Catfishing means falsely representing yourself on dating apps.
That picture from 20 years ago or 50 pounds ago.
The filter that makes you unrecognizable even to your mother.
Slightly exaggerating your height….by 6 inches.
The reason someone falsely represents themself in the first place is because they don’t believe their real version is worthy. The problem with catfishing is it creates a self-reinforcing cycle of disappointment.
Look, I get it.
We’re bombarded with images of what perfect is. What “good enough” is. And we slowly start to believe that “good enough” is not what greets us in the mirror.
So we hide behind a fake version. A version we believe is better than who we really are. A version we believe is what others are looking for. A version we believe is more worthy of love.
But here’s the thing. There is no perfect.
There isn’t a single person in the world that every other person thinks is perfect.
By falsely representing yourself, you attract the people who like the version you put out there. You don’t attract the people who are looking for the version you are.
When you’re met with inevitable disappointment after stepping out from behind the fake image, the feeling of unworthiness increases. The self-reinforcing merry-go-round takes another downward turn.
Get off the merry-go-round.
Look yourself in your imperfectly perfect eyes. Realize there is no one else in the world like you. You are one of a kind. The rarest of rare. Then bravely step out from behind the fake version of you. Show the world your true self. Give yourself permission to be who you are, so you can finally attract the people who are looking for exactly YOU.
Catfishing also holds lessons for business.
If you represent your business as something it’s not, it will cost you in the long term.
If you greenwash, touting sustainability efforts that don’t go deeper than a marketing campaign, your consumers and employees will stop trusting you.
If you communicate having a diverse and inclusive culture that focuses on people first, but the reality is a far cry from that, you might attract top diverse talent, but you won’t be able to engage and retain them.
If you say you focus on innovation, when in reality you rinse and repeat the same strategies, you’ll attract innovative talent that quickly wilt, turn frustrated, and leave.
Transparency of your company culture, your company purpose, and your company values will attract an aligned workforce that thrives.
If you don’t have a company culture, purpose, or values that you’re proud of, then do the intentional work to create it. Build the company you want to work at. Build the company you’re proud of.
If you’re not in a position to change it, then find a new company.
Life’s too short to hide your sparkle.