You just opened your first Twitter account and re-opened your Facebook. Congratulations! You have taken an important step in the right direction. Of course now, your non-listed "number" is in the phone book. What's more, you are newly global. For a private person, the prospect of your PERSONAL out in the open, uncharted spaces is downright terrifying. After all, there is very little you can do to control who picks up their phone and calls you out.
How do you survive? Here are 6 steps to help you tackle your fear of personal and professional nudity (that's right, what you actually fear is exposure).
# 1: Bishop Jeff Davis inspired me with one special phrase from his book, "Born To Do This." If you have decided that you are born for something, you have a responsibility to honor that gift and validate your faith with action. Break the huddle because you have no other means of being a blessing to anyone, until you have proven to YOURSELF that you believe in that thing you have already committed your speech to.
# 2: So far, your inaction is due to one thing: you subscribe to the doctrine of fear. Your faith has been tested and your vision has been challenged. You are not wrong to be afraid or shortsighted. You are human, so, grant yourself that much. You might also be afraid that your post-lives are there to haunt you. Come as you are and BE who you are and the blemishes in your past can never taunt you.
# 3: Don't be a hypocrite. If you say you want to help people, social media has the potential of being a very generous platform. If you say you want to be a leader, Dr. Spight, author of Urban Manhood would strongly urge you to GET REAL, start invoicing and pull your pants up. In failing to do so, you have no reason to complain about why your business is not getting love. You have not grown up, and that's okay if this is where you are. If you have a vision, you should be a faithful steward over something so small as this. You invest in yourself first and all other things will be added on to this. Michael Jordan has enough money. Clean your image up in more renewing ways than new sneakers or Cover Girl lipstick.
# 4: Be consistent. Gary Vaynerchuk would remind the budding social entrepreneur to re-read number 1 above before continuing. If you are doing what you are born to do, you are energized, excited, you would even do it for free. Literally. And that's good because you WILL have to. You earn EVERY one of those stripes and you EARN your seat at the table and no one will ever question the passion, commitment or devotion behind your elevator pitch. Hello. You should look in your mirror and ask yourself if you are ready to completely sign on to the business vision you have set up. If you have, you will BE the difference. If you have not, you will BE dismissed as mere noise. Sadly, inauthenticity means that you can NEVER be counted. Just keep it real with your self. You will offend some people. Here's why I care less about offending some people. Please read # 5.
# 5: Do not get naked unless you can hang. In fact, please be aware that your private conversation is public record. If you say you believe in supporting the ideation behind #BrandYourConscience, you had better be ready to have your life on record and in full-view and YOU are not mainstream because mainstream is politically pretty. You are not that. You are the LIGHT and the light WILL SHINE on you whether you are prepared or not. So, naturally, some people will find offense in you. Please, if you can't hang, keep your clothes on because what's underneath will be UNDRESSED, ADDRESSED and REDRESSED by many in public and in private and you may not always be invited to THAT conversation or addressed respectfully. No judgement, no whispers, JUST wisdom. Take what you like...
# 6: Learn to tell a story that you REALLY believe is a good one and it will be worth reading.
For more on this, follow @MichaelChatman and #WHYiGive and the lovely brown ladies of #SixBrownChicks (@SixBrownChicks) who always have something interesting and edifying to say.
Finally, please note that every disagreement or discussion is not a sign of back-pedaling or falling off. How can we claim to be Digital Evangelists, speakers, mentors, trainers and leaders if we are afraid to engage in topics that have not fully evolved? I can justifiably challenge you to rethink your positions. Running away, tail-tucked and scared is not the answer to the change you seek. Public communication does not have to be pretty, it can be a whole mess as long as it serves some purpose. Growth and individual development in the long run are the side effects to your nudity. Look to +Jai Stone. You have probably been emotionally nude without being conscious of yourself. It is a shame. Get over your need to be mainstream as soon as yesterday.
Above all, know yourself so that you can be yourself and LIVE with whatever you put on open record. It will come back to bless you.
Jean Usen is a passionate and goal-directed public relations professional and digital evangelist who seeks to contribute to the conversations that people have with themselves and about themselves in public spaces. ChronoSpark Public Relations is a start-up vision promoted by the Gospel of Jesus and the heart of a social justice activist. I am aided by strong leadership and managerial skill and abetted by 7 years of experience in the industry shaking things up in very minor and individualistic ways. I welcome your feedback on this article and on the blog! (Tweet: @ChronoSparkPR)