- Who & Why?
Category Archive for: ‘self-confidence’
By Sarah O’Rourke, guest blogger
Whether we know it or not, our fears and insecurities can keep us from truly connecting with others. We want to be known for who we are, and have confidence in our decisions. But how do we actually start to gain this confidence? How do we grow?
I remember stressing for weeks over confronting one of my roommates about the state of our shared kitchen towels. My roommate and I used them constantly, but no one seemed to be cleaning them. They were only towels, after all. It may seem like a small interaction now, but at the time it felt like the end of the world.
My avoidance of the confrontation made a common, apartment-life issue into a real problem.
This is how many hard confrontations happen. When it finally came time to discuss a hard topic, I found myself anxious and unable to communicate.
Here’s the one thing I found helpful. I found if I was vulnerable with my roommate, it made things easier. Approaching someone without vulnerability makes confrontation even more uncomfortable.
When we approach others with vulnerability, we put ourselves in a position of fear. But vulnerability can actually help us constructively confront others. We connect and just put it all out there and they sense our genuineness. Our self-confidence grows, as a result.
This is true in business and in life.
The same stressors that make confrontation difficult in our personal lives are present in business as well. When I was working to re-structure a writing tutor position, I noticed that we were having problems scheduling appointments. The problem was that our students were not able to work in a quiet environment on the first floor. This is especially problematic in tutoring, where you need the full attention of a student. But I felt intimidated by my manager. I seemed aggravated. But when I finally admitted that I was worried about something we shared, she met me in the middle. I made myself vulnerable with her, and she and I were able to brainstorm new ideas.
My manager approached me with later with the same problem, and our vulnerability was courageous. She owned her worries, and the next time I needed to fix a problem with our appointments, I approached her with the same humble courage. We agreed that our students needed their own room for appointments. By prioritizing both of our needs this way, she and I ensured our mutual success. Plus, it made us happy.
Fear and happiness lie at opposite ends of the same spectrum, and sometimes the scariest thing we can do is confront ourselves and be vulnerable and able to change. But owning and accepting your insecurities earns you a great deal of respect and increases your self-confidence, and allows you the room to grow.
Sarah O’Rourke was born and raised in San Diego and has a passion for art. She recently received her MBA from Point Loma Nazarene, and hopes to keep writing, drawing, and helping people tell their stories. She is an animal lover who will usually stop what she is doing to say hello to a cat or dog. She can be found by the beach, and is always looking for opportunities to learn something new.
Just the other day a client gave me a compliment by letting me know how our work had made such an impact on their personal world and in their business culture. I was touched. I was also proud. I had to take a moment and step back to check in on my mentality. Was I buoyed too much by the compliment and patting myself on the back? If so, was I running the danger of letting my ego run away with the compliment and hijacking it to my brand detriment?
In brand development, I always say that everyone must be able to receive and distill compliments well. The practice serves so many various purposes.
However, there’s a fine line between taking compliments well and taking those same compliments and becoming arrogant as a result. The former is so attractive to your brand. The latter is awful for your brand.
The trouble: It’s so easy to run the risk of the latter.
As my mentor, James Espey, says “Confidence without arrogance” is the goal in life and in business. He’s certainly lived that humble and successful life for years.
What’s a person to do? The number one rule is to stay self-aware. Much like I do my best to do, stop and think to yourself:
- Did I really hear the message that was meant to come with that compliment?
- How can I use it in a humble way to boost my self-confidence?
After all, self confident brands win.
If you’d like to discuss this topic or any related topic regarding how to market and sell yourself in a healthy and authentic way, please drop me a line. I’d love to connect and discuss.
I’m not sure what is harder; working towards my goals or trusting that I’m making good progress to that goal. I mean, how much effort should I be putting in? Am I on even on the right track?
Take my efforts toward health and fitness. Around this time of year, everyone is into more health and fitness. For me, it is a life-long journey. But how am I supposed to know if I’m doing “enough”? Is it a weight loss goal? Is it inches lost or muscle mass gained? Or maybe both?
It can be maddening. Or does it have to be that way?
Judging our progress on business development and self-growth can be challenging. Self-doubt is a nasty habit that keeps us in self-sabotage mode.
I have plenty of clients wonder if they are making progress along our journey together. Sometimes our branding work is so seamless and painless, that clients wrongly attribute their growth and progress to something outside of our branding work together.
So how can we know if we are growing and if our brand is shifting and growing?
Simple. It’s all about self-awareness. Do you have some degree of inner peace that you didn’t have before? In other words, do you feel you are being more transparent and authentic in your business and career? Do you have less fear- fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not doing the “right” thing? Does whatever you are doing feel “right” deep down in your gut?
Try it on and let me know. This is all a process. Just stay self-aware and you can’t go wrong.
Just the other day I was on an airplane again. I fly all the time. On every flight I find myself caring too much about what the other passengers think of me. How do I do it? Well, it shows up in every aspect of my “being”- from what I eat and drink on the flight to what I read or write on the plane.
It’s just crazy, right? And don’t judge me- you know you do it, too. You just don’t want to admit it because you don’t want us to value you less.
Some times I think I spend more time thinking about this stuff than about myself and how I feel when I’m on the plane. And this is from someone who develops other peoples’ brands for a living. I’m fully self-aware and know the impact of us not setting our own self-worth and value.
Do you ever wonder why we all care so much about what others think about us?
It can’t be self-preservation. Frankly, all the energy I expend on making sure I look “good” to others on the plane is just exhausting. It does nothing to make me feel better to try so hard. If anything, it is “anti” self-preservation.
It also can’t be because I really care about what others think of me. I’m likely never going to see any of those people again once I step off the plane.
Yet, I fall for ego’s trick, too—even on airplanes with people I have never met and will never meet again.
So the real inquiry is why do we allow others to set our value for us? Why is it that we can’t have a high enough self-worth that it doesn’t really matter what others think of us?
Why do we allow others to set our self-worth and set our value?
The real reason is that we are so afraid to look deep inside because we may discover that we are loveable and great. If we look inside, we may find ourselves worthy of love- our own love and that of others. If we did, then what anyone else thinks of us would not matter- we would get to set our own value and worth. That’s very liberating, not to mention not so exhausting. That’s also an attractive brand.
What does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
- How often do you allow what others think of you to matter more than what you want to think of yourself? Be honest with yourself.
- Why do you do it?
- Where is one place in your life experience and activities that you could allow yourself to be “free” and set your own value/worth and brand?
- What if you just didn’t care what others thought of you- that includes your friends, family, colleagues and strangers? I guarantee you that you would be happier AND more productive. You would have a stronger sense of self, making you more attractive to others.
Was this helpful? If so, please share the blog and help others, too.
Got questions? Feel free to email me directly: katy (at) purispersonalbranding.com
I have a person very close to me who likes to throw money at situations and people. Let’s name them “Pat”. Over time I’ve noticed money gets thrown around when Pat is trying to: 1) avoid a negative/painful situation (“I’ll buy the birthday gift, you go hang out with the birthday gal because I don’t want to see her”) or 2) be more loved (“I’ll buy lunch to apologize for making you come meet me where I want to each lunch”).
So in the famous words of the Beatles, if love is all we need and if money is the root of all evil, then what gives with Pat?
While we all tend to stretch for relief and love in our lives by “solving” things with money, what does it really do to your brand?
First, you must have self-awareness to look at the situation in the first place. If you can’t step back and observe yourself throwing money at others, then you can’t start to see anything differently.
Throwing money at people and situations in order to get yourself in a better position and your brand better loved does NOT work. Why?
Even if people end up taking your money, we can all sense your desperation in doing so. It devalues your brand instead. No one wants to support, much less be around, desperate people. Think about it: when was the last time you bought any product because you pitied the company? Never, I suspect.
Need more examples? Look at Uber. Uber and Lyft spent over $8 million in a very few short months in Austin. They were trying to get voters to shoot down Austin’s proposed fingerprinting rules for drivers. Uber bombarded voters with phone, text, emails and calls. Some voters were truly scared and creeped out by the level of intrusion.
In the end, Uber and Lyft lost the fight. And they lost $8 million. That’s what happens when you throw money at it. No one was more sad over this result than me. I used to Uber/Lyft all around Austin on my monthly trips. Now I’m stuck with yucky cabs or the kindness of colleagues and friends.
What about Uber and Lyft’s brand?
Some would say the companies are so big, it really doesn’t impact their brands. Ok, so maybe there’s no fiscal impact. However, in the court of public opinion it’s different. In the informal interviews I’ve done with locals in Austin, there’s very little love for Uber or Lyft. When you mention either brand name, most people I’ve talked to shrug, squint and reply rather nonchalantly. That’s what you get when you have enough money to throw at people in order to get your way.
So let’s summarize what we learned in first grade: Money does not get you your way. If you do get your way, you have no respect with it. Your brand stinks.
What does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
- When have you strong-armed others with money to get your way?
- Did it work? Why did you really throw money at it?
- How can you stop and have self-awareness of when you are throwing money at something?