Personal branding, simply put, is essentially about what people say about you when you are out of sight. It entails a mix of our core values and motivators, knowledge, skills, abilities, qualifications and even our interests. However, overwhelming as it may seem, the good news is, the power of personal branding all lies in our own hands.
Having lived 21 years and embarking unto a journey into adulthood, these 3Ss (self-image, self-awareness and self-esteem) are the three best friends I could possibly have in my life.
Self-image can be easily intepreted as how we view, perceive, analyse and evaluate ourselves in contrast to our ideal self. To me, adopting the right self-image is crucial because it subsequently determines or influences how others view me. It is important that we keep our self-image positive and realistic, because people with a positive self-image, tends to be viewed as more confident and invokes the trust of others in us – which applies to social settings such as school contexts, workplace environment and even intimate settings such as our personal lives. What I find particularly interesting, is that a person may seem to exude a ‘have-it-all’ outlook but actually has a negative bad self-image, which can be rather unhealthy. Nevertheless, to start cultivating a self-image and create a solid and unique personal branding, it is mandatory that we should start by appreciating and loving ourselves first.
This brings us to the second aspect of self-awareness. In particular, self-awareness requires us to take the first step out of our comfort zone to take a critical look at ourselves. When we understand ourselves better, specifically our strengths and weaknesses, we will be more likely to present ourselves better by highlighting our aptitude and downplaying our flaws. Today, I have also developed a better self-awareness of myself after experimenting with useful personality tests such as the Myers Briggs Personality Test, and finding out that I possess the ENFJ characteristics. Reading articles has also made me develop a better understanding of myself as I learn how to communicate and brand myself when communicating with others in my daily lives.
Lastly, let us not forget the essence of self-esteem and the influence it has upon our personal branding. Everyone in life wants to be loved and appreciated by many, but before we can do so, we need to genuinely believe in our own strengths and capacity. In my opinion, in order to create a unique and positive personal branding, I make a conscientious effort to be myself, and challenge myself to express my thoughts, viewpoints and perspectives whenever the situation requires. I often remind myself that before we can create personal branding value, we need to first deliver value to people around us – it could be in the form of academic group projects, helping with housework at home, playing a part in environmentally-sustainable activities and many others.
At the end of the day, aren’t we all responsible for creating our ideal personal brand for ourselves?