All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘self-confidence’

Dramatic or Pragmatic? What’s Your Brand?

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When I was a kid, I had a lot of drama. I mean I could have won an Oscar weekly for my brilliant portrayal of a small, cute, middle-eastern, toothless (yes, I lost my teeth early and didn’t get them until much later) girl,  who had it going on!

As I grew up and evolved out of the practice of law, I realized the drama in my life had to go, too.  After all, the drama wasn’t adding more to my brand. It was in fact, detracting from it. Letting go of my drama was not easy.  I didn’t realize how much my drama was who I was “being” until I was letting it go.  I tried to look at it like I was shedding a coat that no longer fit me. The trouble was, it didn’t feel like I was shedding a coat that I no longer wanted.   It felt like I was being stripped of my identity and my comfort zone.

How did I do it?  Well, like all things in brand development, it required self-awareness.  I had to stop and really look at each moment in my life. I had to ask myself if I was being genuine and coming from the heart or had an ulterior motive that required me to force others to “look at me”.

What I was left with when I shed much of my drama (I am always working on being completely drama-free) was FREEDOM.  I no longer felt the need to huff and puff so much at others and at my own life. This meant I didn’t blame others (to their face or under my breath) for my life and what was wrong with me.  I wasn’t a victim anymore.

Not being a victim allows me to be pragmatic.  Things that happen in my life don’t hurt so much anymore.  When someone says something to me or does something “mean” to me, I’m ok with it.  I check the drama at the door and look at the situation pragmatically.  I say to myself, “Isn’t that interesting?” instead of “how dare you?” I’ve come to realize these types of situations aren’t really about me, but about the other person’s outlook on life and people.

Being pragmatic leaves me with a great brand: I’m more self-confident, happy and compassionate.

So what does this mean for you?  Stop and ask yourself:

  • How much drama do you choose to have in your life? Why?
  • If you could change one view point you have on others, or on yourself, what would it be and how would it make your life more drama-free?
  • Who is the most pragmatic person  you know and what about them works for you? How can you do this for yourself?
  • How would your brand change if you had less drama in your life and instead had a more pragmatic outlook?

The Downside To Your Brand of Goal Setting

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It’s January and it seems lots of us are goal setting.  I remember setting goals.  It was just awful.  I was always at a loss for what goals to set. I had all sorts of thoughts swirling in my head, like: Should I aim for lofty goals or manageable goals? What if I failed at achieving my goals?  Did I have to share my goals with my team/boss? How much faith was I supposed to have in my goals being “good”? What if my goals didn’t feel real for me- was that ok?

And on and on and on it went….just like a bad movie that never ended.

Until one day when I stopped setting goals. Here’s why.

Setting goals does two things:

1) You don’t achieve your goal and so you feel like a failure.  Great.  Just what you wanted, right?

2) You don’t achieve your goal because it wasn’t your goal in the first place. Your boss and/or team insisted on you setting goals.  So you put down something that has no meaning or passion for you and you obviously don’t achieve it.  Failure again.

Instead of goal setting, I decided to focus on stories and outcomes that made me happy.  Why?

In my formal and informal research findings, I’ve discovered the higher your stress, the lower your self-confidence.  The lower your self-confidence, the less your brand emotionally resonates with me and the less effective your brand.  So why would I set goals if they cause me stress and reduce my self-confidence and emotional brand resonance?

Instead, I now envision what I want to happen and write the story of how it will play out.   I encourage all my clients to do the same.  This method puts you in control of your life and restores your personal power and creative vision for yourself. It’s also just fun to have a blank canvas on which to create your future- as you want to have it happen. It nicely follows my blog regarding how you want to be remembered.  

What does this mean for you? Sit down with a blank screen.  Ask yourself the following questions and start creating your 2016:

  • What one or two things do you see yourself doing really well in 2016?  It can be personal or business.  Write it down and also write down why you do these one or two things well in 2016? These should be things that bring you true joy in your life. Don’t hold back.
  • What kind of work do you want to do in 2016? Be specific. Type out all the details.  
  • What type of clients and colleagues do you want to work with?  Again, specific details create results. 
  • How many hours per week do you want to work and play?  Why? Write it all out.
  • Do you want to relocate in 2016? If so, are you changing homes or cities or states or maybe even moving to a new country? Why?  Write as much detail as you can. 
  • What are you going to do JUST for yourself in 2016? Why? With Whom? Creative use of our right-brain makes for great brands.

Don’t hold back.  No one is going to read this but you. If at first this is too hard and you start to get twitchy, that’s great! You’re on to something. Keep writing. You’ll know when you are done.

Why Worry About Others? Keep The Focus On Brand YOU!

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Sprout.So often when we are struggling with ourselves and our business and careers, we tend to shift our focus to others.  I mean, we start to pick on others OR we try to help others master what we secretly can’t master ourselves.

There have been so many times in my life when I was feeling lost and “stuck” in something.  What I thought brought me relief was to start looking around at others- were they doing “it” better or worse? If better, then how? If worse- then yay!  I could judge them and then pretend to “help” them because I was such a caring and giving person.  See the problem, folks?

While the best way to learn something is to teach it, there are limits on this notion.  If you have no idea what you are talking about, you can’t teach anything to anyone with credibility and effectiveness. Even worse, your intentions are key. If you really are not trying to be of service, people can tell.  Your brand fails miserably at that point.

So what’s the key?  I’ve found over time, the best way to refine and work on your brand is to just focus on YOU.  If you want others to follow you, become your client, friend or employer, then just turn inwards and put all your efforts on your own brand development.

Why?  Once your brand is up to speed and you are resonating with others, then others will automatically gravitate towards you.  At that point you just have to stand there with grace and accept them all to you. 

It’s like the flower or plant that shifts and grows towards the sunlight.  That flower or plant can’t help but be attracted to the light.  You and your well developed brand are the light and others will shift, notice, gravitate and follow you- just like the flower. They will grow from your betterment of yourself.

So go out there and focus on your own brand.  It always takes time and patience, but you are up for it.

“When you see what you can offer the world, your world shifts”, – Oprah.

Is Greatness Part of Your Brand?

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barbara-stanny-sacred-success-course-in-miraclesHave 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?

How Close Are Cocky And Self-Confident In Your Brand?

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1348272_25036285Recently 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?

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First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.