TAKE US WITH YOU!
The FUSE Woman-- "Where Form & Spirit Become One"
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Susan Chritton - author of Personal Branding for Dummies
Susan Chritton, M.Ed., PCC, NCCC, is an Executive Career Coach and Master Personal Brand Strategist. Susan guides professionals looking to engage their authentic self in the world through personal branding.
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Putting yourself out into the world and living your personal brand can be scary. If you don’t have the self-esteem to back up your brand, you won’t get very far. We are in the midst of an election with a woman candidate breaking barriers for the first time in history. Imagine if she was overcome with the fear of -- what if no one wants this brand? It’s a very real fear and one that stops many of us from trying.
The best way to overcome your fear of putting yourself out there is to stay true to your brand with strategies that spell success:
What Is So Important?
One of the gifts of growing older is the ability to step back from the turmoil of everyday living and realize that much of the turmoil is a result of our own perceptions. We describe many events in our lives as dealing with the "real world." But the "real world" is often created by our own individual choices and ideas of how life is suppose to flow.
I recently watched what has been referred to as a cult movie, "The Big Lebowski," by the Cohen Brothers. I have seen it several times. I like watching movies more then once because it allows me to focus on other elements besides following the plot. I was particularly impressed by a theme in the film that had previously escaped me. Throughout the film we are confronted with a wide variety of characters. Each character has something of paramount importance to him or her. For the ultra rich conservative man, the most important consideration is demonstrating his ability to overcome life's challenges and enhance his own personal image. For the rich man’s daughter, the most important element of life is to refute her father’s philosophy and free herself from conformity. For other characters, winning the inter-league community bowling championship is of ultimate importance. For the "dude," the film’s main character, the most important choice seems to be avoiding choices, and to "just go with the flow." No matter which choices are made, the other characters find them crazy and untenable, based upon their own views of what is important.
Some people have a burning desire to conquer the world. Others have a burning desire to retreat from the world. Some wish to make their mark, others hope to "fly under the radar." There are no correct or incorrect answers. Each of us finds what is important to us. Hopefully, we also find the capacity to respect what is important to others.
family sitting right next to or right across from us.
This a call for that connection. Let’s get back to the conversations we’ve been missing, the ones we’ve been craving. I put this to all of you, as you finish reading this article, put down your phone or step away from your computer, GO HAVE A CONVERSATION -- a real one where you aren’t pulling out a device, where you really hear what the other person is saying, and you connect with them.
Since this can seem daunting after the years of numbing we’ve had from our devices, here are some questions that might get you started on a really interesting conversation with another human:
What is the best thing that happened to you this week?
If you had enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, what would you do with your time?
What is one thing that was true about you as a child that is still true about you today?
Now go CONNECT with someone!
Think back to 15 years ago. We just made it past Y2K without even a hiccup with the computers, our world got rocked when the twin towers came down, and cell phones were still a cool new toy. Imagine, we were suddenly able to reach anyone we wanted to, any time, even if they weren’t at home or in an office! Magic!
Since then, things have gotten even more sophisticated and we continue to be even more connected than ever before. We can even SEE people on our phones when we talk to them, not just hear their voices. We can track their vacations from their pictures on Instagram, congratulate them on a new job on LinkedIn, and know exactly where they are when they check in for dinner on Facebook.
And yet, we are more disconnected from the people and the relationships in our lives than ever before.
We long for connection, we seek it at every turn, in our every move, in our every breath. We feel deeply
disappointed when someone cancels on us, or is too busy to join us, or we find out we’ve been left off the invite list. We start to fear we are missing out on something bigger than us, and we look to our devices to be our lifelines, to breach that chasm of emotional distance.
Instead of connecting us, those devices put walls between us and the very people we want to connect with. Think of the last time you went to dinner at a restaurant. Was there even a single table around you where someone’s phone wasn’t either out on the table or being used? Groups of friends will gather and everyone at the table will be on their phone – maybe taking or posting a picture of what they’re doing so that someone out there – way out there, in their cyber world – takes notice and connects by commenting. And all this “connection” replaces the actual connection that could be happening at that table right then.
With all these methods of connecting available to us, we’re missing most the one staring us right in the face – our friends and
How Connected Are You?
by Alene Gabriel
Blue Sky Coaching LLC
EMPOWERING OTHERS TO CREATE THE
LIVES THEY WANT TO LEAD
• Stay authentic. You know who you are so don’t be afraid to let your authenticity be seen.
• Have a good attitude. Be known for your good nature and for being pleasant to work with. People like connecting with nice people.
• Don’t say yes just to agree. Great brands stand for something, and when you are called to do that, stand up for what you believe in.
• Start early and over deliver. People like to know that they can count on you to be there and that you will do what you say you'll do.
• Communicate better than anyone else. Build your brand loyalty by being a great communicator.
• Find support from people who believe in you. Nothing helps overcome your fears like having a fan club.
• Be kind to people even if they have been rude to you. Treating rude and unpleasant people with kindness won’t allow that person’s negativity to bring you down.
The more successful you are, the more adversaries you seem to have. Some people won’t like you just because you are doing well.
The old expression “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” comes into play here. Developing clear personal boundaries sets you and your brand apart from the ugliness. Boundaries are the best protection for preserving your emotional energy and defending your brand.
Having a resilient personal brand built on solid values, using your key qualities, and having supporters who believe in you are the best defenses against unwanted negative attention. Overcome your fear of putting yourself out into the world and stay true to your brand. Take yourself out into the world and make your own history.