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Reflections on Being Myself


I’ve been thinking lately that it’s really hard to be 100% who you really are in the online world.   I was reading this great Donald Miller blog post last week about his own struggle to promote a book that is about his promotion of a movie that is about a book that is about his life (that’s a mouthful.)   He says,

I share what will make me look good. If I am vulnerable, I share just enough vulnerability to be perceived as vulnerable, rather than to actually humiliate myself so that others can talk more openly about their own insecurities. I also leak in my accomplishments, and I ve become a master at it. I don t even know I am doing it half the time, and the other half I strategically list my accomplishments so that they come off as dismissive or in passing.

Writing on this blog can be therapeutic, cathartic, enjoyable, and a struggle all at time.   I struggle with how much of myself to insert into each post, and how much of myself to hide.   Do I insert more of my personal life, or keep it strictly business?   Do I share my vulnerabilities, or only highlight my successes?   Is it even possible to share all my vulnerabilities and still maintain a semblance of authority in the eyes of my readers?   Isn’t all this blogging really just a great public way to highlight the things I want you to see and read about me?

I spend hours reading articles, blog posts, and community forums for inspiration; and I’m choosing to realize that when I do I’m really only reading what the writer wants me to see.   And I choose to believe that’s good enough for the time being.   It’s all I’m given by the writer, and I choose to imagine the best in their intentions.   And all this makes me terribly thankful for close friends that allow me to be stupid from time to time… in a very non-public forum.  

So blog writers… how often do you write the deleted blog post?   How often do you hide in your writing?   Am I alone?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. David · November 3, 2009

    This is tough one for me. Sometimes I blog/twitter KNOWING that what I say is going to get me nailed, but I put it out there thinking “if I am honest, I have to say this”. Then, of course, I get nailed for it. Then there are the times when I struggle to put something out that might get a negative response because I want people to like me. Too much self-promotion? Don’t know.

    Here’s something that gave me a big dose of reality last week: I went to my mother-in-law’s house to find my blog and twitter feed printed – hard copy – on her kitchen table. Crap.

  2. gina · November 4, 2009

    This is entirely true. Although I can be transparent in my blog posts, I limit that transparency. Yet there are still enough ‘gaps’ for people to fill in.

    What I’ve found is they fill in those gaps with positive assumptions about me. As much as I appreciate that, it drives me to expose a little more so I can let some are out of some of the inflated perceptions.

    did that make sense?? See… I use big words to make myself sound smarter than I am. But you know me JC. You know (first hand) that I’m really a forgetful, foot-in-mouth dork. Thankful there are some in the virtual world that know I’m not all I’m cracked up to be. :)