I keep my social media presence fairly professional, but my friends and wife know that I am rarely if ever very serious. Everything is not a joke and I want to do the dishes so things tend to work out. I also can’t remember the last time I have been around someone who has said something directly and intentional hurtful to another human and if seven sober swoll dudes in skin tight Unicorn outfits jovially distributing glitter high fives offends you or you just don’t get it, well, Pura Vida.
But, if things need to be annoyingly business class, I can smile, put my hands in my pockets, and chameleon my way through that time before returning to boardshorts and Enrique in the Jungle. I grinned and bore it for five years of grad school, but I find some people in this space still hold on to the middle school ideology of, “I don’t care what people think of me, I am the same with everyone.”
No! You care. You are hardwired to give a million shits about what other people think of you because just a baby bit back in the d-zay if you got kicked out of the tribe you were fungus food.
I am 100% not the same with everyone and never will be. The ability to read people and meet them where they are is a skill that will set you apart in the health and fitness industry. I don’t wear a snapback with any client over the age of 40, I wear a collared shirt and I start feeling out very early on in our consult how deep I can take this thing and how many f bombs I can drop.
However, if someone is a strength coach or just younger, I will wear a t-shirt that brings out my trap definition over the internet and probably swear quite often. I will copy mannerisms and even change my accent to make people feel more comfortable. I will tell stories about humans that are a lot like them in order to further connect. I will define terms or complicated words when necessary and ideally only use them with the supernerds that enjoy an obscure six letter acronym and words like corpus luteum. And, regardless I will use humor whenever possible to lighten the mood.
Don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t think that your personality needs to be immutable for you to somehow be “true” to yourself, or whatever the hell that means. Be Adaptable. Be Variable. Be Resilient and have some fun and if you can’t do that – wear the mask until it fits and then take it off if you want…or don’t.
P.S. Next year we will have biodegradable glitter and I donated $100 dollars to the Nature Conservancy for this in the moment oversight.