Playing It Safe



playing it safePlaying it safe … a myriad of thoughts comes to mind as we think of so many times we played it safe. We hold our tongue, we try and find our voice and create a persona that we show them. Them who? The client we already signed, the potential client, our peers? The reality is that we create an image inside ourselves that we want people to adopt. Is that really who we are? We want people to believe what we tell them, what we are presenting them as to who we want them to think we are. This image is the one that we are putting out there and for many it is us telling ourselves it is the real person but for others they are giving the what you see is what you get and if you do not like what you see here, leave, move on. Reality is that is easier to hide as our weaknesses are ours and showing them we feel may hurt us.

Dodging the Bullet

We dodge the bullet constantly. We can be sitting at a light and look down for a second or two and when we look up, we realize that if we moved we would have been t-boned. When walk the fine line as if we cross it, we could be viewed differently and this could be bad. We are cautious on Twitter or Facebook during “on” hours – the ones that we have to be professional but later on when we think no-one is looking, we let the guard down. We all have done it. If we curse on the off hours, we think that no one is really paying attention and what we do on our “free” time is ours. We feel we only have to be safe when “everyone” is watching. The internet is public and we act as if people care so freaking much that they monitor each tweet and judge you on every single word. Ok that may be true but if you are being so scrutinized do you really want them as part of your circle? We will say if it is a client, hell yeah as they are flooding your bank account and that matters.

Who You Are

Who you are online many times is totally different than who you are in private. We feel we have to be. We put enough out there while savoring a part of us that we feel is not ever shown until we feel safe or so incredibly vulnerable that it comes out. The real person always comes out at some point. We can try and created the image but the real us is always there. We talk a certain way by the words that we choose, establish a sentence structure that we repeat and when we try and go away from that as much as we believe it or try to adopt it, we always go back to our roots.

Seatbelt Off

Naturally this is proverbial and saying that you should not wear your seatbelt. I have played it safe for years as who I am is what you see but not all. I curse, never really online and hardly ever in the blog. Why? Because I guess that is what I thought everyone wanted as if I was prim and proper I would be accepted. Accepted is nice but believed is nicer. Talk to me on the phone or in person (when no-one is looking) I am still very passionate, however I am a bit more decorated. I curse. While I love the word crap, sometimes I pretty much would rather say shit. I drop f-bombs without much enthusiasm (unless I point my right finger then I want that f-bomb to mean something) and I am not shy to share my opinion. Not too long ago, I was walking through MGM Grand and me and my friend were talking about Fallon being on the cover of Rolling Stone. I turned and said “Oh man he looked so fucking great on that cover.” And moved on to the next thing we were talking about. Online however, I play it safe over and over again. I do not necessarily give an opinion, and, if I do, it is generally reactionary. I am cautious as there is the image that I want to have out there. Sound familiar?

I want to attract clients but at the same time I want to just be me. Um sorry I am not the picture perfect gold coin. I am just me and me is an adaptor to the situation. I like me as me is vulnerable and apprehensive but yet strong and powerful. I take risks, I push the envelope, I struggle, I solve problems and I always ready to lend a hand but .. I swear. My guess is that I always thought that If I swear that people would think less of me online. And some might but the majority would be like yeah and?? Is this a huge revelation that needed to be uncovered and talked about for weeks? No, the point here is that we play it safe to protect an image that we want others to have of us.

Express Yourself

My weaknesses are not too dissimilar to yours. We want to enter the social media space and be accepted and say the right things and be the right person that people hire. If we say this or that, people will judge us; so we think. If a client does not want to hire me because I curse then they need to look deeper into what they are looking for. The work quality is not diminished because I curse.

I think of @RedHeadWriting and the lucrative business she has created for herself, along with the 2 book deals and writing gig for Entrepreneur Magazine. She curses and no one seems to care. She is a fantastic writer and she is embraced for her work. Her blogs and tweets are so great. Erika has the right attitude and expresses herself. I would rather be like her than the person who is playing it safe as lets face it, sooner or later the real you will come out. So, why wait, let it all hang out now. It is time to stop carrying around the umbrella in the desert folks, it is time to express yourself and show people who you are.

Join Me?

photo credit: Danila Medvedev

  • Suzanne, I’ve never thought of you as a safe player, but as a self actualized leader who knows where she’s at and where she’s going. It’s good you DO have a ‘flaw’, otherwise we lesser mortals would be too amazed to have a conversation. 🙂

    • Marla

      Thank you for your so incredibly kind words. I have quite a few flaws and always just try and do the best I can every single day. I try and learn so much and share that in the blog. To me everyone is equal as we all have strengths and weaknesses that we learn from one another.