Once upon a time, I tried to create content on LinkedIn.
I tried to mimic the posts of other “LinkedIn influencers”, but when I read my own posts, they felt like something a corporate robot would say. “This doesn’t sound like me at all,” I thought.
It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in what I was saying. It just felt… cringey. I didn’t feel comfortable with how I was sharing my thoughts. So needless to say, I never posted on LinkedIn again.
Don’t get me wrong. Sharing my thoughts online is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I truly believe you should do the same using whatever platform suits you best. That’s why I kept posting on Twitter and on my blog because those platforms felt more comfortable sharing what I really thought.
Posting online has connected me to like-minded people—people who, like me, want to earn a living online doing things they enjoy. It can open the door to countless opportunities.
Sharing content online can lead you to true freedom. But this only comes when you create the right type of content, the right way.
“Be authentic because it’s what’s going to set you apart from the others.”
This is a very common idea among people content creators. Many believe that you just have to “be yourself” when exposing yourself online.
But before trying to be more authentic, we should ask ourselves: What does authenticity even mean? And should we actively try to be more authentic online?
Authenticity can be defined as how well a person knows and lives in accordance with their “true self.” That is, “who a person really is, regardless of his or her outward behavior.”2
The first issue with this view is we only see a tiny portion of a person’s life online. What you see on the internet is just a glimpse, far from what they truly are in real life.
“But Paulina, how can you trust someone who you know is acting differently than who they really are?“
You can’t. There’s no way to know if what a person shares online matches their real-life behavior.
The second problem relies on the assumption that there’s a single, definitive “true self.” But in fact, it might not be that simple:
[…] the notion of a true self is misleading because it implies a monolithic psychological entity that perfectly reflects who the person “really” is and that coordinates all of a person’s disparate psychological characteristics in a unified, coherent, and consistent fashion.1
People are just too complex to judge authenticity based on a single ‘true self’ idea.
Should you try to be more authentic?
Great news: you don’t have to try to be more authentic.
You are already authentic. It’s impossible to not be yourself. There’s no one in the world who can say things in exactly the same way as you or see them through your unique perspective.
What you want instead is to both feel and be perceived as authentic:
- You’ll feel more authentic by sharing content that aligns with your principles in a way that feels effortless to you.
- You’ll be perceived as more authentic by creating relatable content that is easy to understand, consistently.