In cultivating your personal brand, the image you portray distinguishes who you are and what you stand for. Your image is made up of your mission, values, tone of voice, and personality. Likewise, the behaviors you exhibit indicate what others can expect from you, such as being reliable and trustworthy.

How people perceive you.

Although there are varying beliefs on the actual percentage of how much of communication is body language, your personal presentation of body stance, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, and tone of voice makes a difference in the general impression people have of you.

It’s no wonder that the word image is defined in various ways:

  • A representation of the external form made visible, such as a person, animal, or thing.
  • An appearance of an object, produced by reflection from a mirror or refraction by a lens.
  • A mental depiction such as an idea or conception.

What people believe is true is reality to them.

The adage, “you only get one chance to make a first impression,” played a prominent role for me growing up. I was constantly told things like “sit still, don’t fidget, don’t “fill in the blank,” etc. I must profess that adhering to this advice served me well throughout my career, especially when interviewing, presenting, and meeting others for the first time. That is until it did not.

In a world where everyone judges, our vanity can betray us.

It can be challenging to find your authentic self if you’re focused on what others want to hear, expect of you, or think of you. I’m a tad mortified by how easily I’ve succumbed to flattery throughout my life. Such as purchasing a new outfit after receiving compliments, saying yes when I wanted to say no, or spending too much time on things I disliked. Finally, I’ve been able to curb these automatic reactions by understanding the why behind them and learning to respond more effectively.

Our idealized self-image is a story we tell ourselves.

Because of this, you may hold back parts of your core personality to fit into a narrative about who you think you need to be. These limiting beliefs may no longer be valid and need to be resolved so you can move forward. If this topic seems familiar, here are five questions to think through before speaking up or taking action:

  • Who am I focused on?
  • What is my motivation?
  • What do I want?
  • How do I feel?
  • What am I afraid of?

To gain clarity and connect authentically with yourself and others, here are five steps to uncover what you value most and ways to Harness your You-Ness.

Let’s co-create.

Schedule a free call with me. No obligation, no strings attached. I can take you through ways to cultivate your personal brand and position yourself more effectively to achieve your professional advancement and career aspirations.

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