The first time I felt “tamed” (and by that, I mean suffocated by labels placed on me by other people) was back in middle school. With a group of girl friends, we all had labels - sort of like the Spice Girls. Sporty Spice, Arty-spice, sexy spice etc etc. And yes, this would have been circa 1997
My truth is: I had always been the creative one.
But one day, the girls kicked me out of the group because they considered someone else MORE creative and talented than me. There was no place for me.
I was no longer the creative one. I was no longer the artist.
I was a no one. With no friends and no talent. All throughout middle school and into highschool, I carried around this belief. I never felt like I was enough. I’d experiment with all types of artistic mediums, trying to find myself: drawing, graphic design, dancing, acting….THEY would never let me be the artist or the performer anymore.
So as they denied me of my identity… I slowly began to deny myself.
Today, as a grown woman, I do have the wisdom and confidence to know that only I can define myself. However, growing up, I didn't have that confidence or the wisdom. So what ends up happening is ...
When you don’t have a strong sense of self ...you let others define you.
You might be wondering how this is related to branding. It's very simple. When I work privately 1:1 with my clients, they can get very tripped up about what image of themselves they want to put out there: how do I show up in the world ? What parts of me do I reveal ? Why am I unique ? How do I infuse my personality in my brand?
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: you already are a brand. It's from everything to how you dress, to what you eat, to who you hang out with. People already perceive you in a certain way. Put yourself in an empowered position where you decide how you authentically craft your image.
Over time, we can feel the pressure from society, from peers, family, colleagues that project their own stuff on us and we slowly lose parts of ourselves, we slowly start to believe what they tell us.
Part of having a strong brand is about fully acknowledging all the parts of yourself.
For example, some of my strongest assets in my brand were the things I was actually hiding the most.
This clearly was a pattern I had developed at a young age- about letting others define who I am. From being a dancer and a performer for a number of years, I knew all about self-presentation, shameless self-promotion, speech, diction and pleasing a crowd. From all my other experiences in design- I knew how to craft together design elements, make things look nice, look presentable. When I first started my business, I didn't share these parts of me and I didn't realize how relevant this was to them.
My challenge to you: start looking back at your life and acknowledging YOU. What makes you unique, qualified, a leader in your field.
If this is difficult because you have a lot of negative self talk, maybe start with the labels that others put on you and how they define you AND THEN ask yourself: is this true ?
I want to empower you to rediscover your sense of self. Step into your brand. Live on brand.
Have you been hiding parts of yourself ? Who did you used to be ? Who did you always want to be?
AND THEN, start sharing these tidbits with the world, just like I am doing right now.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
INTRODUCING MY BRAND STORY BANK TRAINING....