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Another year, the real me

December 19, 2022  |  by Rebecca Macnair

New Year always prompts reflection – the things we want to achieve by the time next New Year rolls around, the “new person” we are going to be. But is this new person an authentic version of ourself?

The idea of a personal brand might sound cheesy to some – a concept more suited to those who want to “synergise” and “push the envelope” with some “blue sky thinking”. But we can all gain something by considering what our personal brand is, and if it is an authentic and true reflection of how we want the world to see us.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”

Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon

Your personal brand is shaped by your values, beliefs, and personal qualities. What do you have to offer, what are you best at, or get the most fulfilment from? Are you honest, creative, diligent, flexible, innovative, ambitious, friendly, empathetic, loyal, grounded? How are you portraying this to the outside world? And are you consistent in this portrayal?

It’s also about understanding what you aren’t. Sometimes people can make assumptions about us, or people who have known us for a long time don’t really see how we might have developed and keep us in a box we’ve grown out of. So what are you not – “I’m not the life and soul of the party”, “I’m not always the brightest in the room”, “I’m not a wallflower”. Reflecting on what we aren’t helps us to understand what we want to be, what our potential is and how we can get there, alongside changing any incorrect perceptions others have of us.

Evaluating your personal brand helps you to clarify how you have already grown, if you are comfortable in your current self, or if there are areas where you would like to develop. It can take bravery to honestly turn that mirror on ourselves, to be self-aware without judgement but with kindness and acceptance. But understanding is the first step to growth. As Carl Rogers said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change”. This acceptance and understanding means you can look to the future with positivity, but also with realism without being self-deceptive, or putting pressure yourself to be someone that isn’t consistent with your values.

So this new year, be your own cheerleader, celebrate where you are and, as you take time to reflect, consider if it might be time for a rebrand so that you can go into 2023 as a more authentic version of yourself.

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