Have you ever considered how you would answer the question, “What’s your metaphor or symbol in life?”
Metaphors are figures of speech that make a comparison between two unlike things and can provide a powerful way to help you shape your narrative and tell your story. One of the more legendary metaphors is from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet balcony exchange when Romeo professes, “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.”, comparing Juliet’s radiant beauty to the sun.
On the other hand, a symbol is a material or an abstract object that represents or stands for something else. Popular ones include the heart, representing love and compassion, and the owl representing wisdom and intelligence. There is also, the well-known raven, representing gloom and doom.
Symbolic images combined with metaphors enable you to express your ideas and state of mind in a catchy and memorable way. They create a mental picture and a lasting impression.
If asked to fill in the sentence: “I’d describe my personal brand as_____” during an interview or networking icebreaker, how would you respond?
One rich with meaning for me in helping others cultivate their personal brand is this novel metaphor:
“You’re the author of your own story. You get to wake up each day and decide how your story is written. With every new page comes an opportunity for change and growth.”
When building out my company brand, I focused on the words “Cultivate Insight” to epitomize my aspiration to help others activate their best by turning insight into action. I chose two key symbols: the “third eye” and “camera lens” to personify the meaning.
- The “third eye” is a pineal gland located in the vertebrate brain near the hypothalamus. It’s a revered tool of seers and is connected to clarity, concentration, imagination, intuition, bliss, decisiveness, and insight.
- A “camera lens” is a tool that allows the user to see its subject clearly. It represents seeing the whole, reflecting and focusing with intention, determination, patience, and confidence.
The symbol depicts two hands shining a light onto an individual illustrating how I’d like my clients to feel – supported and guided by someone that radiates optimism and confidence in them.
Knowing what you stand for has significance.
As the famous adage states, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Thinking about who you want to be and the impression you want to make on others helps guide your direction, behavior, and actions. If you haven’t done so already, give it some thought. The benefits include getting to know yourself better, making a memorable impression, inspiring others, enhancing your story, and possibly garnering some laughs during an icebreaker.
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