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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘self-confidence’
Have you ever stopped to think about how great you really are? Today’s blog post is really simple and short. I just want you all to stop and think about how great you are and how you can own your own and leverage it as a brand.
As I often teach, effective brands project self-confidence. To project self-confidence, you must first be self-confident. One of the easiest ways to start being self-confident is to recognize how great you are.
I’ve been reading a wonderful book (a gift from a client!) called, Sacred Success, by Barbara Stanny. In it Stanny encourages us to own our Greatness. Stanny says the primary goal of Sacred Success is Greatness, which she defines as pursuing your purpose for your own bliss and the benefit of others.
Her definition ties right into personal branding. Effective brands are happy and sell happiness. That’s the only emotion that matters. So if you have a purpose that puts you in bliss (happiness!), then you benefit, others benefit and there’s your Greatness.
For me it is not always easy owning my Greatness. It took me years to realize that I was really “Great” at my purpose of running this business and benefiting myself and others. It was almost like I didn’t feel like I deserved to be Great. After all, isn’t being Great snooty? What if others realized I was Great? Would they still like me or come after me? Worse yet, what if it’s not true and then I’m a fraud?!?
Such nonsense running through my head for too long. It blocked my ability to be of service and be happy. Until one day, I said “to heck with it, I’m Great and I know it”. I then sat back and watched my world change for the better.
Is it easy? It’s easier, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there are many days when owning my Greatness is a challenge.
Simple, but not always easy, I know. However, I know you are up for the challenge.
So stop and think:
- What is your purpose in order to be happy and serve others?
- Are you owning your Greatness? If not, take it one step at a time.
- How will you take that Greatness and develop your brand around it?
Recently a client of mine said he was ready to get over being cocky. He said he defined cocky as “self-confidence with flair”, but didn’t think cocky was part of his brand anymore. He claimed he didn’t “need” to be cocky anymore.
This very honest and refreshing chat got me thinking. What does it mean to be “cocky”? What’s the distinction between being cocky and being self-confident? As far as your brand is concerned, do the rest of us perceive you any differently?
Looking back over my own life and career, there were many moments when I was a cocky securities lawyer living the great life in Washington DC, producing results for my clients and making sure others knew it. I can’t say in those moments when I was owning being “cocky” that I was a very self-confident brand. In fact, I think I was the opposite- arrogant and afraid to let others know I was hiding my lack of self-confidence behind my cocky behavior and persona as a successful lawyer. The result? No one really bought that I was confident or successful. I think they all just subconsciously ran the other way.
Confident people have brands that are anything but cocky. Self-confidence shines as your brand and shows up as kind, loving, genuine, with high integrity and a great degree of humbleness. There’s no room for cocky- even if you mean well. Others won’t ever see that.
What does this mean for you and your brand? Stop and consider:
- How often have you shown up “cocky”? Why?
- In those cocky moments, was your self-confidence high or low?
- Who do you know who has a self-confident brand? Does it ever come across as cocky?
- What can you do next time to make sure you are self-confident, kind and exude a brand that says so and sells you as such?
Some things in life are challenging. Other things are just darn hard no matter how simple it may seem from the outside. In my life, I’ve found that being self-confident is one of those darn hard things.
As an immigrant growing up in Indiana in the early 80s, I looked different than everyone else. Not only that, my family had a different culture than everyone else. It was hard to feel comfortable in my own skin, let alone be self-confident to others! So I get it.
I’ve found the biggest obstacle to our self-confidence is simply…… us. We get in our own way all the time. We show up not feeling the love for ourselves. Then we dump our angst onto others; making our lack of self- confidence their problem.
What if we decided we could do anything and be anything? What if we decided to show up being and acting with that belief? Would the world end? Would everyone find out we are a fraud? Just the opposite, I think.
I think this way of being and acting is the only way to find and “own” our self-confidence. Simple, but not necessarily easy, as Werner Erhard likes to say. The only person holding us back is us. Why is it that we simply can’t believe we are, and can be, our best motivator and champion? Who ever told us we couldn’t?
Strong brands own their self-confidence with ease and grace. They exude it with happiness and an eagerness to share it via what they do for a living. Self-confidence is infectious.
So what does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
- where in your life are you not feeling self-confident? Is it more often than you wish? A good way to know is based on how stressed you are at any given time.
- now that you are self-aware of your drop in self-confidence, how can you catch yourself and “pretend” to be self-confident with authenticity, integrity and ease?
Remember, simple but not easy. You’re up for the challenge. I know it!
Ever wonder how some people just have greater and better capacity for life than others? I’m not talking just in business, but in what seems all aspects of their life. Ever wonder why the entrepreuner can really wear all the hats of CEO and Chief Bathroom Cleaner, too?
In my time, I’ve learned that being flexible and open to new ideas is one of the most important attributes in my life. The only attribute higher for me personally is integrity.
Being an immigrant has always helped me be flexible, nimble and see the world of options before me. That’s just how we grew up. We moved to the US with two suitcases thinking we were just here on vacation. We never ended up leaving, which was fantastic. When I stop and think about how much my parents had to tolerate change and be flexible and creative, I’m astounded.
I lost some of my willingness to try new things and flexibility to adapt when I was knee deep into the practice of law. I’m not quiet sure what it was. Maybe it was because my days were very predictable and the law was founded in precedence. I really didn’t think anyone cared for me to be creative, flexible and take on new learnings beyond my substantive practice. Being a lawyer was hard enough, it seemed.
But somewhere deep inside me, I was yearning to learn new things, adapt and try on new roles and experiences in life that may have made me uncomfortable, but would have been fun and creative. I was used to discomfort and sitting in the unknown. In a way, I thrive on novelty and unchartered territory, but I also have compassion for how others may not share my views.
Fast forward all these years to now, where I run this personal branding company. What I ask of my clients all day long is for them to sit in discomfort, put on a creative hat and try to learn from new experiences and apply their lessons learned to new situations. In particular, I want them to apply their lessons to new situations that may not always be predictable and comfortable.
This is the hallmark of a dynamic and creative personal brand. People will always stand up and notice you and your brand if you are agile, fluid and creative. People welcome your self-confidence to try on something new.
In the workplace this notion is referred to as “learning agility”. In fact, The Korn Ferry Institute says learning agility is a leading predictor of talent and leadership success for people. Korn Ferry also finds that learning agility is rare, with only 15% of the workforce being highly learning agile.
John Delaney, Dean of the school of business at University of Pittsburgh, said it best in a Huffington Post article about this very subject. Professor Delaney said, “Learning agility is what happens when a lawyer is asked to maintain a robust social media presence or a financial professional is tapped to open a global office even with limited knowledge of the new country’s economy or culture, and yet they overcome their lack of experience and discomfort and find a way to simply make it work. Those who are learning agile know what to do when they don’t know what to do. They know the questions to ask, the people to work with to find the answers they need and they are comfortable being uncomfortable.”
So what does this mean for you? Stop and ask yourself:
- How willing and self-confident are you to take that next step at work even when you not sure what to do? How about in your personal life?
- How often do you find yourself in uncomfortable situations where you are willing to tough it out in order to find a solution?
- How creative do you allow yourself and your brand be in order to grow as a human and a leader?
When I was a practicing attorney, it felt to me like everyone was in constant competition with one another. I was competing with other attorneys for billable hours and clients. There was a feeling of competition for jobs and accolades. And of course, there was competition for “stuff”. You know- cars, clothes and friends.
I was fortunate to practice in Washington DC and have lots of wonderful colleagues and friends around me. So the impact of competition wasn’t so bad on me. Yet, it was the nature of the game. Or so I thought. It wasn’t until I had left the practice of law for several years that I started to really see things differently.
Fast forward 10 years later. Now, as part of personal brand development of professionals, I take a very different stand on competition. I want all clients to stay in their current careers. I reexamine competition for them to be able to do so effectively.
I believe that if we really know how we are unique and different, then no one is competition. Everyone is complimentary. This serves to reduce the stress of competing. It also serves to elevate our self-confidence and open our eyes to creative thinking and “being”.
One of my favorite quotes on competition comes from environmental scientist, Donella Meadows. Meadows profoundly stated, “…Yes, the earth says compete. But leave enough for your competition… Don’t annihilate….We are not in a war, but in a community…”
Case in point is the privately held company Patagonia. It was profiled in Fast Company Magazine recently. Run by CEO, Rose Marcario, a practicing Buddhist, the company is referred to as a paradox of sorts. Why? The company has ad campaigns stating, “don’t buy our products”. Yet in recent years Patagonia’s profitability and operations have grown. How is that possible? Well, in order to save resources on Earth the company values consumption based on your needs.
Guess what else? Patagonia freely shares it’s expensive R&D findings with its’ competitors. Why? As Marcario puts it so eloquently in her Fast Company interview, “Here, you can have our intellectual property because at the end of the day this will be better for the planet. If you guys (competitors) adopt it you can scale more, because you’re way bigger than us.”
And that’s called co-existing in a community, profiting AND having a fabulous personal brand (Marcario) and business brand (Patagonia). That’s what integrity in business looks like.
So what does this mean for you? Well, stop and consider:
- How much does competition drive your life? Does it feel healthy or obsessive?
- If you are ultra competitive, how do you show up as a personal brand to others- attractive or otherwise?
- What’s one step you can take to shift your way of “being” to view competition differently for yourself? Don’t wait to do so. Start now so you can transform your life, career and brand.