Lately, I realize that I’ve been fretting a little too much about what I ‘do’ and how ‘others’ perceive me in the work place. Yes, we all should be conscious of how we come across to others, but part of that maybe should not be the label we put on ourselves.
Chris Brogan’s blog post today, “It’s Easy to Get Discouraged’, really opened that up for me. Also, I found a negative review of my old blog ‘Viraligious’ from 2 years ago. While I was wallowing, I read this post and realized that I was being my own worst enemy. A friend (thanks Devin!) on Twitter then brought to my attention that the review was actually only partially negative: it was also complimentary.
Why do we just glaze over the positive and shoot right to the negative? In my work life, I’m often introduced or referred to as ‘the one who does social media’. I started to get worried that I was getting typecast: I do other things! I started to really educate myself on SEO, analytics and other web concepts. I realized that I could be well rounded without feeling pigeon holed. That being known as someone who’s good at something doesnt mean I do other things badly.
How many times do we do this as professionals? Leave the good and run with the bad? As more and more frequently ‘personal branding’ is discussed, maybe we’re too harsh on ourselves and becoming something else. We should do our best work, be who we are and feel confident that being our best selves is who we want to be. Not a title. Not a position.
2 thoughts on “Personal Branding: Be Yourself, Leave the Labels”
Two things: 1) I think there’s an unfortunate tendency to define ourselves by what we’re not. Can’t put it any better than one of my fave poets, Edwin Arlington Robison, does in Richard Corey, about how we envy others even when we shouldn’t. 2) Those of us with high expectations never want to settle for anything less than the best. Can’t speak for you, but I’m the type to concentrate on shortcomings to try to improve them, but sometimes at the expense of appreciating things I can do well.
BTW, congrats on the Chronicle quote! You rock!
Agree with TimN – most people dwell on the negative and dismiss the positive. We all have a hard time taking compliments and letting go or acting on criticism, its human nature, don’t beat yourself up about it! It appears you’ve taken a huge step with this blog so congratulations.