This year’s theme for Women’s Day being #BalanceforBetter, we heard more women leaders emphasising on the need for self-love. A self-love that increase your self-esteem, your self-worth, one that teaches you to forgive yourself and raise your confidence. Above all else, it’s an emotion that dramatically changes the narrative both internally and externally.
As a personal branding expert and coach, I see women struggling to establish their personal brand in professional, personal and social situations. When your personal brand is the perception others form of you, how can I relate self-love and self-image to your personal brand, you ask? While it’s true, that your personal brand is a reflection of the image or impression others form of you, it is also a reflection of your self-Image.
I find there is a lot of misconception about personal branding. A lot of people find it fake, they don’t believe that it is real, they find it ingenuous, not authentic. On top of that some people propagate that it will do more harm than good. But what I’m here to implore you to think is that, A Personal Branding that is not shaped by you, will be formed and told by others. Do you want to take that risk?
At the epic centre of you brand, Me Inc, is how You feel about Yourself, how much effort are you willing to put in, how deserving do you see yourself of the opportunities that come your way, how often do you say thank you to yourself and how often do you celebrate yourself. If we want people around us, to appreciate us and our efforts, let’s start it within ourselves.
When I launched my coaching business, I wasn’t mentally prepared to do the long haul. But I expected applause, appreciation and success almost instantly. The trajectory, the pace and the struggles bugged me. I was spending what seemed like long hours working, time that I was spending away from my kids, but I wasn’t truly committed. I was holding back and I knew it.
I had to do something. I had a hard decision to make- I had to either quit or triple my commitment. Over the next couple of weeks, I waged a war inside my head and came face to face with many fears and self-doubts. Did I have what it took? Could I handle the pressure? Was I big enough? Well, sadly, it soon became clear to me that I was scared, scared of the competition, scared of the amount of time I have to spend away from my family, scared of the limelight, scared of trying and perhaps failing. And all these fears were holding me back from giving it my all.
What I finally decided to do about my dilemma was described in a quote I came across. It described that the real tragedy is a when someone never braces themselves for that one supreme effort, when someone never stretches to their full capacity and when they never stand up their full stature and calls their results in life and relationships, a failure. I faced the internal dialogue, how will I put in my 100%, when I’m scared of the outcome that it will bring about? I understood it needs fixing and was determined to change that. I didn’t know if I could make it, but I was willing to find out by giving it my best, instead of my half-hearted efforts.
No one heard me say, ‘I commit’ and there was no applause. It was simply a private battle, I fought and won inside my own mind over the next couple of weeks, if not months. Once I committed to myself, everything changed. I began taking chances and making big improvements and progress. My heart was in it and I felt really in charge. When I got one of the biggest coaching and training assignment I had ever gotten to date, the victory seemed outwardly.
But the real victory happened in the privacy of my own head. When I decided to face my fears, to stop making excuses, to stop holding back and brace myself for supreme effort, that was my ultimate victory. Ever since then, every other challenge seemed an easier challenge compared to overcoming my fears and disempowering self-talks. As the saying goes, “We have met the enemy and he is us”.
When you break a promise to yourself, your confidence levels will be low and you will feel disappointed. On the other hand, when you stick to a commitment you have made to yourself, you feel in control, ready for more action. Keep your promises to yourself. Get rid of the destructive patterns of behaviour which causes you to feel unworthy, raise your self-esteem and increase your confidence. Confidence has always been a result of actions, not a prerequisite.
If personal branding is your ability to influence someone’s thoughts, beliefs and actions, first learn to fix your thoughts, beliefs and actions. If you want to make a change in your life, the place to begin is within yourself. All change begins with you.
Miriam’s signature program, Your Best Version Advantage, is a detailed session that takes on elements of your appearance. To know more, write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out her video on Power Dressing At Work: Indian Wear Edition here: https://tinyurl.com/y9f5b5c8
Also read: How to build your personal brand
Miriam Korula, image consultant and trainer, tells you how confidence is a result of one's action towards self
By: Miriam Korula