In today’s post, business and branding consultant Lisa Haggis explores a key ingredient in any authentic personal brand: courage. In the face of fear and inexperience, action really is the antidote, even if it is uncomfortable. Read on to learn more from Lisa about “chasing change”. -Ed.
The ideals behind personal branding are nothing new. How many times have you seen this quote floating around Pinterest, for example?
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
– Judy Garland
Still, we make compromises and stumble off course, unable to stay deeply true to ourselves when push comes to shove. Why?
The likely culprit? Shaky confidence. You can’t brand yourself effectively without a serious amount of confidence:
…in the brand decisions you’ve made.
…in your ability to deliver on your promises.
…in the long-term effect of staying true to your brand.
This is where we depart from the tidy, idealistic idea of branding and actually have to get our hands dirty.
Because confidence comes from action.
The next (and most difficult) part of the branding experience is about getting uncomfortable, taking charge, and making bold leaps of faith.
CHANGE IS BEAUTIFUL
Testing your boundaries is a prerequisite to knowing your truth and earning a sense of certainty around your brand. If you don’t fail beyond your boundaries, you won’t know for sure that you’re better off within them.
It’s by stepping outside of your comfort zone that you gain the experiences necessary to determine what works for you. This means that you need to not only embrace change in your life, but chase it.
So, if you are facing a crossroads between two jobs, opportunities, lives, or even restaurants – and feeling like something is missing in your life – you should almost always chase the change.
It will shake up the status quo and teach you about yourself.
TAKING THE REIGNS
When you’ve zeroed in on your passion and brand definition, you may notice something that feels like a significant roadblock: you don’t have the experience or opportunities to pursue it. (Yup, major confidence killer.)
The life we’ve built isn’t always in complete agreement with the root of who we are and where we intend to go.
The answer is experience, but not necessarily in the traditional sense.
This is when you need to shift your perspective from the employee mentality to one of an artist or celebrity. Everything they do is a portfolio piece or “gig” that makes up only one aspect of the sum of their experience.
You can reframe your experiences as a list of one-off gigs, and highlight only the ones closest to your brand. Work or life-related, the achievements you highlight will dictate the new opportunities you attract.
Then, get choosy and proactive as you continue to fill your calendar with new projects or gigs: seek out only those that will move you toward your brand vision. If you can’t find them, create them.
IT’S A JOURNEY
Finally, accept that absolute confidence is a pipe-dream.
What you actually need is more akin to bravery; faith that you will figure it out as you go. Many people that appear confident are really just brave.
You will change. Your brand will evolve. The world will throw curve balls.
Therefore, waiting for certainty is a waste. If you have a good sense of your brand, play with it in the real world, not safe behind closed doors.
Simply knowing that you’re on your way – armed with a truth-based brand definition and even a small collection of experiences to back you up – is enough to step bravely and start reaping the rewards of personal branding.
And, if you need a boost, check out this “Non-Definitive Guide to Self-Discovery” for additional free guidance and resources on “chasing change” and gaining insight around your brand definition.
Lisa Haggis helps people create powerful legacies through their businesses and their careers. With a unique and systematic approach to branding, she supports visionaries as they bravely fulfill their calling by living and breathing an authentic brand story. She is a strategist, coach, writer, and orchestrator of memorable experiences. You can find her at lisahaggis.com.