The Curse of Reputation

Aaron Swinton

Aaron Swinton

Founder of MAVRKS.
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Who are you really?

Nah, I’m not asking what you’ve done in your past, or what job you have. I’m talking about the YOU at your core. Ya know, like the one that you might not want to show people because you’d be a little nervous about how they view you…

Now how does that compare to the YOU that people see. The persona that you hold up to be cool… looked up to… accepted…

Do they match? Is the YOU that people see the same as the YOU that you actually are?


Mann to be real I don’t think I’ve done the greatest job at this. There are a bunch of times that I feel as though I do things and act a certain way to hold up a reputation. A reputation that sometimes I didn’t even create; one that was created by other people’s expectations about what or who I should be. And like a dummy, I’ve fell into the trap again and again and again…


It’s crazy because this word seems to be a good thing on the surface but can be a jail cell if we let it.

-Wait, I mean damn, don’t we work our entire lives to develop a good reputation?

· We work our a$$es off in school for the highest GPA to be viewed as a great student

· We hit the gym (never skip leg day) to be in shape

· We triple check our emails and use big words at work to be a superstar employee

· We blow bags on designer clothes to have swag

We do all of this to create a reputation. And once we’ve gotta’ good one, it becomes harder and harder to let it go.

The part that’s even crazier is that once we start experiencing a reputation for “success”, its becomes like a drug and we become addicted to feeding that perception. I mean who can blame us? It feels good that people look up to us and applaud us. I mean a lil’ ego stroke never hurt anyone right?

Not so fast.

When we start using those “lil’ ego strokes” as validations for our self-esteem is when it gets kinda dicey.

Success is obviously good hahaha, but when all of our actions start to be made to maintain that perception of success, we start to lose sight of the point. The point is not to sell your soul at the expense of pleasing others. It seems better to be truly happy and content with ourselves regardless of what those around you think. Our successes can quickly turn into a never ending holes if we let them.

Mann this is wild. I mean why do we do what we do? To be viewed by others as “cool” or to become the best versions of ourselves?

Take a sec and really think about that.

The longer I’ve lived in a world where I do things because I know they’ll be viewed favorably by others the harder it gets to break away from the reputation that I’ve created. It becomes that much harder to live the life that I actually want to live because my focus is tied up in living up to the expectations of people rather than tending to developing myself. I can even recall times when I stopped myself in my tracks before doing something because I was worried about how people that knew me were going to react. I was literally scared to show a certain side of myself because it wasn’t “what the people wanted.”


Imagine a life where we put less emphasis on what people thought about us and instead shifted that energy into becoming who we really are. Trying to do things that we really want to do. Dressing how we want to dress, talking how we want to talk and pursuing things that we feel as though we were called to do. Imagine being YOU.

Damn dawg that would be dope. That’s freedom.

F*ck a reputation.