Being “authentic” in our online presences is hard AF; that’s why I created the One Sock Method in the first place.
It’s the idea that in order to be vulnerable with your audience online, you don’t have to share all your laundry, just one sock.
But as I’ve worked through this method with clients more and more, I realized that there’s a flaw in this metaphor that, for some people, have hindered their process of figuring out their One Sock and making progress on being vulnerable with healthy boundaries.
Because if you’ve ever wondered if “x, y, or z” could be a One Sock, it probably can!
It was the beta run of the One Sock Sessions and about 20-minutes into our 1:1, this epiphany was raised by a client while my inner thoughts raced to the tune of: “Oh. Oh heavens yes. Oh no have I completely f*cked the process by starting this all with a metaphor?”
Adeptly compartmentalizing that problem for later, the beta client and I blasted through the rest of our One Sock Sesh with vigor and new-found clarity, identifying key aspects of their One Sock and how to bring this Sock into their blog and social media presence. It was a fantastic 1:1 overall, and though I did apologize again at the end of the session, I was mortified at the confusion.
In an effort to solve this problem, a number of solutions ran through my head:
- Rename it all
Didn’t feel great about this one because I actually really like the metaphor, especially the visceral understanding that the majority of folks have upon reading/learning about it
- Reevaluate the metaphor to make it more inclusive
This wasn’t quite right – the metaphor is already pretty tight, and despite a few other iterations, none felt as succinct as The One Sock Method
- Scrap it all and start over
Ok, now you’re just having a pity party for yourself, you’re ok, this will be fine.
Ultimately, as you can very well tell and plainly see, I’ve stuck with the metaphor of airing dirty laundry vs choosing one sock.
What I want to make as clear as possible to you is that the essence of the metaphor isn’t in the dirty laundry, it’s in the choice of what you decide to share.
If you’ve ever wondered if your intramural volleyball team could be your Sock, or if your penchant for naming the dead bugs in your entryway could be your Sock, or heck if your sheer delight and joy in your personality could be your Sock, the answer is a resounding YES!
Your One Sock is yours and yours to choose.
Rather than looking at The One Sock Method as a strict methodology, let’s break down where to follow the letter of the law and where we need to better understand the spirit of the law.
Because when it comes down to it, it’s all in service of one thing: deeper connection with your audience.
The Letter of the Law
While the One Sock Method is not a strict methodology, there are a small handful of things that aren’t negotiable as you go through this process.
It’ll come as no surprise that this is first on the list, but it will always bear repeating: do not share the therapy shiz.
Social media, online blogging, vlogging, email newsletters – none of it is therapy or a replacement for therapy!
So where the One Sock Method dictates that you need to sort that shiz out, that is absolutely something you need to do, for the health of yourself and your audience. Unprocessed shiz or an expectation to process through posting has no place in your One Sock consideration pile.
That being said, you do indeed need to catalogue ALL of yourself as detailed in the Excavate phase of the framework.
It should be fairly obvious by now that this isn’t so you can share everything you write down about yourself and your life’s story online. Instead, it’s so you can better assess what you have to share from.
If the operative verb of the One Sock Method is CHOICE, then by golly, the only way to make an informed decision is by laying it all out in front of you.
Finally, and similar to the necessity of leaving therapy shiz out, I can’t stress this enough:
let yourself be surprised.
Approach the excavation of it all with as few expectations as possible so you can story catalogue with an open mind.
The best Socks often come from the most seemingly mundane or ordinary places, and I assure you that makes them no less magical.
Allow yourself to just trust that you’ll get there and follow your impulses and inspiration as you excavate.
The Spirit of the Law
There’s no negotiating out of keeping therapy out of your Sock, digging into all aspects of yourself, and allowing yourself to be surprised. So what is up for debate?
First, let go of any notion that your Sock needs to be a dirty little secret or something that you would need to air out.
Your Sock is yours to choose as you please! It’s simply a piece of who you are that you haven’t been sharing with your audience, for whatever reason.
Ask yourself, what are you intentionally cutting out of your online presence because you don’t think it will mesh with your biz persona? Has there been a part of you that is regularly self-edited out for fear that it’s not appropriate for your business or niche? At the risk of sounding 119 years old, poppycock! I assure you, it’s all a matter of narrative and connecting the stories, rather than not being the type of person who can be “x, y, z.”
Which brings to mind another question…
What are the stories you tell yourself about what someone in your industry is “supposed” to look like or do online?
And don’t even try to tell me you have no preconceived notions about your industry, because that’s simply not true unless you grew up in a bubble away from pop culture.
How have you been influenced to see your niche? What are the ways you know you stand out but you try to minimize because they don’t feel like they “should” be there?
There’s great power in standing out from the crowd – this is nothing new – but especially in the last few decades as social media has rooted itself in the fabric of our online connection, there are more and more acceptable ways to stand out while still maintaining a status quo.
Heavens to betsy, just look at the entire Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope!
But I digress.
Evaluate what you’ve been telling yourself about someone who does what you do “should” look like or sound like online.
What you “should” look like and sound like is *yourself*
While “be yourself” is a wildly unhelpful phrase on its own, its core intent is true.
Perhaps a better way to approach the concept is to consider what you want your audience to know about you, the human behind the business.
- What kind of impression do you want to leave?
- How will you be categorized in their mind?
- And how can you create deeper connection and engagement beyond likes and an emoji comment here and there?
It’s not about the mess.
It’s about the Human.
None of this demands to be messy or dirty aspects of who you are as a human. It doesn’t even need to be a chronological happening!
Your Sock is simply a vulnerability, a bit of who you are that you’ve been hiding from your audience, for whatever reason, that you are now choosing to share in the name of deeper connection.
The core principle of the One Sock Method is including all parts of yourself, of your humanity, to build community and connection.
Whether it be with a growing readership, client base, or social media following, it’s all about human to human connection. Not exploiting weaknesses or engaging in performative vulnerability. Just frankly and graciously allowing yourself to BE, in all senses.
If your BEing is best served with a worksheet, make sure to check out the One Sock Method worksheet if you haven’t already. It guides you through how to choose that one thing you want to share about yourself, and hopefully sparks a new conversation with yourself and your audience.
And if you’re all in conceptually and have no clue how to start, book yourself a One Sock Session right here. I only open up a few of these one-offs every month (dependent on my long-term client coaching schedule) and they tend to go fast.