Quite often the way that others see us has a very real and direct effect on the way that we feel about ourselves. The fabulous thing about that is that we have almost full control over the way that others see us.
There will always be those who choose to look at us and see what they think they see, be it the racists, sexists, elitists or just downright fools of the world. ‘Haters’ if you will. To those people we pay no mind since, as the saying goes, ‘wolves do not lose sleep over the opinions of sheep’. But to those whom we truly respect, we can take charge of how we are viewed and that is personal branding.
When I think about it, I’ve been working on my personal brand since I was twelve at least. I remember every August in the summer holidays, before school started again, I would stand on the marble step in the living room (sorry mum) stare at myself in the huge mirror above the fireplace and make a mental note of the type of person I wanted to represent in the coming year. Some years more outgoing and adventurous than before. Sometimes kinder. More patient, less condescending perhaps – I was a bit of a know it all as a child! I didn’t know it then but what I was really working on was my personal brand – how I wanted the world to see me.
Since those days my brand planning has been upgraded to a written list of all of the personal attributes that I wish to portray. How the perfect version of me would be, aspirational but not unrealistic – after all, what good would it do me to write ‘become a 5’10” Brazilian supermodel’ on there haha, I can’t control that. No, instead it says things like, ‘ be punctual and organised’, ‘elegant and well-groomed’, ‘confident and calm’. There are specifics on there too, ways to achieve these things. ‘Remember to set all five alarms!!!’ because I have a deep love affair with the snooze button, inspirational quotes to live by and the names of women I aspire to be like – my mum for example. Never a hair out of place, stressed but never underdressed is my mother. A family friend described her last week as ‘perfect’. That is my mum’s personal brand. That is how people see her on the outside. She has dealt with more chaos than I ever believed any one person could take, yet on the outside she is the picture of poised perfection. Personal branding executed flawlessly. That is what I aspire to.
I keep my personal branding plan in a Google doc and read it every morning when I wake up. It only takes two minutes, I know it word for word. I keep it open when I’m working ’til the early hours and feel like giving up and going to bed or when I’m in a meeting and feel overwhelmed. I’ll study it in the gym every now and then while I power walk and I skim read it for a refresher on a Friday at 6pm on the way to meet friends. It’s a reassuring reminder of the type of person I’d like to be in times of self doubt or laziness. It’s a reminder to seize the day and live up to my full potential so that I can be the women I dreamed of becoming as a young girl.
Thank you for reading! In between posts you can see what I’m up to on Instagram stories here @missjadefraser – Jade xx
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