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by Lynn S. Schwebach
Visual artists, writers, musicians, actors, or anyone working in creative fields struggle every day in the workplace and community to have their voices heard, to get
their achievements recognized, and to get the exposure they deserve. It’s demoralizing and exhausting and often the price paid is an erosion of self-confidence.
Personal branding builds self-confidence. In fact, many career specialists and mentors credit it as one of the best development tools to come along for those who work as creatives. (Or for anyone seeking a job or career change, or trying to figure out their next step in life.) These experts attest to the essential connection between self-confidence and success. A recent psychological test supports this belief.
Psychology Professor Bobby Hoffman and Alexandru Spatariu tested the confidence of undergraduate students performing mental math tests. Those students who had more self-confidence had better outcomes. They wrote of their results for the online journal British Psychological Digest in the article “Self-Belief Boosts Problem-Solving Success.”
“In learning situations there is a natural tendency to build basic skills, but that is only part of the formula. Instructors that focus on building the confidence of students, providing strategic instruction, and giving relevant feedback can enhance performance outcomes,” lead researcher Hoffman told BPD.
Personal Branding Achieves Success
Personal branding recognizes the importance of working toward expertise in achieving success. You can’t become a respected artist or run a small business or advance your career without basic skills (and continually updating those skills with ongoing education). But that is only part of the story—you must also have self-confidence.
The process of personal branding builds self-confidence. Why? Because you’re taking initiative to direct your life on the path you want it to go. As you take a hard look at who you are and what you value in life, you build a stronger self-image. When you put that image forward and receive positive relevant feedback from your customers, clients, colleagues, family, and friends, hopefully your self-confidence soars.
Yet some struggle with praise because they can’t accept compliments. Several underlying reasons exist for resisting compliments, according to psychologist and author Guy Winch.
“Specifically, compliments can make people with low self-esteem feel uncomfortable because they contradict their own self-views,” Winch wrote in the article “Why Some People Hate Receiving Compliments” for Psychology Today.
For some individuals, Winch wrote, they can’t accept compliments or praise from others because it conflicts with their existing belief systems. In others words, if we feel “incapable of success, receiving praise about how capable we are can feel like a set-up for future heartbreak and disappointment.”
Personal Branding Develops Positivity
Personal branding is one way to break negative belief systems about yourself and your abilities. It’s one way to develop positive internal and external perceptions. This doesn’t mean unrealistic perceptions based on bragging or narcissism. And it’s not compromising your values to get that commission, gallery space, part in the play or new job. Rather it’s a self-understanding of what unique contributions you bring to those whom you interact with and whose perception of you matters. It’s mindfulness with every decision you make and action you take, ensuring that you’re living up to your values, standards, and principles.
Do you have a personal brand? Do others perceive you as you perceive yourself? Does your brand live up to your values and the path you want your life to take? Do you have a hard time accepting compliments? Maybe it’s time to craft a personal brand.
Also, Graphic Designer Jacob Cass is one of my favorite Tedx Talk speakers. Check out his talk “Marketing Yourself: Building a Personal Brand.”