The Rise of the Pursuit of Authenticity

The Pursuit of Authenticity: Two years ago, I was focusing on how can I achieve a large following on social media in order to help many people out? I didn’t think outside the box and was just repeating everything everyone else was doing to try and “make it” rather than offering what came natural to me and bringing that to the table but in a different way or doing it better than others. I wanted to publish content related to tracking macronutrients (IIFYM “diet” which is a popular trend in the online fitness community) and fitness, and help others on their journey to becoming more fit.  I resorted to hashtagging quite a bit to gain followers on my fitness page, in hopes of getting sponsored to further my reach of people to help.  I didn’t see the big picture at the time, and I think many people are still stuck in this trap. What we should be focused on is setting an example, upholding a standard, even surpassing a standard..How can we educate the youth, or whoever, maybe just those who need help, to coming to realize the deeper meanings in life? It’s so easy to become consumed in such shallow topics, and the hobbies/work we find ourselves doing daily. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and look at the big picture.

To me, social media can be easily viewed as inauthentic if a person is seeking attention/doing what everyone else does to gain popularity/wealth just to make yourself feel credible. Being truly valuable to another person comes down to the type of content you share and how that contributes to making another individual better set up for success in life. Not just how does it make them a better IIFYM-er, a better bodybuilder, a better power lifter, a better makeup artist.. Whatever the case! Learning is a lifelong skill and if you can help people appreciate education, you can help them gain an insight into many more deeper issues in life.

Back to my story of the past..For a while I was always scrolling social media, so consumed in fitness. Watching vlogs on YouTube of fitness celebrities was fun and entertaining, seeing a day in their life and how they were all about working out and tracking their food. Was it cool to gain new ideas as far as meals and exercises to incorporate into my own lifestyle? Yes, new ideas are never a bad thing. However, how much was this really benefiting me as a person to make me a better contributor to society? In a way, it helped me to learn tricks and tips to make me more skillful in fitness/health and helped me along in my dieting/fitness journey to have more success. Therefore, now I look more the part of a “fit” individual which unfortunately is a way to establish credibility in the fitness industry which is how I would like to ultimately consult others.  However, it really didn’t provide me with much other skills aside from that. BUT, from spending a good majority of time dedicated to this, I realized how much of a waste of time it was and how I didn’t want to continue down this path anymore of comparison and distraction.

From here, I started to unfollow certain accounts that were simply just noise to me and didn’t contribute any real value to me anymore. People who just posted posed shots, pictures of food, pointless memes or anything that really didn’t contribute to growth. Of course, occasional pictures of these things are fine but some accounts you can just sense they’re not authentic in their postings.  Next, I started visualizing what it was that I REALLY did want to do. I knew that living the life SO consumed in superficial fitness wasn’t for me and I felt like it was a fake. I had created an Instagram account dedicated to just my fitness lifestyle, because I wanted to be able to share more and have more fitness like-minded people to follow/follow me by using similar hashtags. The internet is a great way to connect with people who have a similar hobby as you, however I realized that there was no point in separating this page from my personal page because they were one in the same. I wasn’t Courtney Bishop and “fitness Courtney Bishop.”  These were the same individual and I had nothing to hide behind this account so there was no reason not to be sharing this content on my own personal page.

One reason for the creation of the fitness page was because I didn’t want my friends who followed my personal page to judge me for what/how often I shared. This brought me to the next point of, if you have to create a separate page dedicated to an account just for fitness (or some other interest), maybe your obsession with this is too intense and you need to evaluate how much time you allocate to an interest and not create an unhealthy habit with it. The final realization was DO WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY, which sort of contradicts the last point but also we must be mindful of how we are balancing all areas of our life. But, if you want to share videos of you lifting weights with the world on your page and it makes you happy, DO IT! Because after all, it’s YOUR page! Just make sure you’re doing it because YOU enjoy it and not because it’s how society has defined you. Find that healthy balance.

So moving forward, I shared on my own personal page and realized how turned off I was by all the intense fitness pages I used to follow. It was like these accounts were taking pictures that were so perfectly mapped out and positioned, just to get likes and just to put on a show for the public. Was their life really as perfect as they appeared to post? It seemed fake and not genuine. Who knows… but I quickly unfollowed many accounts which I didn’t feel like I could resonate with and began to question what type of content I was posting. Am I being my true self? What do I want to share with the world? If I were to think of myself as my own brand, how would I want to be perceived? I knew that I enjoy podcasts and educational content. I enjoy tweeting/sharing information and tidbits to help others. I enjoy reading philosophy and psychology and relating these life concepts to fitness.. and using fitness as a parallel to live a better life. So what kind of content can I create? How can I present that? How can I make it different and be valuable to others? Where should I publish this content? To whom shall I present it and target?

And you know what…To be honest, I still don’t really have a plan. These blog posts are a result, but I don’t really have a target audience. Whoever my content resonates with is my target to be honest. If you’re still reading this, YOU’RE my target. BUT I do know that by withholding all the information I would like to share to myself, no one benefits. I have confidence but to start, you must have courage. And that is where this momentum is coming from, of more content that I have been sharing lately. I was holding myself back all this time and waiting for the perfect moment, it’s the perfectionist in me (Where my Type A, people?). But you know, the perfect moment is never going to come and all I can do is just start taking action SOMEHOW with what I have and where I am at. And by presenting it all publicly, I have accountability because really, I can’t do what I want to do alone. And I need you all in order to make anything happen. All of these questions I was considering trying to strategize and put together a plan of action.. Instead, screw the plan. Take action, take a leap, and grow wings on the way as you learn to fly.

But just as I keep saying, we have to challenge ourselves to go out of our comfort zone. When it challenges you, it forces you to live. Thinking about it gets you no where. It doesn’t mean anything until you pursue. If you really want to do it, do it now. Timing will never be perfect. The things you want to do, are what will make you, YOU.

“A river runs through a rock, not because of it’s power but its persistence.” Jim Watkins

Eventually, you will develop yourself so much and become such a strong and powerful person that you will find something to tackle and accomplish.

#REALIZEyourPotential #FailForward #LeaveYourMark

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