Personal branding has become a key part of personal development. Most of us now have a wide-ranging online presence; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a personal website – and these each paint a picture of us as individuals and as professionals.
When building our personal brand, it’s important to be authentic, not just because we’ll get found out if we’re not, but because we’re more likely to be happy and successful in areas in which we are strong. Part of our personal brand will be based on our skills and interests. For example, if you work in a field, such as a content creator, you might want to be seen socializing and blogging around content creation, writing and other related areas. But all of this only paints half a picture. Our personality shows how we use our skills and interests, how we’re different from others, and maybe most importantly, why we do what we do.
Personality isn’t about good or bad, right or wrong, but more about contrasts and differences in the way we do things and interact. If we are more of an Introvert, we may be seen as a deep thinker, someone who takes things seriously. Extraverts may be seen as more naturally charismatic and great at networking. This does not mean that if you’re an Introvert you’re not going to be charismatic, but you may want to focus on your natural strengths, as these will be far more powerful and genuine.
Think of your personality as a skill, or another tool in your tool belt. Are you good at helping others (even if you’re not a teacher)? Do you enjoy solving problems? Are you great at organizing and getting things done? Are you flexible and quick at making decisions ‘on the hoof’? These aren’t things we’re taught or have certificates for, but they are things that drive us to enjoy what we do and be great at it.
The Power of Authenticity
We live in a world that shuns authenticity. Yet deep inside we want everyone we interact with to tell us the truth and to be themselves. Most important, we also want to have the freedom and confidence to say, do, and be who we really are, without worrying so much about how we appear to others and what they might think or say about us.
Sadly, however, even though we may say we want to live in a way that is true to our deepest passions, beliefs, and desires; most of us don’t and it’s not that easy. We’ve been taught by the system, that it’s more important to be liked and to fit in than it is to be who we truly are. In addition, many of us assume that who we are is not good enough and therefore we’re constantly trying to fix ourselves, or to act like others who we think are better than us.
Authenticity is about being who we really are–ourselves, natural and without a mask in our relationships, our work, and our life. It takes a lot of courage to look within ourselves and tell the whole truth even when we don’t want to) first to ourselves then to other.
However, being open and real about all of these things (and more) is what it means to be authentic in life.
Below are five steps to being an authentic you as put by Mike Robbins in an article on the Power of Authenticity;
In order to utilize the power of authenticity in your life as a way to enhance your relationships, increase your fulfillment, and empower yourself, here are five key principles:
1) Know Yourself – Make a commitment to your own personal growth. Discover more of who you are. And, seek out and allow the support, honest feedback, and guidance of others.
2) Transform Your Fear – There’s nothing wrong with having fear, it’s the resistance and denial of fear that is the real problem. When you admit, own, feel, and express your fear, you have the ability to move through it, transform it, and utilize its power in a positive way. Taking action in the face of fear is courageous and empowering.
3) Express Yourself – Have the courage to speak your truth boldly. Deal with conflicts directly. Express your emotions fully. Be vulnerable and real about what you think and how you feel. While on the surface you may worry that this will be seen as “weak,” in actuality expressing yourself completely gives you access to real freedom and power.
4) Be Bold – Live, speak, and act with courage, passion, and truth – even if it’s difficult or scary. Go for what you want in your work and in your life. And get back up when you fall down, which you will.
5) Celebrate Who You Are – Appreciate and honor who you are, what you do, and the gifts and talents that you have. Celebrating yourself is not about being arrogant. It’s an awareness of your own power and it’s the key to self-confidence, fulfillment, and authenticity.
Being your authentic self is not for the faint of heart, but once you’re willing to truly engage and do the work to become more real – your life, your work, and your relationships will be more exciting, meaningful, and fulfilling!
Let us know in the comments below your personal steps to living an authentic life!
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