It's easy to focus on your skills, experiences, and achievements. While these components are important, they can be far from the whole authentic self picture. The real question is: Are you aligning your actions with your values? Are you the real thing, or just pretending to be?
Knowing your values and consciously incorporating them into your everyday life is not the same thing. It’s crucial to take time each day or week to reflect on how your progress aligns with what you believe in. This self-reflection is not just about ticking boxes. It’s about ensuring that your actions and decisions are staying true to your personal brand’s values.
How to be the authentic self?
Consider big life decisions as prime examples. These are the moments when you should evaluate if the choice you’re about to make is in alignment with your values. How will you feel when you’re on a new path, whether it is a career change, a new partnership, or even a new relationship? I suggest going further and checking against your top 10 values.
Speaking of values, let me share one of my own: nature. I need regular exposure and time in nature to unwind and connect with the essence of life – trees, fresh air, and sun. It’s my time for self-reflection and creation, a moment to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with myself. This value plays a vital role in my personal brand because it shapes my perspective and helps me stay grounded.
To illustrate the importance of values, let’s consider a story told by the late John Haynes:
John was attending his first self-development event and was skeptical. He didn’t believe motivational speeches would change his life. The atmosphere was too positive and cheerful for his taste. At some point during the event, the speaker invited John to the stage and asked if he knew his values. ‘Of course. It’s family and health’, said John. Then the speaker asked about his usual weekend activities. John’s answer included football, beers with friends, fast food, and TV. The speaker then asked: ‘So, you’re telling me that your values are actually football and fast food?’
This story serves as a reminder that what we claim as our values are often not reflected in our actions. It’s one thing to articulate our values, but living and breathing them is the real challenge and the true measure of our personal brand.
So, I encourage you to ask yourself: Are you the FAKE or the REAL thing? Are your actions reflecting your core values? Remember, our personal brand is not just about what we say we are, but it’s about who we truly are, and that is reflected in our values and actions.