the perfection we see on display from so many others? Because it’s complete bullshit! They both talk about how many problems that kind of display causes, and isn’t that the truth! So many people have become conditioned to believe that the most successful don’t struggle, and because of this there are completely unrealistic expectations of what success is. Furthermore, this inability to be honest and open leads to many people feeling alone with their issues. The outward appearance of perfection comes along with an inward struggle that can tear a person apart from the inside without the support of others.
If it sounds like I am speaking from a place of personal experience, it is because I am. I was 100% that guy, who would show all of the cool shit I was doing, but avoid talking about the hardships I went through. This came from fear of judgement from those I cared most about. When everyone around seemed so perfect through the small window of social media, why should I be the one to discuss how I feel. This went on for years of posting, until this past World Mental Health Day, where I made a post discussing my own mental issues that I have struggled with and how I have begun to try to deal with them.
Making a post so honest; bearing my inner demons for all to see was incredibly nerve racking due to the old lingering concerns of judgement from those who follow me. You know what happened? The exact opposite. From comments to private messages, the outpour of support and people thanking me were huge. A few fellow athletes messaged me with gratitude, thanking me for discussing so openly the same issues they were going through mentally as well.
I am still far from perfect in regards to being open and honest all of the time, but to see the impact of even just one post that followed Sean Whalen’s “real, raw, relevant” suggestion; surreal. The feeling of helping others to be able to open up about their own demons and feel more comfortable about themselves is entirely worth having to drop my pride and bare the true me.