I’ve been asking myself this for as long as I can remember. Or that’s not true actually. I started asking myself these questions when I realized a lot of people I thought knew me very well, didn’t really. It got me thinking. Who do I want to be? What do I want people to say about me? What do I want my image to be like, who and what do I want to be associated with? I can’t decide other people’s perception of me, but I can be conscious about it, and act in alignment with values that are important to me.
As a marketer anchored in strategic communication, brand-building, visions, values and whatnot, I now know that the principles we use in professional branding also applies to personal branding. And it all comes down to trust. Establishing and building trust to the people that matter to you.
How do you know which brands to trust? Do you automatically just go all in and start doing business with brands who communicate a shared world-view with you? And why do you love some brands, while despising others? Which brands do you want to be associated with, and why? Or maybe all this doesn’t matter to you? I hope it does because there are too many companies still solely driven by making good (aka money) to their owners. They are not preoccupied with fixing the world Greta Thunberg and her supporters are worried about. I’m worried too. And as many might see me as a hypocrite having worked almost all my working years in oil & gas and finance, my take on that this rather make me the first to know that both these industries can choose to spend all their available capital now on regenerating. Giving back to people and planet, and still grow in new ways and dimensions. This is my work-task now. Helping businesses with New Growth, but that’s another story for some other time. ☺️
Back to trust. There are three drivers for establishing trust:
- Ability – when you believe the person/brand has necessary capabilities and competence
- Benevolence – when you believe the person/brand is considerate and has your best interests in mind
- Integrity – when you believe the person/brand share your values and principles
For brands and people to build trust it’s about making the right choices, again and again, building integrity through consistency. Everyone can make mistakes, when trust is established the trust can actually be strengthened through a mistake, even when they made a choice initially that made us wonder if they were trustworthy. It’s because the mistake gave them a chance to show vulnerability. This is so important, and I really want you to think about this. We need to act, be brave, make mistakes and learn from them. We need to leave our stable lives in our comfort zones, and start acting and advocating for what we truly believe in. The only constant right now is change. We need to be part of that. Not by going with a flow, but by taking charge of our lives through critical thinking. This is so important for our legacy and for the future we are creating for ourselves and our children.
I used to be scared of so many things. Speaking up (believe it or not), doing talks, skiing (yes, I am Norwegian – but still!), contradicting people I respected, contradicting people very many others respected when my daughters walked home alone after dark when I left my family (even though I’ve always LOVED to travel!). The list can go on and on. I’m not scared anymore. I know that when the familiar feeling of stress, fright and not having remote control of the situation, I have started to meditate. I go through a lot of great words I have collected through studies and books. These make me realize that all my feelings are part of being human and that if the situation really is way out of control, I know that I’m probably in the middle of a situation where I’ll come through with great new insights and learning. And I love that. #NewGrowth.
I think the situations I handle worst, and with absolutely no form for dignity now, is when my world view is being challenged. When people close to me are indicating they could be capable of choosing another belief system than me. When they find the rationale in walls and borders, and in dividing people into groups like us and them. I completely lose my head. I have to work on this in 2020. Finding balance in respecting people with controversial “truths” and building the world I want.
OMG…. I planned on a short blog post today….! Sorry… But – okay – my point with all this is this week’s homework! 😍🥳 We’ve put behind us a decade that has in my opinion fucked up our ability to do and think long-term. (Excuse my language! 🙈). I think it’s such a paradox that we actually need to take classes in Slow Living – this is in our nature! So we need to decrease our speed, start paying attention to ourselves and who we are so that we make the right choices for our lives. So that we build the life we want. Okay!
Here are your assignments:
- Who do you want to be? Write down the three words you want other people to define you by. What would your closest friends, family, colleagues answer if someone asked them how you are as a person?
- What do you want to accomplish this year? Do you have a big task you have planned on doing for years, that you know you need to do but haven’t done yet? Do it this year! Write down what it’s going to take – what do you need to do this week, this month and this quarter to make it happen by 2020.
And keep in mind what you wrote down last week about the 2019-obstacles. Key learnings from 2019 might be that you know how to not make the same mistakes again? Take away what’s holding you back from creating the best year ever. 😍🙏🏼
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend with peace and love.
Oh, and P.S.! If you haven’t already, get yourself a notebook that you dedicate to the making of this year. That way you can easily track your progress, celebrate New Growth and remind yourself of what you need to work on to create the changes that you want.