When you don’t fully self-express yourself in your personal brand, others can’t read you properly! They will start to fill in the blanks FOR you! If you want to be a leader, a trailblazer, a movement maker, then you must get creative with your strategies to communicate your story to others.
I understand the struggle to be seen all too well. I’m an introvert at heart, although I can be extraverted when I want to be (a true ambivert), and the confusion is very real with what to communicate and what to hold back. I have experienced all of the challenges in putting oneself out there over the years. I get it!
As an introvert, being fully visible and self-expressed can be heart thumping and teeth chattering. I’d much rather shine a light on my clients, finding ways to help them self-promote with authenticity and bold confidence. It’s my talent. It’s what I thrive on, seeing others have strategies to communicate fully WHO they are and WHAT they stand for.
Even a self-confessed introvert needs to walk their talk and be seen as the leader of their tribe. However, to be seen as a leader, you must have a willingness to CHOOSE full transparency and vulnerability. Even if you risk being disliked, questioned or challenged by others.
Transparency and Vulnerability
Being transparent and vulnerable builds resilience in you as a leader. It develops trust with your tribe. To be fully self-expressive, you must understand who you are on multiple levels and from different perspectives. I don’t mean answering questions like ‘what is your favourite colour?’ and ‘what is your superpower?’. You must go deeper than that, to be capable of the level of transparency and vulnerability that builds trust as a leader. You need to have a strong level of awareness around your values, your desires, and your personality traits. They have to be your own. They can’t be something that people have told you and convinced you of. You need to feel them deep down within your core. They must be in alignment with your soul purpose.
“One of the risks of being quiet is that other people can fill your silence with their own interpretation: You’re bored, depressed, shy, stuck up or judgemental. When others can’t read us, they write their own story—not always one we choose or that’s true to who we are.” ~ Sophia Dembling
To Be Shy Or Not
Most people assume that I’m mostly shy and a people pleaser. I’ve learnt to be very present in service to others, which helps continue the illusion that I’m shy. Especially in my previous career as a Psychologist. I’ve learnt to hold back and allow others to take the spotlight, because ‘that’s what a good Psychologist does’ – right?
However, those closest to me will agree that I love to SHAKE things up. I am sassy. I value diversity, individuality and left-of-centre thinking. A different perspective is something I greatly appreciate. I get excited by creativity, playfulness and being fluid with expressing who we are as human beings.
People can easily misunderstand and underestimate me. Anyone taking my headshot can easily assume that I should be photographed as a really soft, gentle, friendly-natured person. They wouldn’t be wrong. But it’s nowhere near the whole story of me….not even close.
The Psychology Of Branding
When I prepare for my own branding photographs throughout different stages of my business, I always take myself through the process of unfolding the psychology behind my evolving brand, and how I want others to see me. As I get to a new level of my business, I have to challenge myself to step out of the next level of shadows and safety barriers that I use for self-protection. Several years ago I sourced the perfect outfit that would become a pivotal symbol for the rebel that rises within me. My iconic tinsel jacket was made by a local Brisbane artist.
The choice to wear this jacket epitomises everything within me that is not easily visible, and yet is a growing part of who I am. It is a symbol of what is within me at my core as a leader. A symbol that also my clients can relate to. It is a ‘call to action’ for what I believe in and the psychological adventure that I take my clients through. I want them to believe in themselves just as much as I do.
Most of my clients are introverts. They have huge plans for the impact they want to make in the world and are multi-talented. Someone who can help them find their own version of the tinsel jacket symbol and what it means to them. They need someone who believes in what they want to communicate with the world. Having strategies to communicate helps them to be creative in sharing their gifts.
The question is – what is your version of the tinsel jacket?
What symbol speaks volumes about what is stirring within you?
To find the answer, here are a few steps to play with:
- Understand your personality type. Take an archetype test, or discover your Fascinate profile. There are heaps of tests out there! Once you have the results, reflect on how it relates to the way you WANT people to see you in your personal brand.
- Gain perspective outside of yourself and your close circle of friends. Discover how the world sees you, outside of the social filters of your family and friends. While they mean well, they are biased. This is why the IGNITE sessions are so popular! They provide a powerful perspective!
- Identify the statement you want to make, the opinion you want to be known for, and use your strategies to communicate every which way you can! Use symbolism in your photographs and branding to help support your stance.
I DARE you to make a statement that gets people talking!