Building Trust in People

I think back to when I was an Army Drill Instructor. We always followed the motto of "Lead by Example". There were times when we asked so much of soldiers that they failed. But failure is part of striving to want more out of yourself.

One time, one of my cohort Drill Instructors from another unit was kind enough to help us save face. This guy was a sit-up monster. He took the other drill sergeants aside and told us he was going to do sit-ups forever and make the troops do it too. So it wouldn’t looked like we would fail, he told us to just monitor the troops and "encourage" (smoke) them along the way. So that’s what we did. We watched as this guy counted out 300 sit-ups and he did it with them. I’m so glad he was kind enough to do that for us.

We used to wear maxi-pads in the brim of our Smokey Bear hats. Then sweat wouldn’t run down our faces. We would ScotchGuard our uniforms so the sweat wouldn’t show. We wanted the troops to think we were invincible; a model of perfection.

But we tend to do this in real life too. We tend to stray away from our weaknesses so people don’t see us fail. We only show pictures that show the best of us. We only talk about things we are experts in. We never want to seem stupid or weak.

What this does, especially in the social media world of Instagram and the like, is show a facade of who we aren’t. It shows us as wealthy, Ferrari owning, McMansion dwellers when we really drive a beaten down jalopy with no hubcaps and live in a double wide trailer. There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t play yourself to be someone you’re not.

In my yoga classes, I often do poses where I say "this is another one of my nemesis poses". For their sake, I think they need to have that pose in their lives, just like I do. But it also shows my honesty.

Many times, I demonstrate yoga poses since some people find it easier to see the shape or that a pose is possible. But I’m not doing the yoga class with them. Its their practice, not mine. But this also means I should be practicing on my own. I need to be able to have the strength and stamina to do classes like they do. I need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Post pictures that make you vulnerable. Show who you really are. Then people know you are truly authentic. People know you have feelings of sadness and regret. It makes people want to know you better. And they don’t think you are some unreal figment of perfection. It builds trust in who you are. It says that your brand is something real and attainable by everybody.

Nobody is perfect. Nor should we try to falsely show that we are perfect. Show the flaws. They say that rugs from Persia are made with a deliberate imperfection. Its the "Persian Flaw". Show people your weakness. Don’t put on your makeup every day. Don’t worry about what you wear. Wear a little bit of your heart on your sleeve. Let them empathize with you. Let them know your heart. Believe me, they will love you for it.

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