When hiding your flaws backfires

Why you shouldn't fart on a plane and try and hide the smell
When hiding your flaws backfires
Jake McNeill
June 10, 2021
5 min read
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In 2006, a woman farted on a plane and lit matches to try and disguise the smell. 

This forced the Captain to make an emergency landing. The woman was arrested and later released by the FBI. 

She was not charged but had to make her own way home. 

In German, they call this: Verschlimmbesserung.

( n: an attempt to improve something which makes it worse)

Personal branding

Every artist or creator is a personal brand. We all are. 

There is pressure for everything to be perfect. Especially on social media. 

People try and hide their flaws as a result. This is bad advice.

For example, if you’re feeling nervous before you speak in public, the best thing to do is to confess your nerves to the audience. 

Why? Because being self-conscious about your nervousness will make you more nervous and you will perform poorly. 

Trying to disguise the problem makes it worse

Whereas confessing to your nervousness means you stop focusing on it and it goes away. 

The more you try and hide your negative emotions the bigger the negative impact becomes. 

This is also true with conflict. If you keep sweeping mild annoyances under the carpet, they will grow, fester and you will eventually lose your temper.

Trying to disguise the problem makes it worse. 

It’s much easier to deal with the situation earlier in a calm and reasonable manner before it begins to fester. 

If you feel embarrassed about how you’ve acted. Own it and apologise. 

Trying to disguise the issue, and pretend it didn’t happen, only makes it worse. 

The affinity bias 

What is affinity bias? 

It is a subconscious social bias that draws us to people like ourselves. 

You will notice this when we break into cliques at parties. Like-minded people are attracted to each other.

It’s not something we’re aware of. It’s just something we do naturally. 

It’s human nature. A survival instinct. 

We subconsciously navigate towards people we believe will like and accept us, rather than reject us.

Like most things, our subconscious decisions are based on survival

Be genuine 

Some artists and creators try and be somebody they’re not. It’s often because they feel insecure. They feel their story isn’t enough. 

They think this will develop deeper connections with their audience. 

They are wrong. 

Others are too keen to show off their success with thinly veiled posts.

The key to connecting with your audience is to be vulnerable and authentic.

There’s a couple of reasons for this:

  1. People can sense inauthenticity 
  2. Affinity bias

When you share your pain points, your fears, and insecurities. As well as your joy and enthusiasm it will speak to your audience directly because they have the same worldview.

Remember, people are naturally drawn to people who are like themselves. 

A true artist or creator articulates and distills their fears and connects them in a way that their audience may have been feeling but are less able to communicate. 

If you want to build a genuine connection then you need to be genuine.

Stop trying to hide your flaws. We all make mistakes, own them.

Trying to disguise them only makes them worse. 

A bit about me

I help maverick artists and creators make a racket in crowded markets, crush the creative blocks that hold them back, and build engaged audiences

Every creative rebel’s worst enemy?

Creative mediocrity: Being bland. Staying in our lane. Creating in our comfort zone and following the crowds.

The Goal?

To create authentic work that matters. Take creative risks, avoid creative burnout, and turn audiences into superfans.

I’m a former multi-platinum artist manager who got burnt out and became a creative blogger, coach, and consultant.

I’ve challenged myself to write 50 articles in 50 working days. 20 down, 30 to go.

Find out more information on my website or connect on my LinkedIn

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